The Office of the Vice President for Research and Innovation recognizes Pamela VandeVord, a professor of biomedical engineering and mechanics in the College of Engineering, for her work to help people suffering from brain and nervous system injuries.
VandeVord focuses on blast-induced neurotrauma, frequently seen in injuries in military personnel and civilians exposed to blasts. She also works on biomaterials and devices to regenerate tissue in patients after traumatic injury has occurred.
She is laying the long-term groundwork for the diagnosis and treatment of U.S. veterans with neurological difficulties because of exposure to blasts. She was nominated for by the Veterans Administration and received a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, an award recognizing her contributions in the area of neurotrauma.
Her research takes a multidisciplinary approach to understand nerve injuries, cell-repair strategies, and technologies that assist in prevention, identification, and treatment of nervous-system tissue injuries.
By advancing the fundamental understanding of the behavioral, morphologic, and molecular mechanistic repercussions accompanying traumatic injuries, VandeVord is furthering the identification of molecular targets and outcome measures needed for effective treatment strategies.
Since arriving at Virginia Tech, VandeVord has received more than $8 million in research funding. Her sponsors include the National Institutes of Health, the Department of Defense, the Office of Naval Research, the Veterans Administration, and the U.S. Army.
VandeVord is the associate department head for undergraduate studies in the Virginia Tech-Wake Forest School of Biomedical Engineering and Sciences, and a professor in the College of Engineering’s Department of Biomedical Engineering and Mechanics and the Virginia Tech-Wake Forest Center for Injury Biomechanics at the Institute for Critical Technology and Applied Science. In addition, she runs the Traumatic Nerve Technologies lab at the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute.
She also designed and launched the undergraduate minor in biomedical engineering, including the preparation of a five-year plan for its ongoing development.
She received the Virginia Tech Engineering Faculty Fellow Award in 2012 as well as the Dean’s Award for Research Excellence and the Biomedical Engineering and Mechanics Leadership in research award in 2015.
Vandevord received her master’s and doctoral degrees from Wayne State University.