July 15, 2021

Mary-Ann Mycek, Ph.D., appointed interim chair of Department of Biomedical Engineering

She takes leadership of BME — a joint department of the Medical School and College of Engineering — from Lonnie Shea, Ph.D., who chose to step down as chair

Mary-Ann Mycek appointed chair of Biomedical Engineering

The Board of Regents today (July 15) approved the appointment of Mary-Ann Mycek, Ph.D., as interim chair of the Department of Biomedical Engineering (BME), effective July 1. She takes leadership of BME — a joint department of the Medical School and College of Engineering (CoE) — from Lonnie Shea, Ph.D., who chose to step down as chair.

Dr. Mycek received her B.S. in physics (highest honors) from the Rochester Institute of Technology, and her M.A. and Ph.D. in physics from the University of California at Berkeley. Following graduation, she held a postdoctoral research fellowship in dermatology at the Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital.

She joined the University of Michigan faculty as an associate professor in 2003 and was awarded tenure in 2006. She earned promotion to professor in 2012, and was appointed CoE associate dean for graduate education in 2016. In 2018, her responsibilities expanded to include online and professional engineering education, and she was appointed associate dean for graduate and professional education. In this role, she served as chief academic officer for graduate education in CoE, and was responsible for the education and welfare of more than 3,600 master’s and Ph.D. students in over 60 graduate engineering degree programs, and over 1,900 CoE online students and lifelong professional education learners.

Dr. Mycek’s translational research program involves developing and applying methods of optical science and engineering to quantitatively probe living cells and tissues, with the long-term goal of impacting patient care via the development of non- and minimally invasive biophotonic diagnostic technologies. The research strategy she employs includes optical molecular imaging, clinical optical diagnostics, and computational modeling for quantitative tissue diagnostics, with diverse applications including early cancer detection, tissue engineering, and regenerative medicine. The scope and significance of her contributions to science and engineering are evidenced by her peer-reviewed publications (more than 170 journal articles, book chapters, and conference proceedings), scientific presentations (over 160 invited and contributed talks and posters), and intellectual property (six issued U.S. patents; one pending patent).

She received the Award for Outstanding Accomplishment from the Biomedical Engineering (BME) Department and was elected by her faculty peers to the executive board of the Rackham Graduate School. She has served as an associate chair of the BME Department twice: first as the director of graduate programs and later as associate chair for translational research, where she assisted in management of the Coulter Translational Research Partnership Program.

In 2014, she was elected to membership in two societies: Sigma Xi, the Scientific Research Society and the College of Fellows of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering, a group of outstanding bioengineers representing the top 2% of the medical and biological engineering community in academia, industry, and government. She was named a fellow of SPIE, the International Society for Optics and Photonics in 2017.

Beginning with his appointment in 2014, Dr. Shea led growth in several areas of BME, including undergraduate enrollment, female and underrepresented minority hiring and enrollment, and research expenditures. Despite the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, the department moved forward with several important initiatives, including the revision of its undergraduate curriculum to provide greater flexibility and incorporate biocomputing, and the renovation of the Ann and Robert H. Lurie Biomedical Engineering Building to create new lab, classroom, collaboration, ideation and prototyping spaces. In 2018, the department celebrated 50 years of bioengineering at the U-M, an event which served as the basis for an annual campus-wide symposium on increasing connectivity between engineering and medicine.