Ashutosh Chilkoti and Joel Collier Join Dean’s 2024 Leadership Team

7/3 Pratt School of Engineering

Kathy Nightingale will take over as the director of graduate studies, and Mark Palmeri will lead the Doctoral Advisory Committee for Duke BME

From left: Ashutosh Chilkoti, Joel Collier, Kathy Nightingale, Mark Palmeri
Ashutosh Chilkoti and Joel Collier Join Dean’s 2024 Leadership Team

Two professors from Duke University’s Department of Biomedical Engineering will join the Pratt School of Engineering’s Associate Dean Leadership Team for 2024. Ashutosh Chilkoti, the Alan L. Kaganov Distinguished Professor of Biomedical Engineering, will serve as the senior associate dean, and Joel Collier, the Theodore Kennedy Professor of Biomedical Engineering, will serve as the new associate dean for doctoral programs.

They will work closely with Dean Jerome Lynch to continue Duke Engineering’s growth in both size and prestige while developing new programs and initiatives to ensure that the school is serving both students and society at large.

Prior to this role, Chilkoti served as the chair of Duke BME from 2016-2022, where he oversaw significant growth of the department and a jump in global recognition. Beyond his leadership in the department, Chilkoti specializes in research involving biomolecular engineering and biointerface science. Using techniques spanning molecular biology, protein engineering, polymer chemistry and surface science, Chilkoti and his lab have pioneered numerous tools and materials including low-cost diagnostic devices, biosensors and a variety of biomaterials. Chilkoti has leveraged this work to launch several successful startups, including PhaseBio Pharmaceuticals, Sentilus, GatewayBio and, most recently, Isolere Bio.

Collier served as the director of graduate studies for Duke BME from 2018-2023, where he helped grow and support the department’s PhD program. Collier was recognized as a strong advocate for students, especially during the difficult transition to virtual work during the pandemic. Collier is recognized as a leader in the biomaterials field. He specializes in creating materials like self-organizing particles that can control adaptive immune responses, with potential uses spanning infectious diseases, cancer, urinary tract infections, wound healing and chronic inflammation.

Kathryn Nightingale, the Theo Pilkington Distinguished Professor of Biomedical Engineering, will take over as the director of graduate studies for Duke BME from Collier. In her new role, Nightingale will work closely with Danielle Giles, the PhD program coordinator, and Jamel Forbes, the staff specialist for the PhD program, to lead one of the largest PhD programs at Duke and develop new initiatives. Nightingale has been a key figure in Duke BME’s ultrasound group, where she is recognized for pioneering the development of acoustic radiation force impulse (ARFI) elasticity imaging. Her lab designed the algorithms and the pulse sequences that form the basis of shear wave imaging techniques, which assess the stiffness of tissues and have been integrated into numerous commercially available ultrasound systems.

Mark Palmeri, a professor of the practice in Duke BME, will take over as chair of the doctoral advisory committee, leading this team of faculty as they oversee and advise the doctoral program. Palmeri has pioneered many aspects of Duke BME’s signature educational programs, including significant expansion of the BME design curriculum and the BME Design Fellows program. Palmeri is also an active researcher in BME’s ultrasound group, where he publishes on shear wave imaging and contributes to the development of international standards.

“I am so thrilled that our faculty are in a position to take these key leadership roles in both the Pratt School and the BME department, and grateful for the extraordinary service they have and continue to provide,” said Joseph Izatt, chair of the Department of Biomedical Engineering.