Shelly Sakiyama-Elbert received her bachelor’s degrees in Chemical Engineering and Biology from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She received her master’s and doctoral degrees from California Institute of Technology in Chemical Engineering. She joined the faculty in Biomedical Engineering at Washington University in 2000, where she is currently a professor of Biomedical Engineering and the Associate Chair for Graduate Studies.
Her research focuses on developing biomaterials for drug delivery and cell transplantation for the treatment of peripheral nerve and spinal cord injury. She has written 5 book chapters and over 60 articles in peer-reviewed journals. She has 8 U.S. patents and 2 patent applications submitted. Her research is funded by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke and the National Institute of Health. Previously, she received early career awards from the Whitaker Foundation and the WH Coulter Foundation. She is a member of the Hope Center for Neurological Disorders and the Institute of Materials Science and Engineering at Washington University. Her honors include being Corcoran Fellow California Institute of Technology (1996-97), 30 under 30 St. Louis Business Journal (2001), the Dean’s Award for Excellence in Advising and Mentoring (2008), Recognition for Excellence in Graduate Mentoring – Graduate Student Senate and Dean of the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences (2011) and WU Distinguished Faculty Award (2013). She is currently on the Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine International Society (TERMIS): Americas Council and served on the Biomedical Engineering Society (BMES) Board of Directors from 2009-2012. She joined the College of Fellows for the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering in 2011 and was elected a fellow of the Biomedical Engineering Society in 2013.
Her other professional service includes serving as an associate editor for Biotechnology and Bioengineering, a member of the Editorial Board of Acta Biomaterialia, member of the Long Range Planning Committee for the Society for Biomaterials (SFB) (2003-05), and serving as a standing member of the Biomaterials/ Biointerfaces (BMBI) study section for the NIH (2010- 2013). She served as chair for the 2013 Gordon Research Conference on Biomaterials & Tissue Engineering. She is currently the co-president of the Association of Women Faculty and served as a provost faculty fellow from 2012-2013.