Pruitt Family Professor and Department Chair
J. Crayton Pruitt Family Department of Biomedical Engineering
University of Florida
P.O. Box 116131
Gainesville, FL 32611Phone: 352-273-9222
- BS Chemical Engineering, University of Texas at Austin (1988)
- PhD Chemical Engineering, University of Illinois (1995)
(with D. A. Lauffenburger)
- NIH Postdoctoral Fellow, MIT (1994-1996)
(with R. Langer)
- Professor and Chair, J. Crayton Pruitt Family Department of Biomedical Engineering, U. Florida, Jan. 2013 – present
- Professor, Biomedical Engineering, University of Texas at Austin, Fall 2007 – Dec. 2012
- Associate Professor, Biomedical Engineering, UT Austin, Fall 2002 – Fall 2007
- Graduate Adviser, Biomedical Engineering Dept, UT Austin, Fall 2001 – Summer 2004
- Assistant Professor, Biomedical Engineering Department, UT Austin, Fall 2001 – Summer 2002
- Assistant Professor, Chemical Engineering Department, UT Austin, Fall 1996 – Fall 2001
(Updated Spring 2022)
Dr. Schmidt is the J. Crayton Pruitt Family Professor and Department Chair for the University of Florida J. Crayton Pruitt Family Department of Biomedical Engineering. Prior to joining the University of Florida in 2013, Dr. Schmidt was at the University of Texas at Austin in both Biomedical Engineering and Chemical Engineering and was one of the founding faculty members of the Department of Biomedical Engineering.
The J. Crayton Pruitt Family Department of Biomedical Engineering currently encompasses 28 faculty, approximately 500 undergraduates, 150 graduate students, and 20 department staff. Pruitt BME undergraduate and graduate programs are ranked 13th and 17th, respectively, among national public programs (U.S. News & World Report, USNWR). The undergraduate BME program first became ABET accredited in Fall 2019 and the graduate program rankings have climbed more than 20 spots since 2013. Dr. Schmidt has launched numerous initiatives to increase the impact and visibility of the department, enhance engagement and enrich the culture of the department by strengthening partnerships, expanding interdisciplinary research and education, and increasing opportunities to translate engineering discoveries to biomedical applications. Dr. Schmidt has been devoted to diversity and inclusion. Since 2013, 20 faculty have been recruited to the department, with women faculty increasing from 2 to 14 (now 50% women) and Black and Hispanic faculty increasing from 1 to 6 (now 21% URM). Additionally, research expenditures per faculty have more than tripled and Pruitt BME has received over $5M in new gifts and foundation and industrial support for innovative research and educational programs. Prior to joining UF, Dr. Schmidt was extensively involved in curriculum development and administration at UT Austin; she was one of the founding members of the BME Department at UT Austin. She served as the inaugural Graduate Program Chair and Graduate Recruiter for the new department and served as chair of the faculty search committee for many years, where she grew the new department to its current faculty size. She was instrumental in securing Whitaker Education funding and NSF IGERT training grants as well as implementing college programs to help with hiring women engineering faculty.
Dr. Schmidt has also held numerous leadership positions in professional organizations, including the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE), an honorific society of over 2,000 elected fellows representing the top 2% in the field, and the Biomedical Engineering Society (BMES), which has over 6,000 members. For AIMBE, Dr. Schmidt served as President (2018-2020) and as AIMBE’s Chair of the College of Fellows and as the Conference Organizer for AIMBE’s 25th Anniversary Meeting. For BMES, Dr. Schmidt served on the Board of Directors from 2011-2015 and served as Conference Chair of the 2010 Annual BMES Meeting (attended by over 3,000 members and interested scientists). She has also served as Chair of the BMES National Meetings Committee, Chair of the BMES Diversity Committee, and is a recurring member of the BMES Fellows Selection Committee and the Awards and the Nominations Committees. Her efforts explicitly focused on increasing diversity in all aspects of her contributions to both AIMBE and BMES.
Dr. Schmidt has over 25 years of experience in neural tissue engineering and wound healing, with over $23M in funding and 185 peer-reviewed papers and chapters (H-index=63), 29 issued U.S. patents, and has trained 18 post-doctoral engineers and scientists (67% women and URM), 50 graduate students (50% women and URM), and hundreds of undergraduates in her laboratory. Dr. Schmidt is also active in innovation, commercialization, and clinical translation efforts. Her work is the foundation for the Avance Nerve Repair graft from Axogen (over 50,000 patients treated) and the VersaWrap Protector from her affiliated start-up company, Alafair Biosciences (over 3000 patients treated). Dr. Schmidt is a Section Editor for Current Opinion in Biomedical Engineering and served as the inaugural Deputy Editor-in-Chief for Journal of Materials Chemistry B, a publication of the Royal Society of Chemistry, from 2012-2016. She currently serves on editorial boards for Acta Biomaterialia, Journal of Neural Engineering, Tissue Engineering Part A, Journal of Biomedical Materials Research A, Journal of Biomaterials Science-Polymer Edition, International Journal of Nanomedicine, and Nanomedicine.
Dr. Schmidt has received many major research awards and recognitions. She is a Fellow of AIMBE, the National Academy of Inventors (NAI), the Biomedical Engineering Society (BMES), the American Society for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the International Academy of Medical and Biological Engineering (IAMBE), and the International Union of Societies for Biomaterials Science and Engineering (FBSE/IUSBSE). She is an inductee into the Florida Inventors Hall of Fame and an elected member of the Florida Academy of Science, Engineering and Medicine of Florida. Dr. Schmidt has received other prominent recognitions in her field, including the TERMIS-AM Commercialization/Innovation Award, the Clemson Award for Applied Research from Society For Biomaterials, the American Competitiveness and Innovation Fellowship from the National Science Foundation, and the Chairmen’s Distinguished Life Sciences Award from the Christopher Columbus Fellowship Foundation and U.S. Chamber of Commerce.