Alumni Spotlight: Dennis Discher, '86

Dennis Discher speaking at the 2019 Alumni Celebration.
Dennis Discher and Dean Curtis
Dennis Discher (left) and College of Engineering Dean Jennifer Sinclair Curtis (right) at the 2019 Alumni Celebration, where Dennis was awarded with the Distinguished Engineering Alumni Medal.

Dennis Discher earned his B.S. in mechanical engineering at UC Davis in 1986, his Ph.D. from UC Berkeley and UC San Francisco in 1993 and his postdoc from the University of British Columbia and Simon Fraser University in 1996. Discher is currently the Robert D. Bent chaired Professor at the University of Pennsylvania in the School of Engineering and Applied Science: Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics and Bioengineering. He serves on the Board of Reviewing Editors for Science and currently oversees the National Institute of Health (NIH) research grant funds. He has authored over 200 peer reviewed journal papers and book chapters. His research efforts in the nano/bio realm range from stem cell-matrix interactions and high-accuracy proteomics to polymer-based nano-delivery of drugs.

When asked what advice he would give to current engineering students or young alumni he said, “A corollary to being adventurous is ‘be different’ from your peers in the courses you take and things you do for fun.”

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