Yale Biomedical Engineering chair W. Mark Saltzman was named the Biomedical Engineering Society Distinguished Lecturer for 2004.

He received this award, the highest awarded by the society, at the society’s annual meeting in Philadelphia Oct. 14. The award includes a plaque and $1,000 honorarium.

He was recognized for research throughout his career, including his current work on polymers for controlled delivery. These polymers can be used to create an implant embedded with chemotherapy drugs that could be locally and therefore more safely delivered, Saltzman said.

Currently, his research is being adapted for treating brain tumors. Saltzman said he hopes to expand the use of polymer implants to other types of tumors, including breast tumors, and also to deliver vaccines more effectively.

Though he said he was happy to be recognized for his career thus far, Saltzman said there is still a great deal of research he would like to do in this relatively new field.

“Hopefully my career’s not over yet,” he said.

Yale School of Medicine professor Themis Kyriakides said Saltzman is in large part responsible for the development of Yale’s budding biomedical engineering program both on the undergraduate and the graduate levels.

“[Saltzman] was one of the reasons I came here,” Kyriakides said. “Very few people [in this field] have a comprehensive understanding of the biological world even though there are many good engineers.”