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Roderic Ivan Pettigrew is CEO of Engineering Health (EnHealth) and executive dean for Engineering Medicine (EnMed) at Texas A&M and Houston Methodist Hospital. EnHealth is the world’s first initiative to holistically integrate engineering in all the colleges of a university that are part of the healthcare enterprise. EnMed is the first constituent initiative, integrating engineering in medical training to develop a new kind of engineering-minded physician, a physicianeer, who invents solutions to healthcare problems. An invention is required of each EnMed graduate, who will earn both MD and MEng degrees in 4 years.
Previously, as founding director of the US National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB) of the NIH (2002–2017), Dr. Pettigrew oversaw $5 billion in research investments and is credited with building it into the signature NIH institute for emerging medical technologies. Under his leadership, NIBIB produced more patents per appropriated dollar than any other institute or federal agency, returning $30 per $1 invested in research (3000%, 5 times the already remarkable NIH average of 600%). On the 10th Anniversary of NIBIB, the US Senate unanimously passed a resolution commending the institute for its leadership and impact in improving the nation’s well-being through advancing technological innovation to improve human health.
Before his NIH appointment, he was a professor of radiology at Emory University School of Medicine, professor of bioengineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology, and director of the Emory Center for Magnetic Resonance Research at the Emory University.
Dr. Pettigrew’s expertise is in health technologies emerging from the convergence of the life sciences, physical sciences, and engineering inclusive of nanotechnology, regenerative medicine, and point-of-care technologies. He is known internationally for his pioneering work involving four-dimensional imaging of the cardiovascular system using magnetic resonance imaging.
His accomplishments have been recognized by election to the NAE, National Academy of Medicine, National Academy of Inventors, and Indian National Academy of Sciences (as a foreign member). Other honors include the Bennie Award for Achievement (Morehouse College), Most Distinguished Alumnus Award of the University of Miami, Pierre Galletti Award of the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering, inaugural Gold Medal of the Academy of Radiology Research, Distinguished Service Award of the National Medical Association, UM Miller Medical School Hall of Fame, Pritzker Achievement Award of the Biomedical Engineering Society, Distinguished Service Medal of the International Society of Magnetic Resonance in Medicine, Spirit of the Heart Award of the Association of Black Cardiologists, and Gold Medal of the Radiological Society of North America.
Dr. Pettigrew earned his BS in Physics from Morehouse College, MS in nuclear science and engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, PhD in applied radiation physics from MIT, and MD from the University of Miami School of Medicine, and completed his medical training at UCSD.