Pardue named interim chair of Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering

Woodruff Health Sciences Center | July 26, 2021

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Shannon McCaffrey
shannon.mccaffrey@emory.edu

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Machelle Pardue

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Professor Machelle Pardue will take over as interim chair of the Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering at Georgia Tech and Emory University effective Aug. 16.

Pardue is the department’s associate chair for faculty development and has been a member of the Coulter BME faculty since 2015, when she moved her academic appointment from Emory’s Department of Ophthalmology. She takes over for Susan Margulies, who has been appointed head of the Engineering Directorate at the National Science Foundation.

“I welcome the opportunity to lead the transition to a new chair for the Coulter department and to continue to promote the success of our one department on two campuses,” says Pardue. “I am focused on supporting the positive culture of innovation, inclusion and impact in Coulter BME that we have built together.”

Pardue’s research focuses on developing life-changing treatments for people with vision loss, particularly those with retinal degeneration, diabetic retinopathy and myopia. Her work has been supported by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, the National Institutes of Health, and private industry.

“In addition to conducting high-impact research, Machelle has been a tremendous advocate for our faculty by formalizing mentoring programs and advancing initiatives to promote diversity,” says Raheem Beyah, dean of Georgia Tech’s College of Engineering and Southern Company Chair. “I’m thankful for her willingness to lead the department during this time of transition and confident in her ability to expand programs that serve BME’s students and faculty.”

Pardue has been a leading teacher and researcher in Atlanta for more than two decades. In addition to her positions at Emory and Georgia Tech, Pardue is a research career scientist at the Atlanta Veterans Affairs Healthcare System and executive associate director of the Atlanta VA Center for Visual and Neurocognitive Rehabilitation.

“With more than 20 years of experience in research and education at Emory, the Atlanta VA, and Georgia Tech, Dr. Pardue’s track record of collaboration and expertise in navigating multiple institutions position her well to lead this joint department,” says Vikas P. Sukhatme, dean of the Emory School of Medicine and Woodruff Professor.

Pardue earned her PhD in vision science and biology at the University of Waterloo and completed her postdoctoral training in visual electrophysiology at Loyola School of Medicine and the Hines VA Hospital in Chicago. Her bachelor’s degree is in zoology from the University of Wyoming.

Coulter BME is a unique public-private partnership that combines the resources of a highly respected private medical school and a top-ranked public engineering college. The dPepartment is the linchpin of many of the collaborations and partnerships between Emory and Georgia Tech.

Beyah and Sukhatme will appoint a committee in the coming weeks to begin the search for the next permanent chair of the Coulter Department.