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John Troy Named Chair of Department of Biomedical Engineering

John Troy, professor of biomedical engineering, has been named chair of the Department of Biomedical Engineering at the McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science. Troy, who succeeds chair Matthew Glucksberg, will assume the position September 1.

"Matt has done an excellent job positioning the department," Troy says. "We have excellent undergraduate and graduate students, a strong core of postdoctoral fellows, a hardworking staff, and a productive faculty. I look forward to building on that foundation."

Troy received a BSc in biology and physics from the University of London, King's College and a DPhil in neuroscience from the University of Sussex. He joined the biomedical engineering faculty at Northwestern in 1987 and is a fellow of the American Institute of Medical and Biomedical Engineering. His research is at the interface of engineering and the nervous system. He studies the retinal ganglion cells in the eye and measures their electrical pulses to try to understand what type of information they are encoding. He is also working to create a new enhanced electrode system for studying the channel properties of neurons.

As chair, Troy hopes to help build the school's international reputation — through the department's global health partnership with the University of Capetown in South Africa and through new initiatives — as well as by trying to attract the best students from around the world. Troy also hopes to build new partnerships with the Feinberg School of Medicine and with partners in industry while continuing to build on the department's standing as recognized leader in biomedical engineering education. (The department is part of a consortium called VANTH ERC that aims to transform bioengineering education and will host the 2011 Midwest Biomedical Engineering Career Conference, which could help create new career opportunities for students.) Troy is also already looking to begin planning the department's 25th anniversary, which will take place in 2011.

"I hope to put into place programs and plans that will continue to grow after my five-year term," Troy says.