Mehmet Toner

Mehmet Toner
Mehmet Toner

Harvard University

Helen Andrus Benedict Professor of Surgery (Biomedical Engineering) and Health Sciences and Technology

Dr. Toner received his bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from Istanbul Technical University in 1982; and his master's degree, also in mechanical engineering, from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, in 1985. He earned his Ph.D. in medical engineering at Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology in 1989. Currently he is the Helen Andrus Benedict professor of biomedical engineering at the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), Harvard Medical School in Boston.

Toner is internationally regarded for his work in multiple areas at the interface of bioengineering and life sciences including micro/nanotechnology and applications in cancer. He established the Bio MicroElectroMechanical Systems Resource Center (BMRC) at MGH and serves as its founding director. Primarily funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), BMRC aims to explore the applications of nano/micro-technologies in basic biology, systems biology, diagnostics and clinical medicine.

Among the more than 70 graduate and postgraduate students trained by Toner, more than 40 occupy major academic positions. Many of his alumni have received the National Science Foundation (NSF) CAREER Award, NSF Presidential Young Investigator Award, NIH FIRST Award and NIH Director's Young Investigator Award; and many have been elected a Fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering and/or ASME. A number of his former students secured endowed chairs or other prestigious awards such as Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator.

Toner has served on many national and international panels and review boards. In 2010 he was selected to serve a three-year term on the NSF Directorate for Engineering's Advisory Committee. He is a trustee of the Özye?in University in Istanbul and a member of the President's Council at the Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering. He serves on the scientific advisory board of the Tissue Engineering Resource Center at Tufts University/MIT/Columbia University, the Resource for Synthesis and Bulk Characterization of Polymer Biomaterials at Rutgers University, the Institute for Engineering in Medicine at the University of Minnesota, the Center for Biomedical Engineering and Science at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and the Center for Biomedical Engineering and Science at Brown University.

He is also on the editorial board of various technical and scientific journals including CryoLetters, Cryobiology (associate editor), Cell Preservation Technology (associate editor), Nanomedicine, Integrative Biology, Nanolife and the Annual Review of Biomedical Engineering (associate editor and co-founder).

Toner has published more than 250 original papers in archival journals including a wide spectrum of high impact journals such as Nature, Science, the New England Journal of Medicine, Science Translational Medicine, Nature Biotechnology and PNAS (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences). He has also delivered more than 350 invited, keynote and plenary presentations.

An ASME Fellow, Toner has been a member of the Bioengineering Division's (BED) Biotransport Technical Committee (formerly K-17 Heat and Mass Transfer in Biotechnology Committee) since 1992. He was the associate technical editor of the Journal of Biomechanical Engineering (1998-2004) and now serves on the editorial board. Toner was honored with BED's Y.C. Fung Investigator Award in 1994.

He is also a Fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering and the International Society of Cryobiology.

Among his other honors, Toner received the Whitaker Foundation Special Opportunity Award (1995) and MGH Cancer Center's "One-of-the-hundred" award (2008), was recognized by Popular Mechanics as one of the top ten inventors (2008) and received the American Association for Cancer Research's Team Science Award (2010).