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July 6, 2011

Frederick Epstein to chair UVA Department of Biomedical Engineering

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Frederick Epstein, PhD, whose research specializes in new techniques to diagnose and treat cardiovascular disease, has been promoted to chair the University of Virginia’s Department of Biomedical Engineering .

Steven T. DeKosky, MD, FAAN, FACP, vice president and dean of the University of Virginia School of Medicine , and James H. Aylor, dean of UVA’s School of Engineering and Applied Science , announced Epstein’s appointment.

“Dr. Epstein’s vision and enthusiasm to direct biomedical engineering and its unique interdisciplinary focus is backed by his own experience as a former doctoral student in biomedical engineering at UVA and his experience in federal, commercial and academic medical environments,” DeKosky says.

”I am very pleased with this appointment,” Aylor says. “Professor Epstein brings to this position a deep understanding of the collaboration between the Engineering School and the Medical School which have helped create one of the highest ranked biomedical engineering departments in the country. I look forward to working with him.”

Epstein holds a joint appointment as professor of radiology and biomedical engineering at UVA. His research focuses on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to diagnose and treat cardiovascular disease, as well as other conditions such as diabetes and musculoskeletal disorders. The novel MRI methods his lab developed are now used in both clinical and basic medical research.

“The biomedical engineering department at UVA has long been nationally recognized for its first-class faculty and students and its commitment to teaching and research,” Epstein said. “I look forward to becoming chair of this outstanding department as we strive to build on our existing strengths, educate the next generation of biomedical engineers and make innovative contributions that improve human health.”

As chair, Epstein plans to focus on strengthening education programs and enhancing the department’s research efforts through more outside funding and collaboration with other institutions. He wants to foster the growth of translational research programs, bringing together basic scientists and clinicians and building on UVA’s established national reputation in biomedical engineering to develop new tools and treatments that directly benefit patients.

Epstein is the author or co-author of more than 70 peer-reviewed papers in recent years on cardiovascular imaging. He earned his BA in mathematics and BS in physics from the University of Rochester in 1988 and his PhD in biomedical engineering from UVA in 1993. He worked at GE Medical Systems and the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute between 1994 and 2000, and has been a member of UVA’s Departments of Radiology and Biomedical Engineering since 2000. Epstein was named an Established Investigator of the American Heart Association in 2004.

UVA’s Department of Biomedical Engineering was founded in 1967 as a joint program with the School of Medicine and the School of Engineering and Applied Science. The department is regularly recognized as among the top 15 programs in the country by U.S. News & World Report for its education, research and work to bring new techniques and inventions to the clinic.

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