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Professor Bin He's Research Featured at the National Science Foundation
(October 19, 2011)
The unique brain-computer interface developed by Bin He and its use to control flight of a virtual helicopter is featured on NSF's SEE Innovation website as "Flying High With Brain Waves" ; and on ABC News as "Brain Waves Used to Steer Helicopter on Computer Screen, Offers Hope to the Disabled" (links open new window/tab).
Congratulations, BME Class of 2011!
(May 6, 2011)
On Friday, May 6, the Department celebrated the achievements of our 80 graduating seniors during the BME Commencement Receptions at the TCF Bank Stadium. Department Head Bob Tranquillo, Adjunct Professor Bruce KenKnight, and senior Vanessa Buie delivered remarks during the program. Congratulations to our seniors!
Medtronic Provides Major Gift for Endowed Graduate Student Fellowships
(January 10, 2011)
For the second time, Medtronic will contribute $500,000 to help build an endowment, matched by UMN funds, to support new BME graduate students as Medtronic Fellows for their first semester of study. This is another major gift in a campaign aimed at local medical device companies, with the goal of an endowment that supports the entire class of BME graduate students each fall semester. Medtronic is the largest independent medical device company in the world, with major operations and its headquarters located in the Twin Cities, and historically employs the majority of graduates from the BME Graduate Program who join local LifeScience Alley companies.
St. Jude Medical Makes Gift for Endowed Graduate Student Fellowships
(January 10, 2011)
St. Jude Medical will contribute $100,000 for an endowment, matched by UMN funds, to support new BME graduate students as St. Jude Medical Fellows for their first semester of study. This is another gift in a campaign aimed at local medical device companies, with the goal of an endowment that supports the entire class of BME graduate students each fall. It also reflects a growing presence of St. Jude Medical at UMN.
Professor David Odde Elected Fellow of the Biomedical Engineering Society
(November 29, 2010)
The 2010 class of BMES Fellows were nominated by their peers and elected by the BMES Fellows Committee. Recipients of this honor are recognized for their outstanding contributions and achievements in biomedical engineering.
Professor Tay Netoff Receives NSF CAREER Award
(November 29, 2010)
Tay was selected for this prestigious award based on his research proposal, "Bridging epileptogenic molecular level changes to neuronal network synchrony to reveal basic mechanisms of epilepsy." The Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Program is a Foundation-wide activity that offers the National Science Foundation's most prestigious awards in support of the early career-development activities of those teacher-scholars who most effectively integrate research and education within the context of the mission of their organization.
News Release: U of M researchers find learning in the visual brain
(November 10, 2010)
A team of researchers from the University of Minnesota’s College of Liberal Arts and College of Science and Engineering have found that an early part of the brain’s visual system rewires itself when people are trained to perceive patterns, and have shown for the first time that this neural learning appears to be independent of higher order conscious visual processing. Click here for the full news release.
New Faculty Member Hired: Pat Alford
(September 5, 2010)
Pat is currently a postdoctoral associate in the laboratory of Kit Parker in SEAS at Harvard. He earned his Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering at Washington University in 2007, developing computational biomechanics models of artery growth and remodeling under the advising of Larry Taber. Since joining the Parker lab, Pat has investigated contractile properties of tissues sheets from patterned smooth muscle cells. As an independent investigator at UMN, Pat plans to pursue a new hypothesis for blast-induced traumatic brain injury arising from associated vasospasm and to continue his interests in the biomechanical basis of tissue morphogenesis. Pat will join our department in January, 2011.
Department Launches Combined BBmE/MS Degree Program
(August 2, 2010)
The new Combined BBmE/MS Degree Program will allow selected BME majors interested in an industrial design career to earn both a Bachelor's and a Master's-Plan B degree in five years. Click here for more details about the program.
Boston Scientific Makes Another Gift for Endowed BME Graduate Student Fellowships
(May 27, 2010)
Boston Scientific will contribute another $150,000 towards its original gift of $500,000 to support new BME graduate students as Boston Scientific Fellows for their first semester of study. This latest gift will help the department reach its goal of establishing an endowment that supports the entire class of BME graduate students each fall. It also reflects a sustained and valuable presence of Boston Scientific at UMN.
Graduating Seniors Recognized at BME Commencement
(May 7, 2010)
Over 200 students, faculty, family, and friends attended the BME Graduation Reception to honor the 72 seniors who will earn their degrees in 2010. Department Head Bob Tranquillo delivered introductory remarks, followed by speeches from Adjunct Professor Mark Kroll and graduating senior Ryan Dean, and then a slide show presentation by BMES student chapter president Jake Mertens. BME doctoral candidate Chris Valley was presented with the Outstanding Teaching Assistant award.
Also in attendance at the reception were MPR reporter Annie Baxter and photographer Jeffrey Thompson, who were there to highlight the department in a story examining the connection between education and unemployment rates in Minnesota. Graduating senior Laina Bretzke was interviewed for the story. Pictures and the full text are available on the Minnesota Public Radio website.
Senior Design Teams, Graduate Students Present at 2010 BME Industry Day
(May 5, 2010)
The department's first annual Industry Day gave seniors and graduate students the chance to present their research and design displays to local industry professionals, faculty, and other invited guests. The purpose of the event was to highlight the exciting research being done by students in our program, and to give them the chance to network and build connections with representatives from the Twin Cities' thriving medical devices industry.
Zhongming Liu Wins 2010 Best Dissertation Award
(May 1, 2010)
Zhongming Liu won the Graduate School's 2010 Best Dissertation Award in Physical Sciences and Engineering for his thesis, "Multimodal neuroimaging integrating functional magnetic resonance imaging and electroencephalography" (advisor: Bin He). Dr. Liu completed his Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering in October 2008 and is currently a Research Fellow at the National Institutes of Health.
New Faculty Member Hired: Matthew D. Johnson
(October 22, 2009)
Matt Johnson is currently an NIH Postdoctoral Fellow at the Cleveland Clinic under the advising of Drs. Jerry Vitek and Cameron McIntyre. He earned his Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering at Michigan in 2007 under the advising of Dr. Daryl Kipke. His general research areas are development of implantable microelectrodes for functional stimulation (Ph.D.) and deep brain stimulation, both FEM modeling and neurophysiological recordings, to improve treatment of Parkinson’s disease (Postdoc). His research plans include extending his Postdoc studies to understand adaptation of the brain to long-term DBS, to optimize DBS parameters based on improved understanding from the recordings and modeling, and to develop novel microelectrode arrays as part of the optimization. Dr. Johnson will join our department in December, 2009.
Rebecca Szarkowski Awarded National Astronaut Foundation Scholarship
Rebecca is one of 18 students nationwide selected to receive the 2009-2010 scholarship award. The scholarship is given to top engineering and science students who exhibit motivation, imagination, and exceptional performance in their field of study. It is the highest monetary award given in the United States to science and engineering students at the undergraduate level based solely on merit.
Melissa Gardner Wins 2009 Best Dissertation Award
Melissa Gardner won the Graduate School's 2009 Best Dissertation Award in Physical Sciences and Engineering for her thesis, "Modeling and analysis of microtubule-mediated chromosome transport during mitosis" (advisor: David Odde). Dr. Gardner completed her Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering in August 2008. In August 2009 she will begin her Post Doctoral Fellowship at the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics in Dresden, Germany.
Prof. David Odde selected for the George W. Taylor Award for Distinguished Research
Dave was selected for this honor which is awarded annually to one member of the faculty of the UMN Institute of Technology to recognize the outstanding research of a mid-career faculty member. Dave's selection reflects his pioneering research in the molecular mechanics of cell growth and division, including, most recently, the mechanochemical basis of chromosome segregation and of cell migration, which underlie cancer progression.
Prof. Bin He Named Distinguished McKnight University Professor
Bin was selected as one of this year's four Distinguished McKnight University Professors. The purpose of the Professorship is to recognize and reward the University's most outstanding mid-career faculty. The awardees were chosen on the merit of their scholarly achievements and the potential for greater attainment in the field; the extent to which their achievements have brought distinction to the University of Minnesota; the quality of their teaching and advising; and their contributions to the wider community. Bin's selection reflects his international leadership in electrophysiological imaging, specifically, cardiac and neural imaging, including development of groundbreaking methods to map the origins of electrical signals from ECG, EEG, and MRI/BOLD images.
New Faculty Member Hired: Prof. Hubert (Hugh) Lim
Hugh Lim is currently a Postdoctoral Research Scientist in the Department of Otorhinolaryngology at Hannover Medical University (Germany). He earned his Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering at Michigan in 2005 under the advising of Prof. David Anderson. His general research areas are neural prostheses and auditory neuroscience. Dr. Lim pioneered the auditory midbrain implant (AMI) at Michigan for direct functional stimulation of the brain to correct hearing loss of patients untreatable by cochlear implants. He is involved in clinical studies of the AMI at Hannover. His research plans at UMN include further development of the AMI in animal models (to elucidate information processing in the auditory system) and further clinical trials. He also proposes to treat tinnitus using the AMI. Dr. Lim will join our department in summer, 2009.
ABET Accreditation Renewed
Following a review that occurred Fall 2008, our Bachelor's of Biomedical Engineering Program received continuation of accreditation from the organization ABET that accredits bachelor's programs nationally.
New Faculty Member Hired: Prof. Alena Talkachova
Alena Talkachova earned her Ph.D. in Physics in 2003 at the Nonlinear Institute in Nice. She then shifted from nonlinear optics and laser physics into her current and future research area of cardiac electrophysiology / dynamics while a Research Associate at Duke from 2001-2004, where she modeled cardiac excitation dynamics, advised by faculty in physics (Dr. Gauthier) and biomedical engineering (Dr. Krassowska). She was most recently a Research Assistant professor at SUNY Upstate Medical University, where she also completed a postdoctoral stint working with a world leader in cardiomyocyte ion channels and their role in cardiac excitation (Dr. Jalife). Her training has thus uniquely prepared her to both measure and model cell properties and their tissue-level manifestation in normal cardiac function and in arrhythmias, with her particular interest being ventricular fibrillation (VF). Her research, which combines cardiomyocyte ion channel flux measurements to optical voltage maps of the heart, can lead to new drugs and pacing therapies to mitigate VF before it spirals to sudden cardiac death. Prof. Talkachova will join our department in summer, 2008.
New Faculty Member Hired: Prof. Shai Ashkenazi
Shai Ashkenazi earned his Ph.D. in Physics in 1997 at the Weizmann Institute and then worked for three medical device companies related to ultrasound and biomedical optics until 2003. He then joined the group of Prof. Matt O'Donnell in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Michigan as a postdoctoral researcher and most recently held the position of Research Scientist. He has focused on optoacoustic transducers for high-resolution imaging and photoacoustics for functional and molecular imaging. His research plans at UMN include the development of novel imaging devices for image guided therapy, including ultrasound probes for prostate cancer detection and for 3D intracardiac imaging to guide RF ablation. He also proposes to image tumor hypoxia with photoacoustic lifetime imaging. Prof. Ashkenazi will join our department fall semester, 2008.
Professors Chun Wang and Tanner Akkin Receive UMN's McKnight Land-Grant Professorship
Chun and Tanner were chosen for this highly competitive Professorship, whose major purpose is to nurture the careers of the University of Minnesota's most promising junior faculty members in order to strengthen the faculty for the future. The program is designed to advance the careers of assistant professors who have the potential to make significant contributions to their scholarly fields.
New Faculty Member Hired: Prof. Theoden (Tay) Netoff
Tay Netoff is completing a 5-year postdoc at Boston University in the Department of Biomedical Engineering under the advising of Prof. John White and support from an NIH NRSA Postdoctoral Fellowship. He earned his Ph.D. in Neuroscience from George Washington University working with Prof. Steven Schiff and supported by an NIH NRSA Predoctoral Fellowship. For his dissertation research he investigated the origin of nonlinear neural network dynamics using patch clamp recordings of hippocampal slices in vitro along with computational modeling. For his postdoctoral research, he developed dynamic patch clamping and simultaneous calcium imaging to further investigate these dynamics and extend his models, focusing on synchronization and its implications for epileptic seizures. Dr. Netoff will join our department fall semester, 2006.
Medtronic Provides Major Gift for Endowed Graduate Student Fellowships
The Medtronic Foundation and the Medtronic, Inc. Corporate Science and Technology division will jointly contribute $500,000 over five years to help build an endowment, matched by UMN funds, to support new BME graduate students as Medtronic Fellows for their first semester of study. This is the second major gift in a campaign aimed at local medical device companies, with the goal of an endowment that supports the entire class of BME graduate students each fall semester. Medtronic is the largest independent medical device company in the world, with major operations and its headquarters located in the Twin Cities, and historically employs the majority of graduates from the BME Graduate Program who join Medical Alley companies.
Professor Chun Wang Receives NSF CAREER Award
Chun was selected for this prestigious award based on his research proposal "Biomimetic Engineering of Responsive Biomaterials." The Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Program is a Foundation-wide activity that offers the National Science Foundation's most prestigious awards in support of the early career-development activities of those teacher-scholars who most effectively integrate research and education within the context of the mission of their organization.
Boston Scientific Makes Lead Gift for Endowed Graduate Student Fellowships
Chief Technology Officer, Fred Colen, has notified the UMN Foundation that Boston Scientific will contribute $500,000 over five years to build an endowment, matched by UMN funds, to support new BME graduate students as Boston Scientific Fellows for their first semester of study. This is the lead gift in a campaign aimed at local medical device companies, with the goal of an endowment that supports the entire class of BME graduate students each fall. It reflects the growing presence of Boston Scientific, which acquired SciMed and is making a major expansion of the Maple Grove facility, in Medical Alley and at UMN.
New Faculty Member Hired: Prof. Taner Akkin
Taner Akkin is completing a 2-year postdoc at Harvard Medical School and Wellman Center for Photomedicine at Massachusetts General Hospital under the advising of Prof. Johannes de Boer. He earned his Ph.D. in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of Texas-Austin working with Profs. Thomas Milner and H. Grady Rylander III. For his dissertation research he developed the first non-contact optical measurement of transient neural surface displacement (i.e. sub-nanometer spatial resolution with microsecond temporal resolution). For his postdoctoral research, he is developing interferometric (OCT) techniques to image depth-resolved tissue microstructures and function, with applications in ophthalmology in particular. Dr. Akkin will join our department fall semester, 2005.
New Faculty Member Hired: Prof. Jonathan Sachs
Dr. Sachs is completing a 2-year NIH NRSA postdoc at Yale University in the Dept. of Biochemistry and Biophysics under the advising of Prof. Donald Engelman. He earned his Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering from Johns Hopkins University where he held a Whitaker Foundation Graduate Fellowship working with Prof. Thomas Woolf. For his dissertation research he developed molecular dynamics simulations and implicit solvent models of ion penetration into lipid bilayers. For his postdoctoral research he is conducting Small Angle X-Ray Scattering (SAXS, no pun intended) experiments to determine how membrane proteins affect membrane thickness. His future research interests include the study of macromolecular interactions with biomembranes during drug delivery. Dr. Sachs will join our department fall semester, 2006.
Victor Barocas Receives George W. Taylor Career Development Award
Victor was selected as the sole recipient of the George W. Taylor Career Development Award, which recognizes exceptional contributions to teaching by a candidate for tenure. See http://www.it.umn.edu/faculty/awards/taylor_career.html. He was also a successful candidate, being promoted to Associate Professor with tenure.
Lynn Otten Scholarship in Biomedical Engineering Established
Kelly Dockendorf (senior) and Santhi Elayaperumal (junior) have been selected for the Lynn Otten Scholarship in Biomedical Engineering for the 2004-2005 academic year. Dr. Lynn Otten, who pioneered the deep brain stimulator at Medtronic, established the scholarship endowment to encourage women students to pursue a degree in biomedical engineering at the University of Minnesota. The scholarship is awarded each year to an entering junior based on her academic achievement and is renewable the senior year.
ABET Accreditation Attained
Following a review that occurred Fall 2003, our Bachelor's of Biomedical Engineering Program received accreditation from the organization ABET that accredits bachelor's programs nationally. The accreditation is retroactive to degrees granted since October, 2002.
New Faculty Member Hired: Prof. Wei Shen
Dr. Wei Shen is completing her Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering at CalTech under the advising of Profs. David Tirrell and Julia Kornfield. Her work has focused on characterizing self-assembled "leucine zipper" hydrogels, which can serve as cell scaffolds, including biological synthesis of the polymers. Dr. Shen's future work will revolve around the synthesis of novel biomolecules that can be used to directly probe cell-material interactions. She will be pursuing postdoctoral studies for two years with Prof. Scott Fraser at Caltech and then join our department fall semester, 2006.
New Faculty Member Hired: Prof. Chun Wang
Dr. Chun Wang is currently an NIH Postdoctoral Fellow in the lab of Bob Langer at MIT. He completed his Ph.D. in Bioengineering in 2001 at the University of Utah with Prof. Jindrich Kopecek. His work focuses in molecularly-engineered biomaterials, with applications to protein-based vectors for delivery of genetic therapeutics (i.e. DNA vaccines) and hydrogels for tissue scaffolds. Dr. Wang will join our department fall semester, 2004.
New Faculty Member Hired: Prof. Bin He
Prof. He is currently Full Professor of Bioengineering, Electrical and Computer Engineering, and Computer Science at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He completed his Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering in 1988 at the Tokyo Institute of Technology and was a postdoctoral fellow in the Harvard-MIT HST program prior to joining UIC. His research is in the development of electrophysiological and multimodal neuroimaging methods with particular interests in noninvasive determination of eliptogenic foci. He has a parallel program in cardiac imaging aimed at localizing sources of cardiac arrhythmia. Prof. He will join the Department in January 2004.
First Graduating Class in the BME Bachelor's Degree Program
The first class of 27 students that took the complete curriculum graduated in May. Given the program was announced just 3 years previously, this underscores the popularity and rapid growth of this long-awaited degree at the University of Minnesota. Among our 35 graduates to date, about one-half are employed or are seeking employment (most with companies in Medical Alley), about one-fourth have begun graduate studies (including CalTech, MIT, U. California-SF, U. Michigan, and U. Washington), and the remaining one-fourth have either begun or are seeking enrollment in health professional or business school programs, or are working as research associates. Our program is scheduled to be reviewed by the accreditation board, ABET, in the fall.
Professor Bob Tranquillo Named Distinguished McKnight University Professor
Bob was selected as one of this year's four Distinguished Mcknight University Professors. The purpose of the Professorship is to recognize and reward the University's most outstanding mid-career faculty. The winners were chosen on the merit of their scholarly achievements and the potential for greater attainment in the field; the extent to which their achievements have brought distinction to the University of Minnesota; the quality of their teaching and advising; and their contributions to the wider community.
New Faculty Member Hired: Prof. Mark A. Nicosia
Mark is presently a Research Associate in the Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery where he is investigating heart valve mechanics, including a coupled solid-fluid model of leaflet motion during the cardiac cycle. He already completed another two-year postdoc at Madison in the Institute of Aging on research related to his doctoral dissertation on esaphogyal mechanics. Mark obtained his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from Penn State University in 1997 and begins his position as Assistant Professor in August 2002.
Professor David Odde Named McKnight Land-Grant
ProfessorDave was selected as one of this year's ten Mcknight Land-Grant Professors. The purpose of this University-wide competitive program is to strengthen the University's faculty for the future. It is designed to advance the careers of the most promising junior faculty at a crucial period in their professional lives, and to develop their potential to make significant contributions to their scholarly fields.$1 Million Whitaker Foundation Special Opportunity Award The Whitaker Foundation has awarded a $1 Million grant for our proposal, "Lab-Based Courses for BME Undergraduates and Practicing Engineers."This grant will be used to * establish and expand our new bachelor's degree program in biomedical engineering with a focus on instructional laboratories integrated with six core lecture courses* establish and expand intensive short courses targeted to local biomedical device companies* hire two additional tenure-track faculty to enable and sustain these activities (to 9 full-time faculty members beyond the current 4 filled plus 3 open positions)
New Faculty Member Hired: Dr. Peter N. Steinmetz
Peter Steinmetz is presently a post-doctoral scholar at the California Institute of Technology in the Division of Biology and the Computation and Neural Systems Program. His research interests are understanding how information is represented and transformed in the brain, the biophysics of these transformations, and how we can engineer devices, such as neural stimulators, to affect these transformations. After completing his B.S. in Physics at the University of Minnesota, he founded a local computer design and consulting company, Steinmetz & Brown, Ltd. Several years later he returned to research, obtaining his M.D. and Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering from the Johns Hopkins University in 1997. Peter begins his position as Assistant Professor in June 2001.
New Bachelor's Degree Program Initiated
The Department is implementing a new undergraduate degree program in biomedical engineering, the only such program in the state of Minnesota. Four new courses are being introduced in the 2000-2001 academic year: BMEn 2501 "Biomedical Engineering Sophomore Seminar", BMEn 2601 "Cellular and Molecular Biology for Biomedical Engineers", BMEn 3001 "Biomechanics", and BMEn 3101 "Biomedical Transport Processes". All additional required courses will be introduced in the 2001-2002 academic year. The sophomore seminar and senior design courses will both involve significant participation from practicing biomedical engineers from local medical device companies around the Twin Cities.
Institute Director Named
On July 1, 2000, Dr. Jeffrey McCullough was named Director of the Biomedical Engineering Institute. Dr. McCullough is a Professor in the Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology. He holds the Variety Club Chair as Director of Molecular and Cellular Therapy in the Academic Health Center, and he is recognized internationally for his contributions to transfusion medicine and blood banking.
New Department Head Named
On August 1, 2000, Prof. Robert T. Tranquillo was named the Head of the Department of Biomedical Engineering. Prof. Tranquillo had been a member of both the Department of Chemical Engineering & Materials Science and the Department of Biomedical Engineering prior to his appointment as Head, and had served as Interim Head since April, 2000. He is also the program leader for the Artificial Tissues program of the University's NSF-funded Materials Research Science & Engineering Center. His areas of expertise include cell migration and cell-matrix interactions with applications to wound healing, guided nerve regeneration, and cardiovascular tissue engineering (bioartificial artery and valve fabrication).