J. Crayton Pruitt Family Department of Biomedical Engineering announces new chair

The Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering has selected Dr. Cherie Stabler as the new chair of the J. Crayton Family Department of Biomedical Engineering (BME). Stabler, Ph.D., is the Integra LifeSciences & UF Foundation Preeminence Term Professor in BME. She will succeed Dr. Christine Schmidt, who led the department since 2013.

Professor Stabler received her Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology and Emory University, where she also conducted her postdoctoral work in the Department of Surgery through a Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation fellowship. She was recruited to the University of Florida in 2015 as a part of the UF Preeminence Initiative. She was previously an associate professor in Biomedical Engineering at the University of Miami, where she also served as the director of the Tissue Engineering laboratory at the Diabetes Research Institute.

“The mission and vision of the J. Crayton Pruitt Family Department of Biomedical Engineering outlines a dedication to both innovation and education,” Dr. Stabler said of her appointment. “I look forward to working with the faculty, staff, students, and UF leadership to continue to not only drive new discoveries and technologies but to impart foundational knowledge, a creative spirit, and a community mindset to the next generation of leaders.”

Dr. Stabler is an internationally renowned diabetes research scientist and engineer. Her globally recognized research and educational program is focused on the generation of translational biomaterial platforms for cellular implants, with a particular emphasis on cell-based therapies for Type 1 diabetes. It includes the development of novel bioactive materials targeted at enhancing graft survival, and on utilizing local and translational approaches to dampen host immunological responses. Her transdisciplinary work — which has been published across a spectrum of journals and has generated numerous patents — span from designing new biomaterials to seeking FDA clearance for combinatory products.

A fellow of the Biomedical Engineering Society and the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering, Dr. Stabler was also a recipient of the NIH NIDDK Type 1 Diabetes Pathfinder DP2 Award. She is the president-elect of the international Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine — Americas Chapter, and she has served as a member of the BTSS NIH study section, the ADA Grant Review Committee, the JDRF Encapsulation Consortia, and the NIH Human Islet Research Network. Dr. Stabler is also recognized by the peer and student communities at UF with numerous awards, including the 2022 UF Foundation Preeminence Term Professor, the 2022 Engineering Doctoral Dissertation Advisor/Mentor of the Year, the 2019 UF Engineering Faculty-Scholar of the Year, and a UF Term Professor (2019-2022).

Dr. Stabler’s predecessor is a recognized authority in tissue engineering using novel biomaterials, and an inductee of the Florida Inventors Hall of Fame, Fellow of the International Academy of Medical and Biological Engineering, Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors, and Fellow of the American Society for the Advancement of Science. Under her leadership, Dr. Schmidt established UF BME as one of the nation’s leading biomedical engineering powerhouses. Her tenure saw the development of a bachelor’s degree-offering program within its first three years, its graduate program jump more than 20 spots in the last 10 years (currently Top 20 among all public institutions) and saw its faculty more than double in size with significant diversity growth.

“I could not be prouder of where UF BME is today,” outgoing department chair Dr. Schmidt said. “We have achieved so much together in the past 10 years, and I could not have done it without the incredible support of our outstanding faculty, students and staff. I cannot think of a better leader than Professor Stabler to take this esteemed department into its next phase of excellence. She is one of our very best and I am excited!”