Georgia Tech Faculty Member Selected as One of Georgia Trend’s “40 Under 40”
For the seventeenth year, Georgia Trend Magazine has selected a group of 40 Georgians under the age of 40 who they consider the state’s “Best and Brightest” across different sectors, including business, government, politics, nonprofits, arts, finance and the military. Todd McDevitt, associate professor in the Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering (BME) at Georgia Institute of Technology and Emory University, was chosen among this year’s selections.
McDevitt’s service to the Georgia community has been through a combination of research, education and policy efforts. His research program is focused on engineering stem cell technologies, which represents efforts to transform the potential of stem cells into clinically viable and useful regenerative therapies and diagnostic tools. To date, McDevitt has been responsible for over $10 million of research funding and has employed more than 30 trainees and advised over 50 undergraduate researchers. He has published over 45 journal articles in the top journals in his field and he has a number of national awards to his credit.
“Todd is a young leader helping to define the emerging field of stem cell engineering,’” Ravi Bellamkonda, chair of the BME department stated. “From early on in his career, he has had a vision for what it is going to take for stem cells to become useful for scientific discovery and help heal cardiac and other tissues for Georgians and beyond.”
McDevitt’s research, at the interface of biomaterials, tissue engineering and stem cell biology, has been recognized by receipt of the 2010 Young Investigator Award from the Society for Biomaterials and he was chosen as one of 30 U.S. scientists age 45 and under to be invited to participate in a Frontiers of Engineering symposia series hosted by the National Academy of Engineering. In addition, McDevitt was recently appointed to a six-member panel of North American experts by the National Science Foundation to a conduct an international assessment of stem cell engineering research and development efforts that is intended to inform strategic investments by the U.S. in this emerging area of biotechnology.
“Having creative and potentially ‘disruptive’ ideas from the outset can be particularly challenging for a younger faculty member because of limited resources to pursue new concepts and the number of times that grant proposals are usually rejected for truly ground-breaking science,” said Robert M. Nerem, professor emeritus, George W. Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering, and Parker H. Petit Distinguished Chair for Engineering in Medicine at Georgia Tech. “Todd’s sincere desire is to work on things that really matter and are often one or two steps ahead of the current thinking of many in the field.”
In support of this, McDevitt was awarded a $2 million “Transformative” grant from the National Institute’s of Health from the Office of the Director in 2011. Some of his recent work, published in Nature Methods, was featured by Francis Collins, the director of the National Institute’s of Health, on his personal blog.
Locally, he has been recognized as one of Georgia Trend’s Most Influential Georgians (Notables) in 2010 and 2011. At Georgia Tech McDevitt has been recognized with the “Best Advisor” Award from the BioEngineering Graduate Program in 2013, the Above and Beyond (Eagle) Award from the Georgia Tech Biomedical Engineering Society student chapter in 2011, the Junior Faculty Outstanding Undergraduate Research Mentor Award in 2010 and the Petit Institute Interdisciplinary Research and Education Above & Beyond Award in 2009.
In addition to his scholarly activities, McDevitt is dedicated to educating the public about stem cell research and its potential applications. Examples of his community service include visits to high schools, speaking at public events throughout the state, including TEDx Georgia Tech, as well as regularly hosting tours and visitors in his lab. In addition, McDevitt is also the director of a $3 million National Science Foundation (NSF) Integrated Graduate Education and Research Training (IGERT) program on Stem Cell Biomanufacturing that was highlighted in the journal, Nature, as an "out-of-the-box" novel graduate training program. This program will train 30 graduate students over 5 years for careers in this rapidly emerging field.
McDevitt joined the faculty at the Georgia Institute of Technology / Emory in 2004. In 2009 he was appointed as a Petit Faculty Fellow in the Parker H. Petit Institute for Bioengineering and Bioscience and was named as the Director of the Stem Cell Engineering Center at Georgia Tech. As the director of the center, his main goal has been to expand the scope of stem cell-related research at Georgia Tech, expand collaborations with other Georgia universities, develop competitive large multi-investigator grants, and attract industrial research and foster start-up companies to contribute to biotechnology economic development in the state.
“I was very surprised and honored when Georgia Trend notified me that I was receiving this recognition,” McDevitt stated. “Georgia is an amazing state, with tremendous potential to become a hot bed for biotech and I am just happy to contribute in whatever way I can to this growing bio-economy in addition to spreading the word about the potential of stem cells to revolutionize biomedical therapies.”
Georgia Trend Article - 40 Under 40
- Workflow Status: Published
- Created By: Colly Mitchell
- Created: 09/27/2013
- Modified By: Fletcher Moore
- Modified: 10/07/2016