The School of Engineering Department of Biomedical Engineering (BME) will welcome Valerie Tutwiler as a tenure-track assistant professor on September 1.
“Val is a great addition to our program, as she will apply her talent and energy toward building an exciting research program studying blood, with a current focus on blood clot mechanics and physiology,” says BME chair and professor David Shreiber. “She comes to Rutgers with a National Institutes of Health K99-R00 award. From all that we have learned about Val, she is not one to shy away from a challenge.”
Tutwiler, who earned her bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees from Drexel University and who is completing her postdoctoral research at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine, is eager to get started. “I’m most looking forward to getting to pursue my own research interests and being able to advise and mentor graduate and undergraduate students,” she says. “It’s exciting to be able to incorporate students from a variety of education levels into the research in my lab.”
She is also passionate about post-graduate and doctoral career development. “It’s really important to give students the resources they need to make career decisions earlier and explore career paths while they are still in school,” she explains.
To that end, Tutwiler is actively involved in national organizations such as the American Society of Cell Biology, where she serves as careers committee co-chair as well as a member of the group’s professional development task force.
While Tutwiler will be spending the fall semester setting up her lab, she looks forward to teaching a course in the spring.
“I like to apply engineering techniques to medically relevant questions,” she explains. I’ve been really interested in what makes blood stable and what causes a clot to bleed. This understanding will help develop better diagnostics for both thrombosis and bleeding from traumatic injury.”
Her NIH K99-R00 Pathway to Independence Award will help support her Rutgers’ lab’s focus on looking at blood clotting following traumatic injuries – whether from a car crash or the battlefield. “The plan is to develop a biomaterial to stop bleeding and harness dysregulated inflammation,” she adds