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Dean

University of Central Oklahoma
wchen@uco.edu (405) 974-2481 College of Mathematics & Science HOH 208 , Box 177

About

Wei R. Chen, Ph.D., received his undergraduate degree in physics from Shandong University, Jinan, China, in 1982. He received his Ph.D. in theoretical high-energy particle physics from the University of Oregon in 1988. He currently is a professor of Biomedical Engineering at the Department of Engineering and Physics, director of the Center for Interdisciplinary Biomedical Education and Research, and dean of the Colleges of Mathematics and Science at the University of Central Oklahoma. 

Chen’s main research interests include laser-tissue interactions, laser photothermal treatment of cancer, anti-tumor immune responses induced by laser treatment, simulation of light transport in tissues, and monitoring of cancer treatment using magnetic resonance imaging, photoacoustic imaging, IR thermal imaging, and other modalities. He is co-inventor of the novel immunoadjuvant, glycated chitosan. He also is the co-inventor of the novel cancer treatment method, laser immunotherapy, using laser irradiation and immunological stimulation. Laser immunotherapy has been used in initial clinical trials for late-stage, metastatic melanoma and breast cancer patients with promising outcomes. 

Chen has published more than 140 peer-reviewed articles and more than 160 conference proceeding papers. He has been awarded nine US patents and several international patents. He served from 2011-15 as the Editor-in-Chief for the international Journal of X-Ray Science and Technology. Chen established in 2006, and since chaired, the international conference "Biophotonics and Immune Responses" at the annual Photonics West Symposium, sponsored by SPIE (International Society for Optics and Photonics). Chen was elected SPIE Fellow in 2007. Chen, as principal investigator, has been awarded more than $7 million in education and research funding from federal and state agencies, as well as industry sponsors.

Chen was selected as 2008 US Professor of the Year. He also was the recipient of the SPIE 2012 Educator Award. Chen was awarded the Medal for Excellence in Teaching by the Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence in 2011. In 2000, he helped develop the first biomedical engineering undergraduate degree program in Oklahoma and established the Center for Interdisciplinary Biomedical Education and Research Center at the University of Central Oklahoma in 2010.

Education and Certifications

Shandong University, Jinan, China

  • B.S. Physics, 1982

University of Oregon, Eugene, Oregon

  • M.S. Physics, 1984    

University of Oregon, Eugene, Oregon

  • Ph.D. Physics, 1988

University of Oregon, Eugene, Oregon

  • Postdoc. Physics, 1989  

Honors and Awards

International Awards

Fellow of SPIE- The International Society for Optics and Photonics (SPIE), elected 2007

SPIE Educator Award - The International Society for Optics and Photonics (SPIE), 2012

National Awards

National Institute of Health Summer Fellowship, Dept. of Physics, University of Oklahoma, 1991

National Institute of Health Summer Fellowship, University of Oklahoma Health Center, 1993

Associated Western University Inc. Faculty Summer Research Fellowship, U. S. Department of Energy, Pittsburgh Energy Technology Center, 1995

National Tandy Technology Prize for Science, Mathematics and Computer Science Teaching, 1998

US Professor of the Year (Outstanding Master’s Universities and Colleges Professor of the Year), 2008

2011-2012 US Fulbright Lecturing / Research Award for Taiwan (September 1, 2011 to June 30, 2012)

State Awards

Oklahoma DaVinci Fellows Award, Oklahoma, 2006

Recognized for “High Level Teaching and Quality of Education” by Oklahoma State Senate Resolution No. 47 (52-1-1924), Sponsored by Senator Clark Jolley, May 2009

Winner of Medal for Excellence in Teaching, Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence (the highest teaching award in Oklahoma), May 2011

University Awards

Research Scholarship, Physics Department, University of Oregon, 1983-1988

Faculty Merit-Credit Award (Research/Creative Activity Awards), University of Central Oklahoma, 2000

Faculty Research Grants/Publication Award, University of Central Oklahoma, 2000

Faculty Research Grants/Publication Award, University of Central Oklahoma, Spring 2001

Faculty Research Grants/Publication Award, University of Central Oklahoma, Fall, 2001

Faculty Merit-Credit Award (Teaching Activity Awards), University of Central Oklahoma, 2001

Hauptman Fellowship Award, University of Central Oklahoma, 2001

Sigma Xi Outstanding Research Award, UCO Chapter, 2002

Faculty Research Grants/Publication Award, University of Central Oklahoma, Spring, 2002

Faculty Merit-Credit Award (Research/Creative Activity Awards), University of Central Oklahoma, 2002

Faculty Research Grants/Publication Award, University of Central Oklahoma, Fall, 2002

Distinguished Scholar Award of The University of Central Oklahoma Chapter of the American Association of University Professors, 2003

Faculty Merit-Credit Award (Teaching Activity Awards), University of Central Oklahoma, Fall 2003

Faculty Research Grants/Publication Award, University of Central Oklahoma, Fall 2003

Gold Faculty Merit-Credit Award (Research/Creative Activity Awards), University of Central Oklahoma, 2004

Faculty Merit-Credit Award (Service Activity Awards), University of Central Oklahoma, 2005

Faculty Merit-Credit Award (Research/Creative Activity Awards), University of Central Oklahoma, 2006

Faculty Research Grants/Publication Award, University of Central Oklahoma, Spring 2007

Vanderford Faculty Award in Support of Undergraduate Research, Creative and Scholarly Activities
University of Central Oklahoma, August 2007

Faculty Merit-Credit Award (Research/Creative Activity Awards), University of Central Oklahoma, 2008

Neely Excellence in Teaching Award, University of Central Oklahoma, 2009

Faculty Merit-Credit Award (Research/Creative Activity Awards), University of Central Oklahoma, 2010

Faculty Merit-Credit Award (Research/Creative Activity Awards), University of Central Oklahoma, 2012

Faculty Merit-Credit Award (Research/Creative Activity Awards), University of Central Oklahoma, 2014

Inducted to the Inaugural Class of Luminary Society, University of Central Oklahoma, 2015

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