Michelle C. LaPlaca, Ph.D.

Michelle C. LaPlaca, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor in the Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering, a joint department between Georgia Tech and Emory University.  Dr. LaPlaca earned her undergraduate degree in Biomedical Engineering in 1991 from The Catholic University of America, Washington, DC, where she was first introduced to neuroscience research at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research. She then earned her M.S.E. (1992) and Ph.D. (1996) in Bioengineering from the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, in the area of neuronal injury biomechanics. Following post-doctoral training in the Neurosurgery Department at the University of Pennsylvania’s Head Injury Center from 1996-98, she joined the faculty at Georgia Tech.

Dr. LaPlaca has published over 60 peer-reviewed papers and her research has been funded by NIH, NSF, DoD, and the Coulter Foundation.  She received an NSF CAREER award (2000), the Atlanta Business Chronicle Healthcare Heroes Award for Healthcare Innovation (2007), was a finalist in Atlanta Magazine’s Groundbreakers (2013), and is an elected fellow in the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE). In addition, she serves as the Vice Chair on the Board of Directors of the Brain Injury Association of Georgia and has testified before the U.S. Senate Committee on Veteran’s Affairs on traumatic brain injury (2010).  Dr. LaPlaca is on the editorial board of the Journal of Neurotrauma, and a member of the National Neurotrauma Society (Secretary-Treasurer, 2013-14; Vice President, 2014-2015), Women in NeuroTrauma Research (WiNTR), the Society of Neuroscience, and the Biomedical Engineering Society.


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