Genin receives highest academic honor from Chinese government ​

Guy M. Genin, PhD, professor of mechanical engineering and materials science in the School of Engineering & Applied Science at Washington University in St. Louis, and in the Department of Neurological Surgery at the Washington University School of Medicine, has been named a Yangtze River Scholar by the Ministry of Education of the People’s Republic of China.


The prestigious award is the highest award issued to an individual in higher education by the country’s Ministry of Education. In addition to China’s top scholars, the ministry also selects several international recipients each year. Only a handful of people who were not born in China have ever been honored with the award.

The award is for Genin’s “fundamental contributions to and international scholarly leadership in the study of interfaces in physiology.” Genin received the award in China June 29.

“I am very proud that Guy Genin has been selected to be a Yangtze River Scholar,” said Chancellor Mark S. Wrighton, who was present at the ceremony celebrating Genin’s award and delivered an address at Xi’an Jiaotong’s commencement.

“Guy’s collaboration with faculty and students at Xi’an Jiaotong University expands Washington University’s engagement with premier universities and faculty in China, and it is an honor to be invited to the ceremony in Xi’an to be with Guy on this important occasion,” Wrighton said.

With the award, Genin receives the title of Yangtze River Chaired Professor at Xi’an Jiaotong University in Xi’an, China, and a prize valued at nearly $1 million in U.S. dollars. The award brings funds to enhance collaboration and international exchange between Xi’an Jiaotong University and Washington University.

It will also allow Genin to expand his ongoing collaboration with Xi’an Jiaotong University’s Bioinspired Engineering and Biomechanics Center, an international center focusing on engineering solutions for biomedical challenges, co-directed by Feng Xu, PhD, an expert in biological synthesis, and Tianjian Lu, PhD, an expert in biomechanics and heat transfer.

About Xi’an Jiaotong University

Xi’an Jiaotong University is a C-9 League university with special strengths in energy, materials and public health. Founded in Shanghai in 1896 as the Nanyang Public College, Xi’an Jiaotong University is one of the oldest institutions of higher learning in China. It is a comprehensive research-oriented university focusing on science and engineering.

Its faculty includes 16 members of the Chinese Academy of Science and the Chinese Academy of Engineering, as well as members of the American Academy of Engineering, the British Royal Academy and the Third-World Academy of Science.

About Guy Genin

Guy M. Genin, PhD, studies interfaces and adhesion in nature, physiology, and engineering. His current research focuses on interfaces between tissues at the attachment of tendon to bone, between cells in cardiac fibrosis, and between protein structures at the periphery of plant and animal cells. He is a professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science at Washington University, and in the Department of Neurological Surgery at the Washington University School of Medicine. He serves as chief engineer for Washington University’s renowned Center for Innovation in Neuroscience and Technology, and is active in several local start-ups.

Genin is the recipient of a number of awards for engineering design, teaching, and research, including a Research Career Award from the National Institutes of Health, the Skalak Award from the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, Professor of the Year from Washington University, the Yangtze River Scholar Award from the Chinese Ministry of Education, and best paper awards from several conferences and journals including the American Society of Mechanical Engineers’ Journal of Biomechanical Engineering.

He currently serves as co-lead of the NIH working group on integrated multiscale biomechanics experiment and modeling. He has organized several major conferences and international workshops, including the 2015 ASME International Conference and Exhibition on Nanoengineering in Medicine and Biology (NEMB 2015). He has served on the editorial boards and as an editor, guest editor, or associate editor of a number of journals, including Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, ACS Biomedical Materials and Engineering, Acta Mechanica Sinica, and Journal of the Royal Society, Interface Focus.

Genin’s training includes BSCE and MS degrees from Case Western Reserve University, SM and PhD degrees in applied mechanics and solid mechanics from Harvard, and post-doctoral research at Cambridge and Brown.