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You Visit Tour. Webb Lion Fountain. June 1 2017. Photo David B. Hollingsworth

Gymama Slaughter Appointed Founding Executive Director at ODU’s Center for Bioelectronics

By Joe Garvey

Gymama Slaughter has been appointed as the founding executive director of Old Dominion University's Research Center for Bioelectronics. She will lead the center, which officially opened July 1, in its efforts to provide much-needed educational accessibility for predoctoral students to pursue biomedical research careers and to continue ODU's projected growth in building capacity of underrepresented groups obtaining Ph.D.s in the field.

The Center for Bioelectronics, which is dedicated to advancing scientific frontiers and securing research leadership in cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, neurosciences, regenerative medicine, infectious diseases and more, is a convergence research center that promotes innovative smart health technologies.

"Dr. Slaughter is ideally suited to lead this collaborative environment of engineers, scientists and clinicians that will bridge clinical and basic science to enable researchers to pioneer discoveries in tissue engineering, biomaterials, nanotechnology, sensors and biomedicine," said Morris Foster, ODU's vice president for research. "This new direction in health sciences is being adopted by other research universities and will transform smart human and environmental health with unparalleled opportunities for biomedical device commercialization and entrepreneurship."

Slaughter is an associate professor of electrical and computer engineering at ODU. She is a bioengineer with broad interests in the integration of electronics concepts with life science principles to develop innovative devices to diagnose disease and deliver drug therapy to target sites. Much of her research is supported by external grants from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), National Science Foundation, Department of Defense, Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and state programs. She served as the director of ODU's Frank Reidy Research Center for Bioelectrics, which focuses on the use of ultra-short, high-voltage pulse technology to treat cancer, from 2018 to 2021.

Slaughter is director of the NIH Graduate Research Training Initiative for Student Enhancement (G-RISE) at ODU, a National Institute of General Medical Sciences-funded predoctoral training program in biomedical research housed in the Center for Bioelectronics.

Additionally, Slaughter has published more than 100 peer-reviewed articles, received grant awards in excess of $6.5 million and is an associate editor of the IEEE Sensors Journal, published by the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers.

She is strongly committed to teaching and mentoring excellence and is the recipient of the National Science Foundation's prestigious CAREER Award, which recognizes scholar-teachers who combine research and student learning. She focuses on mentoring underrepresented groups in STEM and transitioning students to the STEM workforce.

The new center, which is located in the Innovation Research Park, will enable ODU to increase its total sponsored research funding annually, advancing work on new cancer combinational therapy and non-invasive cancer diagnostic tools.

The center will help ODU's research community work with business, education and government partners to create new opportunities while making advances in improving the quality of life for people in Hampton Roads.

"I am excited about the new center because it will enable enhanced collaboration between scientists, engineers, staff, students, clinicians from EVMS and researchers from the Center for Bioelectrics," Slaughter said.

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