J. Crayton Pruitt Family Department of Biomedical Engineering announces new chair

In Featured, J Crayton Pruitt Family Department of Biomedical Engineering, NewsBy Shawn Jenkins

Cherie Stabler, Ph.D., Newly Appointed Department chair, J. Crayton Pruitt Family Department of Biomedical Engineering

Cherie Stabler, Ph.D., Newly Appointed Department Chair, J. Crayton Pruitt Family Department of Biomedical Engineering

The Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering has selected Dr. Cherie Stabler as the new chair of the J. Crayton Pruitt Family Department of Biomedical Engineering (BME). Stabler, Ph.D., is the Integra LifeSciences & UF Foundation Preeminence Term Professor in BME. She will succeed Christine Schmidt, Ph.D., who led the department since 2013.

Dr. Stabler received her Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology and Emory University, where she also conducted her postdoctoral work in the Department of Surgery through a Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation fellowship. She was recruited to the University of Florida in 2015 as a part of the UF Preeminence Initiative. She was previously an associate professor in Biomedical Engineering at the University of Miami and served as the director of the Tissue Engineering Laboratory at the Diabetes Research Institute.

“The mission and vision of the J. Crayton Pruitt Family Department of Biomedical Engineering outlines a dedication to both innovation and education,” Dr. Stabler said of her appointment. “I look forward to working with the faculty, staff, students, and UF leadership to continue to not only drive new discoveries and technologies but to impart foundational knowledge, a creative spirit, and a community mindset to the next generation of leaders.”

Dr. Stabler is an internationally renowned diabetes research scientist and engineer. Her globally recognized research and educational program is focused on the generation of translational biomaterial platforms for cellular implants, with a particular emphasis on cell-based therapies for Type 1 diabetes. It includes developing novel bioactive materials to enhance graft survival and utilizing local and translational approaches to dampen host immunological responses. Her transdisciplinary work — which has been published across a spectrum of journals and has generated numerous patents — spans from designing new biomaterials to seeking FDA clearance for combinatory products.     

A fellow of the Biomedical Engineering Society and the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering, Dr. Stabler was also a recipient of the NIH NIDDK Type 1 Diabetes Pathfinder DP2 Award. She is the president-elect of the international Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine — Americas Chapter, and she has served as a member of the BTSS NIH study section, the ADA Grant Review Committee, the JDRF Encapsulation Consortia, and the NIH Human Islet Research Network. Dr. Stabler is also recognized by the peer and student communities at UF with numerous awards, including the 2022 UF Foundation Preeminence Term Professor, the 2022 Engineering Doctoral Dissertation Advisor/Mentor of the Year, the 2019 UF Engineering Faculty-Scholar of the Year, and a UF Term Professor (2019-2022).

Dr. Schmidt, the former chair, is widely acknowledged as an esteemed expert in the field of tissue engineering through the application of innovative biomaterials. She has received multiple honors for her contributions, including induction into the Florida Inventors Hall of Fame, fellowship in the International Academy of Medical and Biological Engineering, fellowship in the National Academy of Inventors, and fellowship in the American Society for the Advancement of Science. Under Dr. Schmidt’s leadership, UF BME has emerged as one of the nation’s leading biomedical engineering powerhouses. Her tenure saw the development of an ABET-accredited bachelor’s degree-offering program, the elevation of its graduate program by more than 20 spots in the last 10 years (currently Top 20 among all public institutions) and the expansion of its faculty by more than double in size with significant diversity in growth.

“I could not be prouder of where UF BME is today,” outgoing department chair Dr. Schmidt said. “We have achieved so much together in the past 10 years, and I could not have done it without the incredible support of our outstanding faculty, students and staff. I cannot think of a better leader than Professor Stabler to take this esteemed department into its next phase of excellence. She is one of our very best and I am excited!”