USF Research News

AIMBE Announces USF Engineering Professor Norma Alcantar, Heart Institute Director Samuel Wickline as New Fellows

Monday, March 25, 2019

Prestigious designation recognizes career achievements in medical and biological engineering.

WASHINGTON – The American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE) has announced the induction of University of South Florida professors Norma Alcantar and Samuel Wickline as Fellows, a designation that is among the highest professional distinctions accorded to medical and biological engineers.

Dr. Alcantar, a professor in USF’s College of Engineering, and Dr. Wickline, the director of USF Health’s Heart Institute and chair of the Department of Cardiovascular Sciences, were formally elected by their peers as Fellows at the AIMBE annual gathering in Washington. They joined 155 colleagues from 30 countries in receiving the honor.

Norma Alcantar
Norma Alcantar

Dr. Alcantar, a professor of chemical and biomedical engineering who joined USF’s faculty in 2003, was recognized for her "outstanding contributions in providing drinking water for low-income communities and contributions to disrupting amyloid fibril formation in Alzheimer’s Research."

Her research interests include Interfacial Phenomena and chemical characterization of biomimetic membranes, drug delivery systems, micellar surfactants, green chemistry materials, water purification systems, nanoparticles and organic/inorganic thin films.

Dr. Alcantar is a member-elect of the Engineering Section Steering Committee of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. She also currently serves as the president of the executive committee of the USF National Academy of Inventors chapter and was also awarded the Excellence in Innovation Award by the National Academy of Inventors in 2016. A native of Mexico City, Dr. Alcantar has served as the departmental director for the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Minority Scholars Program to advance underrepresented minority students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics since 2005. Dr. Alcantar is also the recipient of the 2010 Hispanic Pathways Award. She has presented numerous invited presentations nationally and internationally, has 16 patents and more than 46 peer-reviewed publications and book chapters.

Samuel Wickline
Samuel Wickline

Dr. Wickline, who joined USF’s faculty in 2016 from Washington University in St. Louis, was recognized for his “pioneering advancements in molecular imaging with ultrasound and MRI/MRS, and biocompatible nanotechnologies targeting myriad diseases.” He serves as the director of the USF Health Heart Institute, is the TGH Endowed Chair in Cardiovascular Medicine, Director of the Department of Cardiovascular Sciences, Associate Dean for Cardiovascular Research, and Professor of Cardiovascular Sciences, and Professor of Molecular Physiology.

He was a founding member of the Washington University graduate program in Biomedical Engineering (the Institute for Biological and Medical Engineering), which subsequently evolved as the Department of Biomedical Engineering. He established the Washington University “Consortium for Translational Research in Advanced Imaging and Nanomedicine” (C-TRAIN) at the St. Louis CORTEX Center devoted to diagnostic and therapeutic development of nanotechnology in concert with corporate and academic partners for broad-based clinical applications. He also established one of the first clinical and research programs for Cardiac Magnetic Resonance Imaging in concert with corporate partner Philips Medical Systems and was a founding member of the International Society for Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance. He has been the recipient of a number of awards for teaching, entrepreneurship and academics, and funded continuously for more than 30 years by the National Institutes of Health in numerous grants totaling more than $30 million.

Dr. Wickline also is a founder of four biotech startup companies pursuing the development of personalized nanomedicines and medical diagnostic imaging devices. He is the author of more than 300 research papers and holds more than 50 issued or filed U.S. patent applications.

AIMBE Fellows are among the most distinguished medical and biological engineers including two Nobel Prize laureates, 17 Fellows having received the Presidential Medal of Science and/or Technology and Innovation, and 158 also inducted to the National Academy of Engineering, 72 inducted to the National Academy of Medicine and 31 inducted to the National Academy of Sciences.

About the University of South Florida

The University of South Florida, established in 1956 and located in Tampa, is a high-impact global research university dedicated to student success. The USF System includes three separately accredited institutions: USF, USF St. Petersburg and USF Sarasota-Manatee. Serving more than 50,000 students, the USF System has an annual budget of $1.8 billion and an annual economic impact of $4.4 billion. USF ranks in the top 25 nationally for research expenditures among public universities, according to the National Science Foundation. In 2018, the Florida Board of Governors designated USF as a Preeminent State Research University, placing USF in the most elite category among the state’s 12 public universities. USF is a member of the American Athletic Conference.


AIMBE is the authoritative voice and advocate for the value of medical and biological engineering to society. AIMBE’s mission is to recognize excellence, advance the public understanding, and accelerate medical and biological innovation. No other organization can bring together academic, industry, government, and scientific societies to form a highly influential community advancing medical and biological engineering. AIMBE’s mission drives advocacy initiatives into action on Capitol Hill and beyond.