Distinguished Professor and J. Crayton Pruitt Family Endowed Chair
J. Crayton Pruitt Family Department of Biomedical Engineering
University of Florida
P.O. Box 116131
Gainesville, FL 32611
- 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)
- Distinguished Professor, August 2023 – present
- J. Crayton Pruitt Family Endowed Chair, Jan. 2013 – present
- Professor, J. Crayton Pruitt Family Department of Biomedical Engineering, U. Florida, Jan. 2013 – August 2023
- Department Chair, J. Crayton Pruitt Family Department of Biomedical Engineering, U. Florida, Jan. 2013 – May 2023
- B.F. Goodrich Endowed Professorship in Materials Engineering, Sept. 2009 – Dec. 2012
- 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
- Laurence E. McMakin, Jr. Centennial Fellow in Chemical Engineering, Fall 1999 – Fall 2009
- Assistant Professor, Chemical Engineering Department, UT Austin, Fall 1996 – Fall 2001
(Updated Fall 2023)
Dr. Schmidt is a Distinguished Professor, the J. Crayton Pruitt Family Endowed Chair, and former Department Chair for the University of Florida J. Crayton Pruitt Family Department of Biomedical Engineering. Prior to joining UF, Dr. Schmidt was the B.F. Goodrich Endowed Professor at the University of Texas at Austin in both Biomedical Engineering (founding member) and Chemical Engineering.
When Dr. Schmidt stepped down as Department Chair in 2023 after a decade in this role, the J. Crayton Pruitt Family Department of Biomedical Engineering encompassed 30 faculty, 500 undergraduates, 150 graduate students, and 21 department staff. UF BME graduate and undergraduate programs were ranked 12th and 13th, 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 climbed over 21 spots (public) and almost 30 spots (overall) 2013. Dr. Schmidt 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, Dr. Schmidt recruited 22 faculty to the department, with women faculty increasing from 2 to 16 (55% women) and Black and Hispanic faculty increasing from 1 to 7 (24% URM). Additionally, research expenditures per faculty more than tripled and UF BME received ~$3M 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 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. As President, she introduced a new nomination process to focus on impact, which has increased diversity in fellows, and launched the AIMBE Impact Awards. For BMES, Dr. Schmidt served on the Board of Directors from 2011-2015 and served as Conference Chair of the 2010 Annual BMES Meeting (with over 3,000 attendees). 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 Nominations Committees.
Dr. Schmidt has over 25 years of experience in neural tissue engineering and wound healing, with over $25M in funding and 185 peer-reviewed papers and chapters (H-index=66), 30 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 75,000 grafts implanted in patients) and the VersaWrap Protector from her affiliated start-up company, Alafair Biosciences (over 6500 grafts implanted). 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 numerous major 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 (Florida’s equivalent to the National Academies). Dr. Schmidt has received other prominent recognitions, including AIMBE’s prestigious Pierre Galletti Award, the BMES Diversity Award (UF BME Representative; embargoed until Oct. 2023), 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 Christopher Columbus Fellowship Foundation and U.S. Chamber of Commerce.