BME PhD '75
William Heetderks, MD PhD, has spent more than 20 years with the National Institutes of Health, advancing the role of BME in scientific advancement. He spent 17 years leading the neural prosthesis program at the National Institute for Neural Disorders and Stroke (NINDS). He calls it a "dream job" because he was able to tap top-level research teams to work on neural interfaces - his primary research interest. During his tenure, the program significantly improved cochlear implants and the electrodes used in functional electrical stimulation to restore movement after spinal cord injuries.
When NIH launched the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB), Heetderks came on board as its director of extramural programs. He is charged with administering its portfolio of some 800 external research grants in areas like point-of-care diagnostics and tissue engineering.
BME PhD '88
Hossein Jadvar has become a noted physician-scientist despite having his initial plans upended by the Iranian Revolution. Poised to begin medical school just as universities were being closed, Jadvar came to the U.S. to begin anew. Completing a degree in chemical engineering, dual master's in biomedical and computer engineering, and a PhD from U-M BME, Jadvar began work on esophageal electrocardiogram electrodes. He contributed a computer algorithm and various catheters to the device, which has been instrumental in diagnosing coronary artery disease in patients unable to exercise. He secured eight patents for this work.
Jadvar then pursued an MD specializing in radiology and nuclear medicine, followed by an MPH and MBA. He is now a tenured associate professor of radiology and biomedical engineering at the University of Southern California, where he directs radiology research and manages a $3.3 million NIH/NCI grant to study positron emission tomography (PET) in prostate cancer.
BME PhD '91
Daryl Kipke, who holds his bachelor's, master's, and PhD from U-M, is now a professor here doing internationally recognized research in neural engineering, neural implants, neuroprostheses, and neural biomaterials.
Kipke found his niche in graduate school, working on the Michigan probe, an advanced neural interface microelectrode technology. He continued his PhD work in auditory processing as an assistant professor at Arizona State University before returning to U-M. At U-M, he launched two companies: Neural Intervention Technologies, which produced an injectable gel to occlude neurovascular lesions; and NeuroNexus, through which he develops and markets advanced commercial probes. He is at the cutting edge - working to make permanent high-fidelity neural probes by eliminating the body's reactive response to them. This holds the key to treating major diseases like Parkinson's and depression through deep-brain stimulation.
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