Frederick H. Epstein, chair and Mac Wade Professor of Biomedical Engineering and professor of radiology and medical imaging, is the University of Virginia School of Engineering and Applied Science’s new associate dean for research.
Epstein’s appointment follows his highly successful decade leading growth and transformation in the Department of Biomedical Engineering. He started his new role March 1.
“Fred has established great relationships across the University that will help our school as we pursue new opportunities to contribute to UVA’s push for research preeminence,” said UVA Engineering Dean Jennifer L. West. “I’m thrilled that he has agreed to share his considerable leadership talents and expertise with our whole school.”
Under Epstein’s stewardship, biomedical engineering faculty have collectively increased the department’s research expenditures by 114% since 2014, an essential contribution to the school’s overall research growth. Faculty have earned prestigious grants from a wide range of government and industry sources including the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, the Department of Defense, the Department of Energy, the American Heart Association, the American Cancer Society, Siemens, AstraZeneca, Unilever and others.
Epstein’s strategic approach to research growth focused on four key strength areas and included investments in new faculty, faculty mentorship and other resources in those areas. Department-wide conversations about defining research excellence helped inspire new ideas.
He also built his own very successful research program, developing and applying magnetic resonance imaging technology for the clinical evaluation of heart disease and basic studies in biological mechanisms underlying heart disease.
Some of the MRI technologies he developed are used clinically and in research around the world. He holds or has disclosed 14 patents on medical imaging technology, most with Ph.D. students as co-inventors, and he has licensed some to industry.
For 10 years, he has been principal investigator of the UVA Coulter Translational Research Partnership, an endowment from the Walter H. Coulter Foundation that awards $700,000 each year to biomedical engineering faculty members and research collaborators from the UVA School of Medicine, the School of Engineering and other areas of the University.
In this research partnership, teams of co-investigators work to develop new technologies that address unmet clinical needs, improve health care and lead to commercially available products. UVA is one of only a few universities in the country that have Coulter Translational Partnership Awards in biomedical engineering.
“I look forward to working with UVA Engineering’s outstanding research team to enrich the culture of research excellence, inspire innovation and support collaboration, especially across disciplinary boundaries,” Epstein said.