University Scholar Eben Alsberg
The University Scholars Program, now in its 36th year, honors faculty members for superior research and teaching, along with great promise for future achievements. The award provides $15,000 a year for three years.
Richard and Loan Hill Chair
Biomedical Engineering, Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, Pharmacology and Regenerative Medicine, and Orthopaedics
Years at UIC: 3
What are your research interests?
My lab is interested in understanding how cells respond to signals in their microenvironment, and engineering biomaterials and systems to present these signals to cells in a controlled manner to regulate their behavior and engineer new biological replacement tissues.
How did you become interested in these topics?
I was first exposed to this area of research in graduate school, and it captivated me. I was so excited about the area that I actually changed research focus mid-way through graduate school and joined a tissue engineering lab.
What do you teach?
I teach BME 455, Introduction to Cell and Tissue Engineering.
How do you balance teaching and research?
It is challenging to balance all of the responsibilities of an academic job, but prioritizing and time management skills make it easier. I’m still working on getting better at these skills.
What’s your advice to students who want to focus their future careers on research?
I could not dream of a better job than one in research where one can discover things that are entirely new and that could possibly improve people’s lives. If you’re passionate about science, it’s worth the hard work and effort needed to pursue a research career.