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Engineering professor named as resident scholar for NSF funded research with FDA

By Geoff Cantrell
martin tanaka

Martin Tanaka

Martin Tanaka, a professor in the College of Engineering and Technology at Western Carolina University, has been selected to be a scholar in residence with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, thanks to a grant from the National Science Foundation. 

This summer, Tanaka will be part of an interagency partnership for the investigation of scientific and engineering issues concerning emerging trends in medical device technology. 

In collaboration with FDA scientists, Tanaka will research polymeric materials used in the manufacture of medical devices. The goal is to more accurately quantify the rate that leachable materials are released from a medical device into the human body. 

“I am excited about the opportunity to work at the FDA. I think my experience with mathematical modeling, computer simulations, and my time designing commercial products in industry will add an additional perspective,” said Tanaka. “Beyond advancing science, I’ll use what I learn at the FDA to enhance my teaching and provide undergraduate research opportunities for students at WCU.” 

Tanaka earned his doctorate in biomedical engineering from Virginia Tech and Wake Forest University. He summed up his professional approach as “I apply mechanical engineering principles to solve biomedical problems.” 

The National Science Foundation is an independent federal agency promoting science for advancement of health, prosperity and welfare through research conducted by America’s colleges and universities.  

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