Founded in 1903, the Society for Experimental Biology and Medicine (SEBM) is one of the nation’s oldest scientific societies.

Now, after more than a century of achievement, the society has named its inaugural class of fellows — notably including Michael Friedlander, founding executive director of the Fralin Biomedical Research Institute at VTC and vice president of health sciences and technology at Virginia Tech.

This esteemed designation recognizes Friedlander’s outstanding contributions to the scientific community and society.

“I am humbled and honored to join the inaugural class of fellow scientists in this venerable society,” said Friedlander, who is also the senior dean for research at the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine. "The SEBM embodies the very spirit of the Fralin Biomedical Research Institute, Virginia Tech's translational biology, medicine and health graduate program, and the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine by embracing science at the intersection of biology and medicine."

This isn’t the first time that the Society for Experimental Biology and Medicine has recognized Friedlander’s influential career.

In 2016, he was a recipient of the society’s Distinguished Scientist Award, which recognizes scientific leaders who have achieved seminal accomplishments in biomedical research. Friedlander also served as the society’s president for two years, from 2011 to 2013.

Friedlander joined the Fralin Biomedical Research Institute in 2010 as the institute’s inaugural executive director. In this capacity, he leads 26 biomedical research teams working to solve major health challenges. The institute’s faculty members hold more than $125 million in ongoing research grants and contracts, primarily funded through the National Institutes of Health.

Friedlander, who is also a professor at Virginia Tech’s College of Science, College of Engineering, and the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine, studies how synaptic plasticity is impacted during brain development and in response to brain injury. Using electrophysiology and imaging, Friedlander’s lab at the Fralin Biomedical Research Institute examines how changes in structure and calcium signaling in brain cell synapses impact functionality in mammalian brains.

Prior to joining Virginia Tech, Friedlander served as the Wilhelmina Robertson Professor of Neuroscience, Department of Neuroscience chair, and director of neuroscience initiatives at Baylor College of Medicine at the Texas Medical Center in Houston. Before moving to Houston, Friedlander worked for the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Medicine for 25 years. During that time, Friedlander was a professor and founding chair of the Department of Neurobiology, founding director of the Neurobiology Research Center, director of the Civitan International Research Center for Intellectual Disabilities, and the first Evelyn McKnight Professor of Learning and Memory in Aging.

The Society of Experimental Biology and Medicine encourages collaboration between scientific disciplines in biomedical research and fosters career development opportunities for students, physician-scientists, and new investigators. The society also publishes a peer-reviewed scientific journal, Experimental Biology and Medicine.

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