Philip R. LeDuc, PI

Professor, Mechanical Engineering. Biomedical Engineering, Computational Biology, and Biological Sciences

r Personal website

B.S. 1993, Vanderbilt University,
M.S. 1995, North Carolina State University
Ph.D. 1999, Johns Hopkins University
Post-doc, Children's Hospital/Harvard Medical School

Two areas that have always been of interest to me are the mechanics of machines and the wonders of nature. My interest in mechanics, first beginning in a youth spent taking apart machines like lawn mowers, has intersected with my fascination with nature at the cellular and molecular levels. Here I will present how I have been intersecting mechanical engineering with biology. My lab approaches this intersection by envisioning cells and molecules as "systems" that can be investigated with some of the same fundamental approaches used on machines such as planes and automobiles looking for unifying principles. These systems range from mammalian cell to microorganism to developmental biology systems (e.g. mammalian cells, magnetic bacteria, energy generating bacteria, Xenopus laevis) and applies principles from mechanical engineering fields (e.g. solid mechanics, control theory, fluidics, heat transfer, design) to understand how these principles may apply across diverse nature-based systems. I also focus on linking mechanics to biochemistry at the cellular and molecular levels through examining structural regulation. In addition, I work on novel approaches to technology development through focusing on nature inspired design principles at the molecular and cellular levels. I pursue these goals through developing and utilizing nanotechnology, microtechnology, computational biology, and control-feedback theory. These intersections are especially fascinating to me as these systems have evolved for distinct reasons (the "initial and boundary conditions" are different). In addition, as an engineer, I truly am interested in building new systems from the knowledge that we obtain in a similar thought process as we use to build a new machine.

 

Funding

  • National Science Foundation-CAREER
  • Gates Foundation Grand Challenges (the 2nd Carnegie Mellon faculty member to receive this)
  • Air Force Office of Scientific Research
  • Office of Naval Research
  • Department of Energy-Genome to Life Program
  • National Science Foundation
  • National Institute of Health
  • Pennsylvania Infrastructure Technology Alliance
  • Merck Computational Biology and Chemistry
  • Sloan Foundation
  • National Academies Keck Futures Initiative
  • Heinz, Inc.
  • Beckman Young Investigators Program (he is the 2nd person ever at Carnegie Mellon to receive this).

 

Honors/Leadership Positions (Major Efforts)

  • William Brown Endowed Professor
  • Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Grand Challenges Award (2nd professor ever at Carnegie Mellon to win this award)
  • International Biomedical Engineering Society, Board of Directors
  • American Institute for Medical Biological Engineering, Board of Directors/Treasurer/Secretary
  • Founding Director- Center for the Mechanics and Engineering of Cellular Systems.
  • Fellow- Biomedical Engineering Society (1st professor ever at Carnegie Mellon)
  • Fellow- American Society of Mechanical Engineers
  • Fellow-American Institute for Medical Biological Engineering
  • Beckman Young Investigator Award, Beckman Foundation (2nd professor ever at Carnegie Mellon to win this award)
  • National Science Foundation CAREER
  • Russell V. Trader Career Faculty Fellow
  • The George Tallman Ladd Research Award
  • Member, Speaker-National Research Council-Biomedical Engineering Materials and Applications (NRC-BEMA).
  • MARC Minority Faculty Mentor Award; Biophysical Society
  • Benjamin Richard Teare Teaching Award
  • Professor of the Year Award-CMU Mechanical Engineering Senior Class
  • Friendliest Professor Award-CMU Mechanical Engineering Graduate Student Organization.
  • International Biomedical Engineering Society, Chair of Long Range Planning Committee (Strategic Planning)
  • International Biomedical Engineering Society, Chair, Student Affairs
  • International ASME Chair, Technical Committee of Mechanics in Biology and Medicine, a technical committee of the ASME Applied Mechanics Division
  • National Academies Keck Futures Initiative-Committee to Study How to Determine High Impact Research. This multi-year committee work resulted in "Sowing the Seeds of Science", which was reviewed and complemented by the Presidents of the 3 National Academies.
  • Associate Editor, ASME Journal of Biomechanical Engineering (Archival journal)
  • Editorial Board, Scientific Reports (Nature Publishing Group)
  • Editorial Board, Molecular and Cellular Bioengineering (Archival journal)
  • Editorial Board, ASCE Journal of Nanomechanics and Micromechanics (Archival journal)
  • Editorial Board, International Journal of Applied Mechanics (Archival journal)
  • Editorial Board, Molecular and Cellular Biomechanics (Archival journal)
  • National Academies Keck Future Initiatives, Selected member, ad hoc Committee
  • National Academy of Engineering US-India Frontiers of Engineering, Organizing Committee
  • National Academy of Engineering US-India Frontiers of Engineering, Co-chair of the Bioengineering and Healthcare session
  • ABET, Chair for the Mechanical Engineering Department.
  • Cochair-AIMBE Fellows Selection Committee
  • Steering Committee-ASME- NanoEngineering for Medicine and Biology
  • Selected as Faculty Member, Sloan Foundation Ph.D. Minority Program
  • Pan-Hellenic Outstanding Mentor and Role Model, Pan-Hellenic
  • International Biomedical Engineering Society, Annual Meeting Student Program Chair
  • International Biomedical Engineering Society, Annual Meeting Local Organizing Committee
  • International Summer ASME Bioengineering Conference, Organizing Committee
  • International Summer ASME Bioengineering Conference, Chair of the Copyright Management committee
  • 16th International Conference of Mechanics in Medicine and Biology, Program Committee
  • Cochair -Task Force for the membership of AIMBE
  • National Science Foundation, Workshop-Advancing Mechanics in Biology and Medicine, Program Committee/Discussion Leader
  • National Science Foundation Workshop, Group Co-leader, "The Cell as a Machine: Mechano-, Controls, Systems Engineering Approach to Cell/Molecular Biology"

 

Think-Tank/ Non-conventional Forums and Presentations (Major)

  • Global Grand Challenges Summit organized by the US National Academy of Engineering, the Royal Academy of Engineering, and the national engineering academy of China,
  • US Senate and House of Representatives for Research in "Prospering in the Global Economy of the 21st Century: An Agenda for American Science and Technology Focus Groups, Washington, D.C.
  • National Academy of Science Frontiers of Science, Irvine, CA
  • National Academy of Engineering US, Frontiers of Engineering
  • National Academy of Engineering US-India Frontiers of Engineering
  • National Academy of Engineering-German-US Frontiers of Engineering
  • The National Academies (National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, Institute of Medicine, National Research Council) Keck Futures Initiative, "Nanoscience and Nanotechnology"
  • The National Academies (National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, Institute of Medicine, National Research Council) Keck Futures Initiative, "Complex Systems"
  • The National Academies (National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, Institute of Medicine, National Research Council) Keck Futures Initiative, "Seeing the Future with Imaging Science"
  • Gordon Conference-Single Molecule Approaches to Biology
  • Beckman Young Investigator Award Forum, Beckman Foundation
  • National Science Foundation, CMMI Grantees Conference, Invited talk, "Success Stories and Future Directions (Top Advances and Emerging Areas),
  • National Science Foundation, CMMI Grantees Conference, Invited talk, "Coping with Your CAREER Award"
  • International IMECE, Invited talk, "Tips for Promotion and Tenure"
  • Westinghouse High School Outreach Program-Presentations, 99% Minority High School
  • National Science Foundation, Workshop-Advancing Mechanics in Biology and Medicine
  • National Science Foundation Workshop, "The Cell as a Machine: Mechano-, Controls, Systems Engineering Approach to Cell/Molecular Biology"
  • National Science Foundation Workshop "Advanced Biomanufacturing"
  • Think Tank: National Institute of health-national Cancer Institute on The Coding, Decoding, Transfer, and Translation of Information in Cancer, Invited talk
  • Washington Speaker Series- Cosmos Club, Washington DC (4 other invited speakers were Charles Vest-President of the National Academy of Engineering, Bernard Amadei-Founding President of Engineers Without Borders, Red Whittaker-Winner of DARPA Urban Challenge, Andrew Reynolds-Senior Advisor, U.S. Department of State)