Thornton Hall A124
351 McCormick Road
Charlottesville, VA 22904
Google Scholar Message from Dean West


Dean West’s formidable record of accomplishments spans 25 years as a transformational researcher, award-winning teacher and mentor, inventor and entrepreneur. Her research focuses on the use of biomaterials, nanotechnology and tissue engineering, applying engineering approaches to studying biological problems and solving unmet medical needs, particularly in the fight against cancer. Dean West came to UVA from Duke University’s Pratt School of Engineering, where she was the Fitzpatrick Family University Distinguished Professor of Engineering and Associate Dean for Ph.D. Education, with appointments in biomedical engineering and mechanical engineering and materials science. She is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and the National Academy of Inventors, with 19 patents that have been licensed to eight different companies. One company, Nanospectra Biosciences Inc., co-founded by West, is running human clinical trials of a cancer therapy she invented. Her priorities as Dean of Engineering at UVA include building upon the school’s research trajectory, increasing experiential learning opportunities for students and ensuring a clear pathway to entrepreneurship for faculty and students.


Ph.D., University of Texas, Austin, 1996

B.S., Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1992

Research Interests

Biomaterials and biofunctional materials
Nanotechnology and tissue engineering

Selected Publications

3D printing of high-strength, porous, elastomeric structures to promote tissue integration of implants. Journal Of Biomedical Materials Research. Part A, Vol 109 No. 1 (2021), Pp. 54-63. Abar, B; Alonso-Calleja, A; Kelly, A; Kelly, C; Gall, K; West, JL
Modulating functionalized poly(Ethylene glycol) diacrylate hydrogel mechanical properties through competitive crosslinking mechanics for soft tissue applications. Polymers, Vol 12 No. 12 (2020), Pp. 1-16. Chapla, R; Abed, Ma; West, J
Chemically Orthogonal Protein Ligation Domains for Independent Control of Hydrogel Modification with Adhesive Ligands and Growth Factors. Bioconjugate Chemistry, Vol 31 No. 11 (2020), Pp. 2504-2512. Hammer, JA; West, JL
Synthetic ECM: Bioactive Synthetic Hydrogels for 3D Tissue Engineering. Bioconjugate Chemistry, Vol 31 No. 10 (2020), Pp. 2253-2271. Unal, AZ; West, JL
Using Tools from Optogenetics to Create Light-Responsive Biomaterials: LOVTRAP-PEG Hydrogels for Dynamic Peptide Immobilization. Annals of Biomedical Engineering, Vol 48 No. 7 (2020), Pp. 1885-1894. Hammer, JA; Ruta, A; West, JL


Fellow, American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering 2021
Member, National Academy of Inventors 2017
President's Circle Lecturer. National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine 2017
Member. National Academy of Engineering. 2016
Capers and Marion McDonald Teaching and Research Award, Duke University Pratt School of Engineering 2016
Clemson Award, Society for Biomaterials 2015
2016 Clemson Award, Society for Biomaterials 2015
ACS Editors' Choice Manuscript, ACS Journals 2015
Thomson Reuters Highly Cited Researcher in Materials Science, Thomson Reuters 2014
Admiral of the Texas Navy, Governor of Texas 2012
Best Discovery of 2003, Nanotechnology Now 2012
BioHouston's 2009 Women in Science Award 2012
CAREER Award, National Science Foundation 2012
Duncan Award for Outstanding Academic Achievement, Rice University 2012
Excellence in Research Mentorship Award, Rice University 2012
Fellow, Biomedical Engineering Society 2012
Frank Annunzio Award, Christopher Columbus Foundation 2012
HSEMB Outstanding Young Scientist Award 2012
Hershel M. Rich Invention Award, Rice University 2012
Inventor of the Year Award, State Bar of Texas 2012
J. M. Chance Prize for Excellence in Teaching, Rice University 2012
Most Cited Paper, Annual of Biomedical Engineering 2012
Most Highly Cited Papers, NanoLetters 2012
Nanotechnology Researchers of the Year, Small Times Magazine 2012
O'Donnell Award in Engineering, The Academy of Medicine, Engineering and Science of Texas 2012
Outstanding Faculty Associate. Weiss College, Rice University 2012
Outstanding Research in Drug Delivery Award. Cygnus-CRS 2012
Outstanding Younger Investigator Award. Society for Biomaterials 2012
Parke-Davis Atorvastatin Research Award 2012
Quantum Award. National Institute of Health, NIBIB 2012
Samuel Lunden Scholarship. Massachusetts Institute of Technology 2012
Secretariat Lecturer. American Chemical Society 2012
Tech Review TR 100 Most Innovative Young Scientists. MIT Technology Review 2012
University Fellow 2012
HHMI Professor. Howard Hughes Medical Institute 2006
Fellow, American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering 2005
Young Investigator Award, Society for Biomaterials 2000