Closeup of researcher pipetting into a test tube tray

Bischof previously served as IEM’s associate director

MINNEAPOLIS / ST. PAUL (09/21/2017) — Distinguished McKnight University Professor John Bischof has been appointed as the interim director of the University of Minnesota Institute for Engineering in Medicine (IEM). His one-year, half-time appointment continues through August 2018.

Bischof has been a faculty member in both the Department of Mechanical Engineering and the Department of Biomedical Engineering since the 1990s. He previously served as associate director of IEM from 2007-2009 and 2013-2017 and has been a member of the Masonic Cancer Center, University of Minnesota since 2006. Bischof currently holds the Carl and Janet Kuhrmeyer Chair in Mechanical Engineering.

Bischof is a renowned researcher in thermal bioengineering having contributed to applications in therapeutics, regenerative medicine, and diagnostics. More recently, Bischof received international attention for his research in the area of nanomedicine focusing on biodistribution and heating properties of gold and iron oxide nanoparticles for cryopreservation of zebrafish embryos and tissues for transplantation.

Bischof holds a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from the University of California at Berkeley, a master’s degree in bioengineering from University of California at San Francisco and University of California at Berkeley, and a bachelor’s degree in bioengineering from the University of California at Berkeley. He completed his postdoctoral work at the Center for Engineering in Medicine at Harvard University.

Bischof takes over for Bin He, a Distinguished McKnight University Professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering, who has served as IEM director since 2012. He is leaving the University in December to become head of the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh.

Under He’s leadership over the past five years, IEM membership has increased by more than 60 percent and the overall funding per member or IEM supported investigator has increased by 83 percent. IEM’s Seed Grant Program has stimulated new research projects and has assisted members in winning federal grants for continuing research. IEM also developed new initiatives to enhance academia-industry collaboration including the IEM Industrial Fellows and IEM Clinical Immersion Program.

Established in 2007, IEM is an interdisciplinary research organization within the University’s Medical School and College of Science and Engineering that strengthens collaborative efforts between engineering and biomedicine while fostering collaborations with the medical device industry. The membership of IEM consists of 271 University faculty who represent 63 academic departments and divisions. These members are tackling challenges in cardiovascular engineering, neuroengineering, cellular and molecular bioengineering, medical and biological imaging, and medical devices.

For more information on IEM research and its members, visit the IEM website.

If you or your company would like to support research at the Institute for Engineering in Medicine, visit the IEM Development Fund web page.


Rhonda Zurn, College of Science and Engineering, (612) 626-7959,