Medical Device Fellows Program director appointed

Marie Johnson has been appointed director of the University of Minnesota's new Medical Devices Center Fellows Program. This appointment follows the completion of her third post-doctoral fellowship in the Stanford Biodesign Program. The other post-doctoral fellowships were completed with 3M Littmann Stethoscopes during which she applied voice recognition signal processing techniques to auscultation and studying hemodynamics and arterial elasticity at the Politecnico di Torino in Torino, Italy.

In her role as Medical Devices Center Fellow director, Johnson will oversee the full immersion educational and product development program for medical device creation. A cross-functional team of fellows will have a combination of degrees in engineering, medicine or biosciences with demonstrated evidence of innovation and product development. The fellows will interface daily with faculty, medical professionals and industry collaborators to develop and test new medical devices with the goal to improve health care worldwide.

Johnson has a long history of leadership and product development research. After receiving her B.S. degree in mechanical engineering from General Motors Institute in Flint, Michigan, she worked as an engineer and manager for General Motors Corporation for 12 years in a variety of manufacturing and research and development positions for the brake (Dayton, Ohio) and wheel spindle bearing (Sandusky, Ohio) divisions. Her work at GM included multiple leadership positions such as assembly line and skilled trades supervision, budget responsibilities, and multiple large-scale project manager positions. She acted as chair of a National Science Foundation Industrial Advisory Board at the University of Connecticut, Center for Grinding Research. Additional research responsibilities included lean manufacturing, high precision metal finishing, machine design and artificial intelligence.

Johnson completed her master's degree and Ph.D. in biomedical engineering from the University of Minnesota. She also spent one year at the University of Minnesota, teaching the Senior Mechanical Engineering Design course and a Senior Biomedical Engineering Design and Mechanisms course to approximately 300 students.

Johnson has patents and patents pending in the United States, Europe and Taiwan in acetabular joint fixation, cardiac auscultation to analyze and diagnose heart sounds using signal processing methods, a powdered metal-based pressure indicator, noninvasive method to detect coronary artery disease, stroke detection, new fetal monitoring techniques, and noninvasive detection of atrial fibrillation.