New Chair Named for Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering at Georgia Tech and Emory University

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Susan Margulies, Ph.D., has been named the Wallace H. Coulter Chair of the Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering (BME) at Georgia Tech and Emory University, and a Georgia Research Alliance Eminent Scholar in Injury Biomechanics. Her appointments are effective August 1.

Margulies is currently professor of bioengineering at the University of Pennsylvania. She is a Fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering, Fellow of the Biomedical Engineering Society, and Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers.

“Without a doubt, Susan is the very best person to lead the joint biomedical engineering department into the future,” said Gary S. May, dean of the College of Engineering. “She is an active researcher and highly regarded educator. Susan has the vision, scholarship, and experience in fields critical to the department that make her ideally suited and prepared to lead.”

As the new chair, Margulies will oversee a department that is consistently ranked as one of the nation's most prominent programs of its kind in both graduate and undergraduate education. Currently, U.S. News & World Report ranks the joint Georgia Tech/Emory biomedical engineering graduate program #3 in the United States and the undergraduate program #1. It is the largest BME department in the country, with 72 faculty at Georgia Tech and Emory and more than 1,500 undergraduate and graduate students.

"Dr. Margulies will be an outstanding addition and leader for our joint Department of Biomedical Engineering," says David S. Stephens, MD, interim dean, Emory University School of Medicine and vice president for research, Woodruff Health Sciences Center. "Throughout her career, she has distinguished herself as an educator, scientist, mentor, and a national and international leader in the biomedical sciences, and I look forward to working with her in our many shared initiatives."

The Coulter Department, which was launched in 1997, is a visionary partnership between a leading public engineering school and a highly respected private medical school. The department uses the latest engineering technologies, clinical insights and biological approaches to address unmet clinical challenges in pediatric bioengineering, immunoengineering, regenerative medicine, cardiovascular and neural engineering, imaging, and biomedical computing.

“I speak for all Wallace H. Coulter Department members in stating how delighted we are to welcome Susan Margulies as our incoming chair,” said Ross Ethier, interim chair, Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering and Georgia Research Alliance Eminent Scholar in Biomechanics and Mechanobiology. “Susan has a remarkable track record as a scholar, teacher, academic leader and role model. She brings a deep understanding of both engineering and medicine, and how they can work synergistically in the field of biomedical engineering for the benefit of patients and society. She will further strengthen the Emory-Georgia Tech relationship, and will sustain the strong tradition of excellence and innovation that have characterized the Coulter Department since its establishment.”

Margulies earned her B.S.E in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Princeton University and Ph.D. in Bioengineering from the University of Pennsylvania. After a postdoctoral fellowship and faculty appointment at Mayo Medical School, she joined the faculty at the University of Pennsylvania in 1993. Her research program spans the micro-to-macro scales in two distinct subfields: traumatic brain injury in children and ventilator-induced lung injury. Margulies focuses on prevention, intervention, and treatments.  She has pioneered new methods for measuring functional effects of large or repeated tissue distortions, identified injury tolerances and response cascades, and translated these basic research discoveries to preclinical therapeutic trials to mitigate and prevent brain and lung injuries in children and adults.

Over the years, as principal investigator she has secured over $34 million in federal funding from the National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Department of Transportation, and private foundations. Her recent engagement and negotiations with industry have led to $1.5 million in corporate research agreements. Her scholarship has been disseminated in over 350 papers, abstracts, book chapters, and numerous media features.

While directing a large, translational, interdisciplinary research program, she has taught more than fifteen undergraduate and graduate courses and has had a broad range of administrative roles at the departmental, school, and institutional levels. She has received honors for improving the lives of women faculty and for excellence in teaching and mentoring. Margulies has created new programs to improve faculty and student diversity, access, engagement and professional development, as well as leading initiatives to enhance cross-campus research, training, and education, and engagement with industry and alumni.

“The Coulter BME Department is uniquely situated in two excellent institutions,” said Margulies. “As Chair of BME, my goal is to enrich the impact of BME on both campuses by enhancing interdisciplinary research and education; expanding access to educational opportunities in biomedical applications of engineering; creating synergies within the department; and working with faculty, student, staff and alumni communities to catalyze strategic research and translational initiatives with federal, corporate, and foundation partners.”

The College of Engineering at Georgia Tech is the largest and most diverse engineering school in the country. U.S. News ranks all Georgia Tech engineering graduate and undergraduate programs in the top 10 nationally. The College enrolls more than 13,000 students in eight schools. Georgia Tech is a leading research university committed to improving the human condition through advanced science and technology.

Emory University School of Medicine is one of the top 20 medical schools in NIH research funding. The School has more than 2,700 full- and part-time faculty and nearly 700 volunteer faculty. Emory University is a top-ranked private institution recognized internationally for its outstanding liberal arts colleges, graduate and professional schools, and one of the world's leading health care systems.

Media Contact:
Walter Rich
Communications Manager
Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering
Georgia Institute of Technology


  • Workflow Status: Published
  • Created By: Walter Rich
  • Created: 05/22/2017
  • Modified By: Kristen Bailey
  • Modified: 05/30/2017


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