USF Health Heart Institute director named to AIMBE College of Fellows

March 25, 2019USF Health Heart Institute Director Samuel Wickline, MD, a pioneer in nanotechnology targeting heart disease and other disorders, has been inducted into the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE) College of Fellows Class of 2019.  Election as an AIMBE Fellow is one of the highest professional distinctions; the College of Fellows is comprised of only the top 2 percent of medical and biological engineers.

Samuel A. Wickline, MD, founding director of the USF Health Heart Institute

Dr. Wickline is also the Tampa General Hospital Endowed Chair in Cardiovascular Medicine, associate dean for cardiovascular research, and a professor of cardiovascular sciences, molecular pharmacology and physiology, and medical engineering at the University of South Florida.  He was among the 156 new Fellows inducted at a ceremony held March 25 during the AIMBE Annual Meeting at the National Academy of Sciences, Washington, DC. The inductees also included Norma Alcantar, PhD, professor of chemical and biomedical engineering at USF.

Dr. Wickline was nominated, reviewed, and elected by peers and members of the College of Fellows for “pioneering advancements in molecular imaging with ultrasound and magnetic resonance imaging/magnetic resonance spectroscopy, and biocompatible nanotechnologies targeting myriad diseases.”

Much of Dr. Wickline’s pioneering research has investigated the molecular basis of disease-causing processes using novel imaging methods to detect the genetic signature of cells and deploying nanoparticles to treat a variety of cardiovascular conditions, including targeting atherosclerotic plaques that cause heart attacks. His academic entrepreneurial work led to the development of advanced cardiac imaging techniques, such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the heart to assess coronary artery disease.

During his tenure with Washington University in St. Louis, Dr. Wickline led a consortium that works with academic and industry partners to develop broad-based clinical applications for nanotechnology and imaging.  He also worked with corporate partner Philips Medical Systems to establish one of the first clinical and research programs for cardiac MRI and was a founding member of the International Society for Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance.

In 2016 Dr. Wickline joined USF to be founding director of the USF Health Heart Institute, now under construction as part of the university’s new Morsani College of Medicine in downtown Tampa. He has been instrumental in helping recruit scientists, forge industry partnerships and design new basic research laboratories and clinical research space that will accelerate the Institute’s graduate student training and pursuit of translational medicine and entrepreneurial activities when the facility opens in late 2019.

Dr. Wickline’s current research centers on designing and evaluating new nanotechnology  approaches to understand underlying molecular mechanisms of disease and to deliver more precise, safer treatments for arthritis, cancers, kidney injury and other conditions as well as cardiovascular diseases. Continuously funded by the National Institutes of Health for more than 30 years, he has started four biotechnology companies, holds over 50 issued or filed patents, and has authored more than 315 peer-reviewed research papers.

The AIMBE College of Fellows has inducted Fellows representing 30 countries and employed in academia, industry, clinical practice and government. These Fellows include two Nobel Prize laureates, 17 Fellows who received the Presidential Medal of Science and/or Technology and Innovation, and 158 also inducted to the National Academy of Engineering, 72 inducted to the National Academy of Medicine and 31 inducted to the National Academy of Sciences.

With its two new honorees, USF is now home to a total of 15 AIMBE Fellows, including four from the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine.