Robert F. Rushmer Endowed Lectureship

About the Robert F. Rushmer Endowed Lecture

The Robert F. Rushmer Endowed Lectureship was created to bring outstanding leaders in the field of bioengineering to the University of Washington community for exchange of ideas. The first Rushmer Lecture was held in 1987.

Robert Rushmer UW BioEThis lecture honors Dr. Robert F. Rushmer, who, in 1967, founded the UW Center for Bioengineering, which later became the Department of Bioengineering. An extraordinary pioneer, mentor and leader, he had a vision to establish a place where many different disciplines work together towards a common goal of providing an improved quality of life for all.

Dr. Rushmer began his work at the UW in 1947 in the Department of Physiology and Biophysics, where his team of physics and engineering students developed a battery of equipment to monitor the cardiovascular system in healthy, active animals without inflicting pain. The team was able to monitor cardiac functions in engineering terms — changing dimensions, pressure, flow and derived variables such as acceleration, power and work. In the 1950s, Dr. Rushmer and his colleagues applied Doppler ultrasound to imaging the pumping heart and measuring blood flow. These diagnostic devices were credited with reducing premature deaths from circulatory diseases. The technology was also modified to detect fetal heartbeats. Dr. Rushmer received many honors and awards for these cardiovascular and ultrasound monitors. Several earlier models were displayed at the Smithsonian Museum.

Throughout his life, Dr. Rushmer advocated for using medical technology appropriately and for considering the ethical, political, social and technological consequences of medical advances.

Past Speakers

Edwin Lindo 2022 Rushmer Lecture – Edwin G. Lindo, JD
Associate Teaching Professor, Department of Family Medicine
Assistant Dean for Social and Health Justice, Office of Healthcare Equity UW
“Pathologizing Racism: Interrogating Towards More Equitable Science”
Rod Pettigrew 2018 Rushmer Lecture and 50th Anniversary Keynote Address – Roderic I. Pettigrew
CEO of Engineering Health (EnHealth) and executive dean for Engineering Medicine (EnMed) at Texas A&M and Houston Methodist Hospital.
“Engineering Medicine: Decades of Transformation and the Promise of Healthy Longevity”
Wolfgang Knoll 2017 Rushmer Lecture – Wolfgang Knoll
Wolfgang Knoll, Ph.D. Austrian Institute of Technology (AIT), Vienna, Austria
“Sensing Smells”
Joseph DeSimone

2015 Rushmer Lecture – Joseph M. DeSimoneThe Chancellor’s Eminent Professor of Chemistry at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and the William R. Kenan, Jr. Distinguished Professor of Chemical Engineering at North Carolina State University and of Chemistry at UNC.
“Breakthroughs in Imprint Lithography and 3D Additive Fabrication”

2013     Dr. Gordana Vunjak-Novakovic
Columbia University
“Functional Tissue Engineering for Regenerative Medicine, Human Stem Cell Research, and Study of Disease”

2012     Dr. Mark E. Davis
California Institute of Technology
“Fighting Cancer with Nanoparticle Medicines:The Nanoscale Matters!”

2011     Dr. David Edwards
Wyss Institute for Biologically-Inspired Engineering, Harvard University
“On Edible Bottles, Drinkable Pumpkins, & Breathable Iodine: Mixing Culture, Science and Commercial Markets for Sustainable Global Health Technology Development”

2010     Dr. Anthony Atala
Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine
“Regenerative Medicine: New Approaches to Healthcare”

2009     Professor Chad A. Mirkin
Department of Chemistry and International Institute for Nanotechnology, Northwestern University
“Nanostructures in Biology and Medicine: Transitioning Novel Diagnostic and Therapeutic Tools from the Bench to the Clinic”

2008     Professor Rebecca Richards-Kortum
Stanley C. Moore Professor and Dept Chair of Bioengineering, Rice University
“Integrating Bioengineering, Education and Policy Research to Create Sustainable Innovations to Prevent Disease”

2007     Professor William H. Foege
Senior Fellow, Gates Foundation, Presidential Distinguished Professor Emeritus, Dept of International Health, Emory University
“Combining Art and Science for a Rational Future

2005     Professor Sir Magdi Yacoub
British Heart Foundation of Cardiothoracic Surgery, Imperial College School of Medicine
“Engineering the Heart”

2004     Dr. Curtis R. Carlson
President, SRI International
“Biomedical Research and the Need for a Process of Innovation”

2003     Professor Gabor A. Somorjai
University of California, Berkeley
“Polymeric Biomaterials Surface Science”

2002     Dr. Lee Hartwell
President, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
“How Cells are Engineered”                                                                                                                                                                  

2001     Dr. James F. Greenleaf
The Mayo Clinic
“Ultrasound Stimulated Vibroacoustography”

2000     Professor Jeffrey Hubbell
ETH and The University of Zurich
“Approaches with Biomaterials to Engineering the Healing of Tissues”

1999     Dr. Erik Ritman
The Mayo Clinic
Innovations In X-Ray Micro-CT Used in Biomedical Research Applications”

1998     Professor Douglas Lauffenburger
Engineering, Cell Biology and Molecular Medicine”

1997     Professor Steven M. Block
Princeton University
Nanometers & Piconewtons: Using Optical Tweezers to Study Biological Motors”

1996     Professor Helmut Ringsdorf
Johannes Gutenberg University, Mainz, Germany
Function Through Molecular Self-Assembly: From Multienzyme Complexes, Photoconductive Discotics and Viruses”

1994     Professor Ewald R. Weibel
University of Berne, Switzerland
The Hypothesis of Symmorphosis and Respiration: Is the Pathway for Oxygen Designed Economically?”

1993     Professor Dan W. Urry
University of Alabama at Birmingham
“Engineered Molecules: New Materials for a New Medicine”

1992     Dr. Eric Betzig
AT&T Bell Laboratories
“Optics Beyond the Diffraction Limit”

1991     Professor George Whitesides
Harvard University
“Self-Assembled Monolayers, and the Interface Between Synthetic Materials and Biological Systems”

1990     Professor Toyoichi Tanaka
“Polymer Gel Physics: From Cell Biology to Engineering Technology”

1989     Dr. Ian Pykett
President, Advanced NMR Systems
“Ultra-High-Speed Clinical MR Imaging: The State of the Art and Prospects for the Future”

1988     Professor Robert S. Langer
“Drug Delivery and Enzyme Bioreactors: New Opportunities Based on Advanced Biomaterials”

1987     Professor David Auth
University of Washington
“The Fantastic Voyage of Catheter Based Surgery”

Allan S. Hoffman Endowed Lecture in Bioengineering

About the Allan S. Hoffman Endowed Lecture in Bioengineering

The Allan S. Hoffman Endowed Lectureship in Bioengineering was created to bring distinguished scholars in the fields of biomaterial or molecular engineering to the University of Washington.

Allan Hoffman 2016The Hoffman Lecture honors UW Bioengineering Professor Emeritus Dr. Allan Hoffman, who is known as an international “ambassador for biomaterials.” Joining UW’s faculty in 1970, Dr. Hoffman began to synthesize polymers and hydrogels with special physical and biomedical properties. By combining these special biomaterials with drugs, enzymes and antibodies, he pioneered applications of temperature and pH-responsive polymers and hydrogels. His groundbreaking discoveries led to advances in the fields of drug delivery, diagnostic assay development and surface science.

Dr. Hoffman has published over 500 scientific papers and is inventor or co-inventor on 273 patents and patent applications, many of which have been licensed to industry. His numerous awards include the Founders’ Awards from the Society for Biomaterials in 2000 and from the Controlled Release Society in 2007, and election to the National Academy of Engineering in 2005. He is one of five members of UW BioE who have been elected to the NAE. He also received the 2016 Controlled Release Society Foundation Recognition Award and the 2017 Acta Biomaterialia Gold Medal. Learn more about Dr. Hoffman. 

Featured Speakers

  • Buddy Ratner

2023 Hoffman Lecture – Buddy Ratner

Allan S. Hoffman Endowed Lecture Presents Buddy Ratner, Ph.D. Joint Professor of Bioengineering and Chemical Engineering, Michael L. & Myrna Darland Endowed Chair in Technology and Commercialization Action-Packed Adventure from Artificial Hearts, through Regenerative [...]

  • Daniel Cohn

2022 Hoffman Lecture – Daniel Cohn

Allan S. Hoffman Endowed Lecture Presents Daniel Cohn, Ph.D. Professor, Institute of Chemistry, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel “4D printing: From the ‘ink’ to the medical device” Thursday, October 27th, 2022 1:00-2:00 PM [...]

  • Kristi S. Anseth

2019 Hoffman Lecture – Kristi S. Anseth

“Dynamically Tunable Hydrogels through Bio-click Reactions and their Applications in Regenerative Biology” Kristi S. Anseth, Ph.D. Distinguished Professor,  Department Chemical and Biological Engineering, University of Colorado

  • Stuart Cooper

2018 Hoffman Lecture – Stuart Cooper

"50 Years of Polyurethane Biomaterials: The Search for Blood Compatibility and Biostability" Stuart L. Cooper, Ph.D., the Distinguished College of Engineering Professor, Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at Ohio State University.

  • Black and white photo of Allan Hoffman, circa 1970s

2017 Hoffman Lecture – Allan S. Hoffman

The 2017 Biomaterials Showcase and Hoffman Symposium, held in conjunction with UW BioE’s 50th anniversary. Featured Presenter, UW Bioengineering Professor Emeritus Allan S. Hoffman.

  • Kinam Park, Showalter Distinguished Professor of Biomedical Engineering, Purdue University

2016 Hoffman Lecture – Kinam Park

“Drug Delivery Systems: Accelerated Evolution for the Future” Kinam Park, Ph.D., the Showalter Distinguished Professor of Biomedical Engineering, Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering & College of Pharmacy, Purdue University.

  • Molly Shoichet

2015 Hoffman Lecture – Molly S. Shoichet

“Engineering Personalized Medicine” - Molly S. Shoichet, Ph.D., University Professor, Department of Chemical Engineering and Applied Chemistry, Department of Chemistry, Institute of Biomaterials and Biomedical Engineering, University of Toronto

  • David Tirrell, 2014 Allan S. Hoffman Lecture

2014 Hoffman Lecture – David A. Tirrell

"Reinterpreting the Genetic Code: from Polymers to Proteomics" David A. Tirrell, Ph.D. Division of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, California

  • Nicholas Peppas, 2013 UW Bioengineering Rushmer Lecturer

2013 Hoffman Lecture – Nicholas A. Peppas

"Hydrogels, Intellegence and Therapeutic Systems: Is there a Future?". Nicholas A. Peppas, Fletcher S. Pratt Chaired Professor in Chemical, Biomedical Engineering and Pharmacy at the University of Texas at Austin.