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The Wulff Lecture is an introductory lecture that encourages MIT undergraduates to take up Materials Science and Engineering

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"The Intersection of Medicine and Materials"

Spring 2021 Wulff Lecture, by Prof. Michael Cima

About the Speaker

Dr. Michael J. Cima is a David H. Koch (1962) Professor of Engineering and a Professor of Materials Science and Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and has an appointment at the Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research. He earned a BS in chemistry in 1982 (phi beta kappa) and a PhD in chemical engineering in 1986, both from the University of California at Berkeley. Prof. Cima joined the MIT faculty in 1986 as an Assistant Professor. He was promoted to full Professor in 1995. He was elected a Fellow of the American Ceramics Society in 1997. He was the recipient of the W. David Kingery Award in 2019. Prof. Cima was elected to the National Academy of Inventors in 2016 and the National Academy of Engineering in 2011. He now holds the David H. Koch Chair of Engineering at MIT. He was appointed faculty director of the Lemelson-MIT Program in 2009 which is a program to inspire youth to be inventive and has a nationwide reach. In 2018, Cima was named a co-director of MIT's Innovation Initiative and the Associate Dean of Innovation for the School of Engineering.

Prof. Cima is author or co-author of over two hundred and fifty peer reviewed scientific publications, fifty eight US patents, and is a recognized expert in the field of materials processing. Prof. Cima is actively involved in materials and engineered systems for improvement in human health such as treatments for cancer, metabolic diseases, trauma, and urological disorders. Prof. Cima's research concerns advanced forming technology such as for complex macro and micro devices, colloid science, MEMS, and other micro components for medical devices that are used for drug delivery and diagnostics, high-throughput development methods for formulations of materials, and pharmaceutical formulations. He is a coinventor of MIT’s three dimensional printing process. His research has led to the development of chemically derived epitaxial oxide films for HTSC coated conductors. He and collaborators are developing implantable MEMS devices for unprecedented control in the delivery of pharmaceuticals and implantable diagnostic systems. Finally, through his consulting work he has been a major contributor to the development of high throughput systems for discovery of novel crystal forms and formulations of pharmaceuticals.

Prof. Cima also has extensive entrepreneurial experience. He is co-founder of MicroChips Inc., a developer of microelectronic based drug delivery and diagnostic systems. Prof. Cima took two sabbaticals to act as senior consultant and management team member at Transform Pharmaceuticals Inc., a company that he helped start and that was ultimately acquired by Johnson and Johnson Corporation. He is a co-founder and director at T2 Biosystems, a medical diagnostics company. Most recently, Prof. Cima co-founded SpringLeaf Therapeutics, a specialty pharmaceutical company, and Taris Biomedical, a urology products company.

Image: Christopher Lee and Michael Cima. Human ureteral smooth muscle cells grown in a lab dish, which helped identify drugs that would help to relax the muscle cells.

About the Wulff Lecture

The Wulff Lecture is an introductory, general audience, entertaining lecture that aims to educate, inspire, and encourage MIT undergraduates to take up study of materials science and engineering and related fields. The Lecture honors the late Professor John Wulff, a skilled, provocative, and entertaining teacher who conceived of a new approach to teaching general chemistry and inaugurated the popular first-year subject 3.091 Introduction to Solid State Chemistry.

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