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Release: Immediate

UI Professor Malcolm Pope receives mechanical engineering award

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Malcolm H. Pope, University of Iowa Foundation Distinguished Professor of Biomedical Engineering in the University of Iowa College of Engineering, professor of orthopedics in the UI College of Medicine and director of the Iowa Spine Research Center, has been selected to receive the 1998 H.R. Lissner Medal from the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) for outstanding achievement in bioengineering.

The award, given "for significant research activity in knee and spine biomechanics and the publication of more than 260 technical papers which have placed him among the foremost authorities in the field," is scheduled to be presented during the Nov. 15-20, 1998 ASME International Mechanical Engineering Congress in Anaheim, Calif. The award was established in 1987 to honor the memory of professor H.R. Lissner, a pioneer in biomechanical research at Wayne State University.

Pope, an international expert on the prevention and causes of low back pain, has received numerous awards, including the 1996 Sir Frederic Bartlett Medal of The Ergonomics Society of England and the 1996 Kappa Delta Ann Donner Vaughn Award. The Vaughn Award, the highest given by American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, was won by Pope together with colleague David G. Wilder, visiting associate professor of biomedical engineering in the College of Engineering and senior scientist at the center, and physical therapist Marianne Magnusson. The academy cited the three for their 15 years of pioneering research confirming that vibration associated with driving cars, trucks and other vehicles can produce lower back problems.

Pope currently serves, through June 30, 1999, as a member of the Orthopedics and Musculoskeletal Study Section of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) which reviews grant applications submitted to the NIH. During 1995 he was named Iceland International Professor by the Center for Spinal Studies, Oswestry, England, received the Donald Julius Groen Prize of the Royal Academy of Engineering and the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, United Kingdom and was elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine, London. He joined the UI faculty in July 1994 after having served as professor of orthopedics at the University of Vermont.

Born in London in 1941, Pope earned a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from Southall College, London, in 1962, and a master's degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Bridgeport, Conn. in 1969. He received his doctorate in biomechanics from the University of Vermont in 1972 and Dr. Med. Sc. in medical science from Gothenburg University, Goteborg, Sweden in 1990.

At the University of Vermont, he served as associate professor of orthopedics and mechanical engineering and director of the Orthopedic Research Laboratories from 1972 to 1975, professor of orthopedic surgery from 1976 to 1994, co-principal investigator and director of the Rehabilitation Engineering Center from 1983 to 1991, and director of the Rehabilitation Engineering Center from 1991 to 1993. He was named McClure Professor of Musculoskeletal Research in 1988.

His many other honors include: Volvo Award, 1980; Fellow, Institute of Mechanical Engineers, 1980; Ira Kay Memorial Award in Computer Simulation, 1982; Fellow, American Society of Mechanical Engineers, 1985; American Back Society Annual Award, 1987; American Arthroscopy Association O'Connor Award, 1989; Fellow, Ergonomics Society, 1991; Fellow, American Institute of Medical and Biomedical Engineering, 1992; Vienna Award for Rehabilitation Research, 1992; the Bristol-Myer-Zimmer Award, 1993; and the American Association of Orthopedic Surgeons Kappa Delta Award, 1994.

The department of biomedical engineering at the University of Iowa is one of only 21 accredited biomedical and bioengineering undergraduate programs in the U.S. -- and the only one accredited in the state of Iowa.

The Iowa Spine Research Center involves a variety of researchers, including engineers, economists, pharmacologists, surgeons, epidemiologists, research scientists and students, engaged in assessing clinical effectiveness and outcome in diagnosing and treating spinal diseases and providing guidance in spinal research and patient care.