Tulane scientist honored for research on reproductive health

Kristin S. Miller, an associate professor of biomedical engineering at Tulane University, is the winner of the 2021 ASME Y.C. Fung Early Career Award for outstanding contributions to the field of bioengineering through research to advance understanding of the female reproductive system.

The award is given annually by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers to an individual who has demonstrated significant potential to make substantial contributions to the field of bioengineering.

Miller was honored for pioneering the development of new engineering tools to better understand how the female reproductive system grows and remodels. This will help advance public healthcare and reproductive biology. She also developed technologies to understand how mechanical pressures dictate changes in the female reproductive system that will help improve female reproductive health and medicine.

“I’m humbled and honored to receive this award, in particular as it is named after Dr. (Y.C.) Fung, who pioneered our field and laid the foundations that enabled our contributions,” Miller said. She credited her students for “their hard work, dedication, and innovation, as well as her mentors.

The Y.C. Fung Early Career Award is named in memory of Yuan-Cheng Fung, known as the “father of biomechanics” and one of the founders of the discipline of bioengineering. His work led to the development of heart valves, wireless health monitors and automobile crash bags.

The award honors scientists whose accomplishments include design and development of new methods, equipment or instrumentation in bioengineering and research publications in peer-reviewed journals. Miller will receive a bronze medal, a $1,000 honorarium and an invitation to deliver a keynote address at the annual Bioengineering, Biomechanics and Biotransport Conference.

“This is a very prestigious society-level award, and is a well-deserved recognition of Kristin’s highly collaborative research that draws together faculty and students from our Schools of Science and Engineering and Medicine,” said Don Gaver, the Alden J. “Doc” Laborde Professor and Chair of Biomedical Engineering at the Tulane School of Science and Engineering.

“Kristin is also an exceptional mentor and is very well regarded for her support of a very large number of undergraduate and graduate students”