Denis Wirtz, vice provost for research and a professor in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, has been elected a foreign member of the Royal Academy of Medicine of Belgium for his body of scientific work. He is the first engineer and non-MD to be elected.
A member of the 2019 class of inductees, Wirtz will be formally introduced during a ceremony Saturday in Brussels. He also has been invited by the King and Queen of the Belgians to present a public lecture there next year.
"My election as a member of the Royal Academy of Medicine of Belgium is a truly special recognition as it comes from my country of origin," says Wirtz. "It also recognizes the prodigiously creative work of my students and fellows over the past 25 years at Johns Hopkins."
The Royal Academy of Medicine of Belgium, which is made up of 100 full and associate members, was founded in 1841 and advises the Belgian government on matters pertaining to public health.
Wirtz studies the molecular and biophysical mechanisms of cell motility and adhesion, as well as the nuclear dynamics in health and disease. His research focuses on aging, cancer, and progeria. He directs the Johns Hopkins Physical Sciences-Oncology Center and co-directs the Cancer Nanotechnology Training Center, both National Cancer Institute-funded entities. He is a co-founder and former associate director of the Johns Hopkins Institute for NanoBioTechnology.