Gdowski named fellow of medical device association

May 1, 2020

Greg Gdowski

Greg Gdowski, executive director of a University of Rochester master’s program in medical device design, has been inducted as a fellow of the Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation (AAMI). 

Founded in 1967, the 9,000-member AAMI is recognized as the leading professional society of the medical device industry.  It is the primary source of national and international consensus standards, as well as practical information, support, and guidance for healthcare technology and sterilization professionals.

As a result of health concerns, AAMI’s annual meeting and induction ceremony scheduled for June 12-15 was canceled, but Gdowski was remotely inducted as one of 15 fellows who make up the Class of 2020.

“It is an extraordinary honor to be named an AAMI fellow because it represents an industry endorsement of the training programs we have developed for biomedical engineers looking to enter the medical device industry,” says Gdowski, who is also an associate professor of biomedical engineering.

The Center for Medical Technology & Innovation (CMTI) program he directs places biomedical engineering graduate students in the operating rooms of Strong Memorial Hospital where they interact with some of the leading surgeons in the country. They learn about the critical needs for new devices, but also gain insights into the practical constraints that clinical settings impose on designing those devices.  

The students then work in teams to complete prototypes while following some of the AAMI and ISO guidelines and standards. They are also instructed in intellectual property and FDA regulations by faculty with expertise in those areas.

“Our program provides students with a snapshot of the industry through training, corporate tours and reviews of positions commonly held by biomedical engineers.  That engagement has kept our curriculum in-tune with the changing demands of the industry.  That has included training in many standards guided by the AAMI.  Staying relevant with industry has clearly provided our students with a strong foundation when applying for jobs. I am extremely pleased to see this training being recognized by the industry.” Gdowski says.

He has recently been “practicing what he teaches,” overseeing collaborative projects between engineers and Strong Hospital clinicians to create protective devices for doctors and nurses treating coronavirus victims. (Link to intubation box story)

SUBHEAD: Academic and industry experience

He became interested in biomedical engineering while working at his family's business, Sil-Med Corporation, which manufactured silicone medical products.

Gdowski received BS, master’s and PhD degrees in biomedical engineering from Boston University, then served as a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Chicago.

He joined the faculty of the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Rochester in 2001, establishing an NIH-funded research laboratory in vestibular sensory processing.

From 2010-2012, he worked as a senior engineering fellow at Blue Highway, an innovation incubator of Welch Allyn, a major medical device manufacturer. Gdowski

 developed external relationships with academia, industry partners, government agencies, and individual investors for the incubator, located on the Syracuse University campus, resulting in funding of 30 academic projects and delivery of 12 products, services, and tools.  He then returned to the University of Rochester to direct the CMTI program.

He has been engaged as a leader in local, national, and international professional engineering societies.

Locally, he has served as the Chair of both the Syracuse and Rochester IEEE Sections, representing over 2,000 engineering professionals.  He currently serves as the Vice President of the Rochester Engineering Society.  For the last several years he has been a member of the board of directors for the MedTech Association, which represents more than 100 Upstate NY pharmaceutical, biotech and medical technology companies, and research universities.

He serves as a Program Evaluator for the ABET organization helping to accredit academic undergraduate biomedical engineering programs across the country. 

Internationally, he was recently elected as the Region 1 Director-Elect of IEEE representing nearly 25,000 engineering professionals from across the northeastern United States.  In this role, he will serve as a member of the Board of Directors for IEEE MGA, IEEE-USA, and IEEE.