Academic Council

Providing Chairs with Policy Tools to Benefit Their Departments

AIMBE’s Academic Council is composed of leading educational programs in medical and biological engineering at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Department chairs generally serve as representatives to the Council, many of whom are elected members of the prestigious AIMBE College of Fellows.

The Council’s member institutions play critical roles in educating the next generation of scientists, serving as innovation hubs to investigate new scientific frontiers, and enabling groundbreaking research to be translated into use in the marketplace.

Medical and biological engineering educational programs are undergoing tremendous change as the fields grow and take on new shapes; as research funding becomes more difficult to secure; and as the student population, and their desired academic experiences, shifts. AIMBE’s Academic Council serves as a venue to come together and discuss these current issues and acts as a forum to raise the national visibility and advocate for the fields of medical and biological engineering. It is a source of many benefits, including:

  • Briefing Congress on your research through AIMBE Congressional Lunch Briefings
  • Representation through AIMBE’s advocacy efforts to increase federal support for research funding  
  • Learning about public policy initiatives impacting the fields of medical and biological engineering. Recent speakers include:
    1. Philip E. Bourne, Ph.D., Stephenson Chair of Data Science at University of Virginia
    2. Jeff Mervis, Reporter, Science, AAAS Publication (Topic: Science Policy Impacting Higher Education)
    3. Toby Smith,Vice President for Policy, Association of American Universities (Topic: Science Policies in the Trump Administration)
    4. Matthew B. Wilson, Ph.D., NSF National Science Board (Topic: S&T Indicators Report and Implications for Higher Education)
  • Participation in AIMBE initiatives increasing the understanding and value of medical and biological engineering to policymakers
  • Raising the level of visibility of your institution to students considering career pathways in medical and biological engineering through an AIMBE career resources website: Navigate the Circuit
  • A special opportunity to engage your trainees in AIMBE’s FDA Scholars Program, bringing post docs to Washington, DC to spend a year working at FDA
  • Featuring your institution on AIMBE’s website as a leading educator in the fields of medical and biological engineering
  • Staying abreast of breaking public policy developments and opportunities to provide input on federal initiatives through AIMBE’s newsletter, FLASH.
  • An unmatched learning opportunity for your students and post docs to broaden their perspective on the public policies shaping medical innovation through our annual Public Policy Institute for Rising Leaders. 



Jennifer S. WayneJennifer S. Wayne, Ph.D.

Chair – 2022 – 2024

Professor and Department Head, Biomedical Engineering and Mechanics, Virginia Tech

For development of a multifaceted approach for articular cartilage biomechanics, encompassing modelling and in vivo repair.



Michele J. GrimmMichele J. Grimm, Ph.D.

Chair – 2020 – 2022

Wielenga Creative Engineering Endowed Professor of Department of Mechanical Engineering, Michigan State University

For outstanding contributions to advancing biomedical engineering education and for leadership in accreditation principles as well as research directives.

Ranu Jung

Ranu Jung, Ph.D.

Chair – 2018 – 2020

Professor and Chair, Department of Biomedical Engineering, Wallace H. Coulter Eminent Scholars Chair in Biomedical Engineering, Florida International University

For outstanding contributions to developing novel physiology-based orthopedic devices, and for fostering academic and industrial interactions to advance neuro-engineering

Fred Epstein

Frederick H. Epstein, Ph.D.

Chair – 2016 – 2018

Professor and Chair Biomedical Engineering; Professor of Radiology, University of Virginia

For significant contributions to the development and application of magnetic resonance imaging methods for assessment of cardiac function and perfusion.

Todd Giorgio

Todd D. Giorgio, Ph.D.

Chair – 2014 – 2016

Professor of Biomedical Engineering, Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, Professor of Cancer Biology, Vanderbilt University

For significant contributions to teaching and research in the fields of cell bioengineering, nonviral gene therapy and artificial liver development.

Robert Keynton

Robert S. Keynton, Ph.D.

Chair – 2012 – 2014

Professor and the Lutz Endowed Chair of Biomechanical Devices of the Department of Bioengineering, University of Louisville

For outstanding contributions in BioMEM’s and µTAS technology development and biomedical engineering education.

Jeff Duerk

Jeffrey L. Duerk, Ph.D.

Chair – 2010 – 2012

Executive Vice President and Provost, University of Miami

For development of advanced interventional magnetic resonance imaging techniques that enable a wide variety of image guided minimally invasive procedures.

Kristina Ropella

Kristina M. Ropella, Ph.D., P.E.

Chair – 2008 – 2010

Opus College of Engineering Dean, Professor of Biomedical Engineering and Director, Joint Ph.D. Program in Functional Imaging, Marquette University

For leadership and excellence in biomedical engineering education and automated detection of cardia arrhythmias.

Vincent Turitto

Vincent T. Turitto, Sc.D.

Chair – 2007

Robert A. Pritzker Endowed Chair Professor of Biomedical Engineering, Director of the Pritzker Institute of Biomedical Science and Engineering, Illinois Institute of Technology

For contributions to the understanding of fluid dynamic factors and their influence on thrombosis and hemostasis in humans.

George Truskey

George A. Truskey, Ph.D.

Chair – 2006

R. Eugene and Susie E. Goodson Professor of Biomedical Engineering, Duke University

For developing new experimental and theoretical methods to characterize macromolecular permeability and cell adhesion.

Banu Onaral

Banu Onaral, Ph.D.

Chair – 2005

H. H. Sun Professor and Senior Advisor to the President, Global Partnerships, Drexel University

For contributions to biomedical engineering, in particular, bioelectrode research.

Robert Spilker

Robert L. Spilker, Sc.D.

Chair – 2004

Chair, Department of Biomedical Engineering, Professor, Biomedical Engineering, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

For contributions to finite element analysis for understanding the deformational behavior of hydrated soft tissues.

Eugene Eckstein

Eugene C. Eckstein, Ph.D.

Chair – 2003

Chair, Department of Biomedical Engineering, University of Memphis

For studies and model development of the directed rheological aspects of lateral transport of platelet-sized particles in blood flows.


Contact Sarah Mandell at AIMBE at