College of Engineering welcomes three renowned innovators as new department chairs

DETROIT (July 26, 2012) – The Wayne State University College of Engineering is pleased to announce the appointment of three new department chairs: Xue-wen Chen as chair of the Department of Computer Science; Juri Gelovani as chair of the Department of Biomedical Engineering; and Joseph Hummer as chair of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering.

“We are thrilled to welcome Drs. Chen, Gelovani and Hummer to the College of Engineering,” said Dean Farshad Fotouhi. “They are remarkable researchers and scholars, and our students will benefit tremendously from their expertise and experience. I look forward to the positive contributions they will make to an already impressive faculty made up of world-renowned innovators and pioneers.”

Xue-wen “William” Chen most recently served on the electrical engineering and computer science faculty at the University of Kansas. Since 2008 he also served as director of the Bioinformatics and Computational Life Science Laboratory at the Information and Technology Center. 

A 2007 NSF CAREER award recipient, Chen's research interests include bioinformatics, systems biology, health care informatics, machine learning and data mining. He has published more than 100 refereed papers including 50 journal articles, and has given keynote talks at a number of international conferences.

Chen is current chair of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Computer Society Technical Committee on Computational Life Sciences, co-editor-in-chief of the International Journal of Data Mining and Bioinformatics and a senior member of IEEE. He is also an editorial board member of IEEE Transactions on Information Technology in Biomedicine and the International Journal of Functional Informatics and Personalized Medicine.

He earned his Ph.D. in electrical and computer engineering from Carnegie Mellon University (2001). He continued his postdoctoral research at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and joined the faculty of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at California State University in 2002.

Juri Gelovani comes to Wayne State from the University of Texas’ M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, where he was a full professor and chairman of the Department of Experimental Diagnostic Imaging and director of the Center for Advanced Biomedical Imaging Research. He also has served on committees for science faculty, small animal cancer imaging research, on the faculty of the Brain Tumor Center, and with the Stem Cell Multidisciplinary Research Program.

Dr. Gelovani is the pioneer of molecular-genetic in vivo imaging. His research interests include molecular PET imaging of cancer and the central nervous system using newly developed radiotracers, genomics and proteomics for cancer therapy, adoptive immunotherapy and regenerative stem cell therapies. He holds more than 15 patents, has published more than 160 papers and book chapters, and edited a major book in molecular imaging in oncology.

Dr. Gelovani received the International Fellow Award from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, the George and Barbara Bush Endowment for Innovative Cancer Research, and the Gold Medal for significant contributions to the field of molecular imaging from the Society for Molecular Imaging (SMI). Dr. Gelovani was president of the SMI and the Academy of Molecular Imaging, for which he received service awards. Currently, Dr. Gelovani is president of the World Molecular Imaging Society. He is a member of several grant review study sections at the National Institutes of Health, an associate editor of Molecular Imaging and Biology, and one of the academic editors of PLOS One.

Dr. Gelovani was recognized for spearheading the development of a triage center in Hoboken, N.J., and leading the emergency medical team for decontamination and treatment of the most severely injured victims of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in New York.

Dr. Gelovani earned both his M.D. (1986) and Ph.D. (1990) in neurosurgery from the University of Tartu in Estonia. He completed his postdoctoral fellowship at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City (1991-1996). 

Joseph Hummer most recently was a professor in the Department of Civil, Construction and Environmental Engineering at North Carolina State University, where he researched and taught traffic operations, highway design and highway safety for the past 20 years.

Hummer has published more than 80 journal articles from more than 50 funded research projects. His research has resulted in the appearance of new material in the Highway Capacity Manual (a core reference in the field) and federal government approvals of fluorescent warning signs at pedestrian walkways. He is an international leader in the development and testing of unconventional intersection and interchange designs. 

Hummer was elected a fellow of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) in 2008. He has been chair of the Institute of Transportation Engineers Educator's Council and an editor for the ASCE Journal of Transportation Engineering. He is currently on the Journal of Transportation Safety and Security editorial board.

He earned his B.S. and M.S. in civil engineering from Michigan State University (1983 and 1985, respectively) and his Ph.D. from Purdue University (1989). Hummer is a native of the Detroit area and a graduate of Eisenhower High School in Utica. 

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Wayne State University is a premier urban research institution of higher education offering 370 academic programs through 13 schools and colleges to nearly 31,000 students. For more information about engineering at Wayne State University, visit


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