Feb. 4, 2010 | UW Bioengineering
Joseph E. Eichinger, a medical device entrepreneur, friend of and collaborator with the UW Department of Bioengineering received the department’s first Volunteer Service Award at a reception last week.
Eichinger, a mechanical engineer, began working with the department in the 1970s and has served in many advisory roles, including mentoring many students and faculty on commercializing their inventions. He continues to serve on the College of Engineering Visiting Committee, which advises the Dean and advocates for the college, and the Oversight Committee for UW Bioengineering’s Translational Research Partnership funded by the Wallace H. Coulter Foundation, which advises the translational research program in Bioengineering. Eichinger also advices researchers on medical startup companies through the UW Center for Commercialization.
He is Co-founder, Director and President of CoAptus Medical Corporation and AcousTx Corporation, co-founder and Vice President of Corporate Development for Therus Corporation, co-founder of EKOS Corporation and NeoPath, Inc., where he served as both Chairman and CEO.
“Joe has worked tirelessly for and with the Department of Bioengineering in several critical roles,” said Bioengineering Chair Paul Yager. “His advancement of our technologies to commercialization, creation of jobs for our students, and his work to advocate for a better relationship between UW and the business community have all been critical in the last 30 years for Seattle and for Bioengineering. Lately he’s been putting long hours on the Coulter TRP Oversight Committee, helping us decide which new technologies to fund, He’s also been a great personal friend to those of us in the Department.”
“Joe has been a tireless advocate for the College of Engineering,” said Dean of Engineering Matt O’Donnell. “He has also been a great friend to the imaging and cardiovascular device communities both in Seattle and throughout the world. It’s hard to imagine what our programs would be like without Joe’s influence.”
In accepting the award Eichinger said that during his 35-year association with the Department he tried to bring frustrated doctors with a problem together with engineers with technologies. He began working with the UW as an employee at ATL Ultrasound, a former Bothell-based firm now a part of Philips Medical. The amniocentesis technology at ATL Ultrasound was born from research at the UW, which began the decades-long association.
“From my standpoint the UW is just a big powerhouse that is just now starting to come into its own,” Eichinger said. “I really should be thanking [all of] you for having brought so much to me over these past 35 years. I really mean that. I hope the next 35 years will be amazing and I wish the university the best.”