Celebrating 50 Years of Biomedical Engineering at UVA

Frederick Epstein, Milton Adams, and President Sullivan.

From L to R: Frederick Epstein, chair of biomedical engineering; J. Milton Adams, professor of biomedical engineering; and President Sullivan. (Photo by Tom Cogill)

November 3, 2017

An array of prominent scientists, researchers, and instructors are gathered today on Grounds for a symposium to celebrate the 50th anniversary of UVA’s Department of Biomedical Engineering.

“When the department was founded 50 years ago, the field of biomedical engineering was in its infancy,” President Sullivan said at this morning’s opening session. “As the department evolved with the field, it has emerged as one of its leaders.”

The Department of Biomedical Engineering’s (BME) many successes include:

  • Members of the department have conducted significant research in cardiovascular physiology and disease, quantitative modeling of biological systems, biomechanics, tissue engineering, and medical imaging;
  • Eleven of UVA’s BME faculty members are Fellows of the American Institute for Biological and Medical Engineering;
  • BME faculty and students filed 27 patent disclosures last year alone;
  • BME graduate students typically win the most NSF Graduate Fellowships of all departments at UVA; and
  • A BME undergraduate has been named the Engineering School’s outstanding student of the year for the past 13 years.

President Sullivan noted that the department is poised to make breakthroughs in a variety of fields — including precision medicine, tissue engineering, and medical imaging.

“Ultimately, the department will make its most lasting mark through its highly successful graduate and undergraduate programs,” she said. “Whether they play a policy or regulatory role in government, join large pharmaceutical companies, found start-ups, or go on to careers in research and discovery, BME students have the training and the potential to play a critical role in the future of medicine and biosciences in this country and around the world.”

Part of today’s celebration is the official launch of the J. Milton Adams Distinguished Fellowship, named in honor of the longtime UVA administrator and professor of biomedical engineering. The fellowship will support a BME graduate student's education and fund his or her undergraduate research partner's project.

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