2018 Shu Chien Achievement Awardee

Michael Louis Shuler, PhD
Samuel B. Eckert Professor of Engineering

Biomedical Engineering, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering

Shuler graduated with a PhD from the University of Minnesota in 1973 and a BS from the University of Notre Dame in 1969. Both degrees were in Chemical Engineering. He received an Honorary Doctorate from Notre Dame in 2008.

He joined Cornell in 1974 in the School of Chemical Engineering. He is currently the Samuel B. Eckert Professor of Engineering. He was the Director for the School of Chemical Engineering from 1998 to 2002 and the founding James and Marsha McCormick Chair for Biomedical Engineering (2004 - 2014). Additionally, he is the Director of the Center on the Microenvironment and Metastasis (CMM). The CMM is funded by the National Cancer Institute as a Physical Sciences - Oncology Center. Shuler has received numerous teaching, advising, and research related awards. Among his honors is election to the National Academy of Engineering (1989) and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (1996).

Research Interests

The research conducted by Michael Shuler focuses on applying chemical reaction engineering principles to biological systems. As part of this work his research group has developed a new approach to model individual cells mathematically. These models have proven to be important conceptual tools used to test hypotheses about cellular mechanisms. Our model of a "minimal cell" is being used to understand how genomic instructions relate to cell physiology.

Another project combines mathematical models of subcellular and cellular mechanisms with whole-animal models as a means to relate the rapidly increasing insight into molecular toxicology and pharmacology with animal physiology. The organs of mathematical models are compared with physical models that use living cells to mimic organs such as the liver, colon, GI tract and lung. These devices are constructed on a microscale using the techniques of nanotechnology and are known as "Body-on-a-Chip" devices.

Dr. Shuler's work is being applied to evaluate different treatments for cancer such as multi-drug resistant cancer. He is also constructing models of the microvasculature to understand better how cancer cells metastasize.

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