Focus on Faculty: Ludeman Eng
Ludeman Eng is an associate professor of cell biology and anatomy in the Department of Biomedical Sciences and Pathobiology. After receiving a bachelor’s degree from Rutgers University, he earned both a master’s degree and doctorate from the University of Virginia. He has served roles as the head of the Department of Biomedical Sciences and Pathobiology, assistant dean for strategic innovations, and currently serves as the chair for the Department of Basic Sciences at the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine. After 34 years of service to the veterinary college, Eng will retire at the end of 2015.
- What is your hometown?
- Paterson, New Jersey. (Yes, despite the fact that New Jersey was one of the original 13 colonies, I recognize that some think of it as a foreign country).
- What are your current responsibilities at the college? If you teach, what do you teach?
- Currently, I teach Medical Biochemistry (course leader and primary lecturer) and Veterinary Gross Anatomy (instructor). Over the years, I also taught some courses in physiology, embryology, and even histology. In the past, I have served on just about every nonclinical committee in the college and many at the university level.
- When did you come to the college, and what brought you here?
- I completed a three-year postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Miami (FL) and I was intrigued about joining a new school. I learned about the school from a colleague who was already a member of the faculty here. I started at the college in April 1981. The charter class (1984) was just finishing up its first year. I was especially interested in the small college town environment and was definitely wanting to avoid a big metropolitan area.
- What interests you about your field?
- I am a cell biologist, which potentially covers a lot of territory. Speaking about my current teaching areas, gross anatomy is foundational knowledge and is an obvious and direct linkage between structure and function which I find satisfying. For medical biochemistry, the application and interpretation of metabolism to normal function and pathophysiology are fascinating areas that form the basis of internal medicine.
- What is your area of research? Why did you decide to focus on that area?
- I had entered graduate school with an interest in endocrinology and in development. As it happened, I found a lab focused on reproduction that was interested in aspects of both, and I was able to combine them. Over time, I became more interested in the cell biology aspects of reproduction. At different times in my career, topics spanned from spermatogenesis, through in vitro fertilization, and going into pre-implantation embryo development.
- Hobbies or interests outside of the college?
- Once upon a time, I was really into chess but have not had the time to pursue it much in Blacksburg. I keep a strong interest in reading – mostly fiction. Also, my students are well aware of my interest in the philosophical, social, and technological aspects of the Star Trek franchise.
- Do you have any pets?
- We have always had Doberman Pinschers. At times, we had up to three but are down to one now.
- Share one thing students may not know about you.
- I am actually very much an introvert. When I first learned that this is true for the majority of university faculty, I was amazed that so many faculty can stand up in front of a classroom.
- Anything else you wish to share?
- In retrospect, I have had quite an interesting career at Virginia Tech, including administration and governance, as well as the traditional triad of teaching, research, and service. I am grateful for the many, many opportunities that have been afforded me for personal and professional growth over the years.