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UC names new biomedical engineering department head

Tom Talavage joins College of Engineering and Applied Science with 20 years’ experience at Purdue

Tom Talavage headshot

Tom Talavage. Photo/Provided.

John Weidner, Ph.D., dean of the College of Engineering and Applied Science at the University of Cincinnati has announced the appointment of Tom Talavage, Ph.D., as the head of the Department of Biomedical Engineering. He will join UC on Aug. 15.

Talavage comes to UC from Purdue University where he was one of the original faculty members in the university’s biomedical engineering program launched in 1999. He joined Purdue in 1998 in electrical and computer engineering and remained as a professor under both departments throughout his tenure. 

“I am extremely excited to welcome Tom to the college as he leads our efforts in biomedical research. We have tremendous partners at the UC College of Medicine, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, and throughout UC’s health sciences,” Weidner said. “The opportunities to provide an engineering dimension to the wonderful health-care work occurring throughout our region are limitless. The current COVID-19 pandemic reminds us how complex the health-care problems are and that creative solutions will require multidisciplinary teams. Tom has the leadership, personality, and experience to accelerate these collaborations.”

Throughout his 22-year career, Talavage has made significant contributions to the neurosciences through development of novel image acquisition techniques and their application. His research integrates medical imaging, image processing and the neurosciences. He was a founding director for an MRI facility at Purdue, leading the development of collaborative neuroimaging research across many disciplines.

“I am excited and honored to have the opportunity to lead biomedical engineering at UC. My focus will be continued growth of the department's academic accomplishments and increased engagement with local clinical and industrial partners that will allow for our faculty and students to improve the quality of health care on both a local and national level,” Talavage said. “Taking advantage of the exceptional range of local resources to perform translational research that takes innovation from the benchtop to the bedside will raise visibility of both the department and the university.”

Talavage is well-known for his work on a long-term study of mild traumatic brain injury in youth athletes engaged in collision-based sports. This work – the first to show that hits to the head not resulting in concussions can still cause damage – has garnered national media attention in such outlets as Sports Illustrated, Time, The Economist, and appearances on Frontline, NOVA, and Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel. Talavage also has a research interest in the areas of auditory and speech processing.  

In addition to his success in research, Talavage has earned accolades as an educator, receiving six local awards and one national teaching award. He also previously served on the NCAA’s Concussion Task Force and with the NCAA-DOD CARE Consortium’s Scientific Advisory Board, dedicated to studying concussion. 

Talavage holds a Ph.D in speech and hearing sciences from MIT. He earned his master’s and bachelor’s degrees in electrical engineering from Purdue.