Dr. Delphine Dean Named Honorary Alumna

Dr. Delphine Dean Named Honorary Alumna

The Clemson Alumni Association recently honored Dr. Delphine Dean with the designation of Honorary Alumna of Clemson University, Class of 2021. The distinction of Honorary Alum is a special recognition intended for steadfast Tiger supporters whose “blood runs orange” but who never attended Clemson.

Dean is currently the Ron and Jane Lindsay Family Innovation Professor of Bioengineering at Clemson University. She earned her Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). During the COVID-19 pandemic, Dean set up Clemson’s first high complexity clinical diagnostics (CLIA) lab on campus to run all of the University’s COVID-19 screening tests. The lab runs over 3,000 tests a day, which includes all of Clemson’s COVID-19 surveillance testing as well as testing for the community.

Her lab leads a wide range of studies focused on understanding mechanics and interactions of biological systems. Her expertise is in nano- to micro-scale characterization of biological tissues including experimental techniques such as atomic force microscopy and mathematical modeling such as finite element analysis. In addition to the basic science work in the lab, Dean works on several applied translational design projects primarily aimed at enabling healthcare in low-resource areas in the U.S., Tanzania and India.

Dean is the recipient of the 2011 Phil and Mary Bradley Award for Mentoring in Creative Inquiry for her work in mentoring undergraduates at Clemson, where she currently mentors over 50 undergraduate students in creative inquiry research and design teams. These student teams work on a variety of projects, from understanding the effect of ionizing radiation on tissue to developing medical technology for the developing world. She is also the recipient of the Class of ’39 Award for Excellence.

The Honorary Alumna designation was presented to Dean during the Class of ’39 Award for Excellence reception. Clemson Alumni Association president, Gregg Morton, and board president-elect, Jeff Duckworth, presented Dean with this honor.

Honorary alumni are selected by the Alumni Association Honors and Awards Committee on the basis of outstanding service, lifelong devotion and loyalty to Clemson University or the Clemson Alumni Association. Nominations open in the Fall of each year and close on December 31. To nominate a deserving person, to review past honorees or to view the award guidelines, visit the Clemson Alumni website at alumni.clemson.edu/awards-and-honors/honorary-alumni.