The University of Massachusetts Amherst
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UMass Board of Trustees Awards Tenure to Gleason and Lee

Colin Gleason and Jungwoo Lee

(l-r) Gleason and Lee

Two College of Engineering faculty members were among the 25 from UMass Amherst awarded tenure at the June meeting of the University of Massachusetts Board of Trustees. The two new tenured professors in the college are Colin J. Gleason of the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department and Jungwoo Lee of the Chemical Engineering Department and also an adjunct faculty member in the Biomedical Engineering Department.

Gleason is a hydrologist, geographer, remote sensing expert, and data scientist. He focuses on global-scale hydrologic science and translating field-scale hydrology to global-scale hydrology. Gleason also engages in extensive Arctic fieldwork in which he attempts to fill in hydrologic data gaps and provide validation for satellite-based products in this data-sparse but vulnerable region.

Gleason heads the Fluvial@UMass research lab. As he says, “We are a research group that cares about rivers, climate change, and the Arctic. We do field work, we do remote sensing, and we mathematically model rivers in order to improve our basic understanding of these essential thoroughfares.”

Gleason is a National Science Foundation CAREER awardee, a NASA New Investigator, and member of the science teams for NASA’s SWOT Satellite (where he is also the calibration/validation lead for U.S. inland waters) and NASA’s High Mountain Asia program. He was also a co-recipient of the 2020-2021 Barbara H. and Joseph J. Goldstein Outstanding Junior Faculty Award from the UMass College of Engineering.

Gleason received his Ph.D. at UCLA in Geography under the guidance of Dr. Lawrence C. Smith. He earned his M.S. in Environmental Resources Engineering and his B.S. in Forest Engineering at the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry.

Gleason also says he likes to build canoes and enjoys camping, canoeing, fishing, and in particular “playing board games with complicated rules.”

Lee heads the Translational Biomaterials and Tissue Engineering Lab, an interdisciplinary lab in the ChE department and the Institute for Applied Life Sciences. According to Lee, “The mission of our laboratory is to deliver enabling and translational platform technologies that can advance basic biomedical research, solve various medical problems, and ultimately improve patient care. We design and manufacture a broad range of materials to construct standardized, functional, human tissue models and apply multi-dimensional imaging modalities to quantitatively capture complex, dynamic biological processes.”

Lee is also a National Science Foundation CAREER awardee and a recipient of the 2019-2020 Barbara H. and Joseph J. Goldstein Outstanding Junior Faculty Award from the UMass College of Engineering. In addition, he received the President Young Investigator Award from the Korean Institute of Chemical Engineers and the Early Career Investigator Award from METAvivor Foundation that supports metastatic breast cancer research.

Lee says that his current research activities focus on bone marrow, which has clinical significance as a major reservoir of adult stem cells, a key regulator of body homeostasis, and, in case of cancerous lesions, a potent instigator of metastatic spread.

As Lee explains, “Our fundamental question is underlying roles of extracellular matrix composition, structure, and physical forces in forming and sustaining highly regenerative bone marrow niches where blood and bone tissues are functionally integrated and their transformation under pathological and aging processes such as bone metastasis and osteoporosis.”

Lee adds that “The highly cross-disciplinary and collaborative working environment of our lab provides unique opportunities to group members at every stage to foster skillsets and intellectual proficiency at the intersection of engineering and medicine.”

Before coming to UMass Amherst, Lee served as a post-doctoral researcher at Massachusetts General Hospital in the Harvard Medical School. He earned his Ph.D. and M.S. in Biomedical Engineering at the University of Michigan and his B.E. in Chemical Engineering from Korea University. (August 2021)