Megan McCain, PhD, assistant professor of biomedical engineering at the USC Viterbi School of Engineering, has been honored with the Chonette Early Career Chair at USC Viterbi. McCain has a secondary appointment in the Department of Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine at the Keck School of Medicine of USC.

As an endowed chair, the position is supported by a donor’s endowment and is one of the highest honors a university can bestow on a faculty member. The funding recognizes the individual’s leadership in his or her field and can help support research and other endeavors.

“The development and support of all our junior faculty at Viterbi is of the highest priority to the school,” USC Viterbi Dean Yannis C. Yortsos, PhD, said.

Since joining the USC faculty in 2014, McCain, who directs the Laboratory for Living Systems Engineering, has helped grow the university’s research on cellular systems and molecular bioengineering.

Her work with “organs on chips” houses human cells in micro-environments that mimic organs native to the human body.

“We want to basically build little pieces of human tissue in the lab that we can use for drug-screening and personalized medicine,” she said.

McCain also was honored recently with a 2017 Cellular and Molecular Bioengineering (CMBE) Rising Star Award and an American Heart Association Faculty Award.

— Zara Abrams