The Department of Biomedical Engineering (BME) is pleased to announce that BME professor and department chair Dr. Igor Efimov has been selected to receive the 2018 SEAS Distinguished Researcher Award, while Dr. Jason Zara has been selected to receive the 2018 SEAS Distinguished Teacher Award.
Dr. Efimov was named the 2018 SEAS Distinguished Researcher for his well-regarded and internationally-recognized research. He is the director of the GW Optocardiography Laboratory, which has been very successful in securing prestigious research grants. His lab recently has won eight research awards, including five from the National Institutes of Health. Most notably, he is the North American coordinator on a $6 million Leducq Transatlantic Network of Excellence project (titled RHYTHM), which is a network of six universities across the globe involved in studies of cardiac repolarization and sudden cardiac death resulting from abnormal repolarization. These grants are exceptionally competitive, with only five awards given in 2017 from a pool of 120 submissions.
Dr. Efimov also has been very successful in creating startup companies and intellectual property. His recent work has generated three patents and a new startup company, CardioForm, which he co-founded with his collaborator on several grants, Dr. John Rogers of Northwestern University. In addition, he has a prolific publication record and has published in prestigious research journals, and he is frequently invited to give keynote addresses in the U.S. and overseas.
His BME colleague, Dr. Jason Zara, was named the 2018 SEAS Distinguished Teacher. Dr. Zara—who also was honored in 2009 with the SEAS Outstanding Junior Teacher Award—was selected for the award because of his continued and demonstrated commitment to effective and inspiring teaching. He creates a participatory and encouraging atmosphere in his classrooms and is known as a thoughtful, knowledgeable, effective, and caring instructor. Dr. Zara consistently receives outstanding student evaluations, and BME students have recognized his teaching success every year since 2014 (the inception of the BME department) by voting him the Engineers' Council Biomedical Engineering Professor of the Year.
Dr. Zara also has contributed greatly to curriculum responsibilities for BME, updating and designing new courses, and leading accreditation visits. In addition, he served for five years on the Dean's Teaching Advisory Committee and on several national committees devoted to teaching and to capstone design.
Congratulations to Drs. Efimov and Zara—and to their colleagues, Dr. Leila Farhadi (Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering) and Dr. Ekundayo Shittu (Department of Engineering Management and Systems Engineering), who were selected jointly to receive the 2018 SEAS Outstanding Junior Teacher Award, and Dr. Danmeng Shaui (Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering), who was selected for the 2018 SEAS Outstanding Junior Researcher Award.