Message From The Chair

Christine Schmidt

Welcome to J. Crayton Pruitt Family Department of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Florida!

To provide a snapshot of our program, the BME department at UF was formed in 2002, after the initiation of a BME graduate program in 1998; the undergraduate program was implemented in Fall 2012. There are currently 22 primary faculty members. Our goal is to grow to 27 faculty members in the next few years.

As part of our growth initiative, we are in an exciting time as The University of Florida is in the midst of an impressive preeminence initiative, backed by nearly a billion dollars, and aimed to nurture the scientific and scholarly progress that will bring UF recognition as a top public research university.

As part of this plan, the BME Department received five faculty positions this year in the following areas of research.

  • Neuroscience and the Brain
  • Biomedical Informatics/Big Data
  • Smart Polymer Nanomedicines

This initiative will help to further expand our expertise, build on existing core competencies, and help forge stronger partnerships across campus.

The BME department at UF is uniquely blessed with the major Pruitt Family endowment as well as a new state-of-the-art building that is strategically located next to the Health Science Center but still only a three to five minute walk to most facilities in engineering, including the new Nanoscale Research Facility. The University of Florida is one of fewer than ten universities that is designated as a comprehensive campus – in other words, UF is distinct in that it has a medical school, veterinary school, and main academic campus with a college of engineering co-localized on the same, contiguous campus. UF also has a dental school, a school of public health, the UF Health hospital system, the nursing program, and a VA Hospital, as well as research institutes with incredible facilities, including the McKnight Brain Institute, the Clinical and Translational Science Institute, the Emerging Pathogens Institute, the Nanoscience Institute for Medical & Engineering Technology, and the Institute on Aging, to name a few. In addition, the entrepreneurial and commercialization activities here in Gainesville are extremely strong – the Florida Innovation Hub, located adjacent to campus, is an amazing facility for new start-up companies and the Sid Martin Biotechnology Incubator in Alachua is recognized internationally and was recently named 2013 Incubator of the Year by the National Business Incubation Association.

As department chair, I am excited to have recently joined UF at this critical time in the life of the department – to have an impact on the educational program, to help forge strong partnerships with health sciences, and to grow the department into a mature and top-ranked program.

Sincerely,

Christine E. Schmidt, Ph.D.
Pruitt Family Professor & Chair