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Wei R. Chen, Ph.D.
Interim Dean, UCO College of Mathematics & Science
Director, Center for Interdisciplinary Biomedical Education and Research
Professor, Department of Engineering and Physics
2008 U.S. Professor of the Year http://www.usprofessorsoftheyear.org/Winners/Previous_Natl_Winners/2008_National_Winners.html
2011 Oklahoma Medal for Excellence Winner
2011-2012 U.S. Fulbright Scholar http://www.cies.org/fulbright-scholars
2012 SPIE Educator Award Winner http://spie.org/x3069.xml
2015 University of Central Oklahoma Luminary Society http://www.125.uco.edu/Luminaries.php
Wei R. Chen received his Ph.D. in physics from the University of Oregon, Eugene, Oregon, in 1988. He is currently the Assistant Dean of the College of Mathematics and Science and Professor of Biomedical Engineering in the Department of Engineering and Physics at the University of Central Oklahoma (UCO).
As a professor, Dr. Wei Chen is energetic and enthusiastic. He has a genuine interest in students' learning, and that is demonstrated in his close interactions with them in and out of the classroom. Dr. Chen has taught and developed many different courses and laboratories. In 2000, Dr. Chen led the efforts in establishing the undergraduate biomedical engineering (BME) program at UCO. In fall 2001, UCO became the first and only university to offer an undergraduate BME program in the State of Oklahoma. Dr. Chen has also directed numerous students in independent studies, directed readings, design projects, research, and internships. Dr. Chen has won numerous education awards. In 2008, Dr. Chen was named U.S. Professor of the Year by the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) and the Carnegie Foundation. In 2011, Dr. Chen was awarded the Medal for Excellence in Teaching by the Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence. In 2012, he won the SPIE (International Society for Optical Engineering) Educator Award.
As a researcher, Dr. Chen has spent 18 years conducting research in laser-tissue interaction, laser cancer treatment, and cancer imaging. His research group developed laser immunotherapy, a method for treatment of late-stage, metastatic cancers, using laser irradiation and immunological stimulation. LIT has shown to be very promising in pre-clinical studies and clinical studies. As principal investigator, Dr. Chen as received grants from federal, state, and university funding agencies, as well as from industries, totaling more than $3.5 million. Dr. Chen has been awarded five U.S. patents and several international patents. He has published more than 100 refereed articles. Dr. Chen received the Oklahoma DaVinci Fellow Award in 2006 and the 2011-12 U.S. Fulbright Scholarship.
As a member of the professional society, Dr. Chen has been active at different levels. He has served on numerous committees at the department, college, and university levels. Also, he has provided support for students through advisement, student organizations, and other activities. Dr. Chen is particularly active in SPIE - the International Society of Optical Engineering. In 2006, Dr. Chen established and has since chaired the international conference "Biophotonics and Immune Responses" at Phototonics West, SPIE. He was elected a SPIE Fellow in 2007. Dr. Chen has served on SPIE's Education and Fellows Committees. In addition, Dr. Chen serves as the Editor-in-Chief for the Journal of X-Ray Science and Technology and as an editorial board member for several international journals. He has helped organize more than 80 international conferences.