A black and white portrait of Roderick Pettigrew

Roderic Ivan Pettigrew, PhD, MD, serves as CEO of Engineering Health (EnHealth) and the Robert A. Welch Professor and executive dean for Engineering Medicine (EnMed) at Texas A&M University and Houston Methodist Hospital. He was the founding director of the U.S. National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB) of the NIH (2002-2017), oversaw $5 billion in research investments and is credited with building it into the signature NIH institute for emerging medical technologies. Under Dr. Pettigrew’s leadership, NIBIB produced more patents per appropriated dollar than any other institute or federal agency returning $30 per each $1 invested in research or 3000% (five times the already remarkable NIH average of 600%). On the 10th anniversary of NIBIB, the U.S. Senate unanimously passed a resolution commending the institute for its leadership and impact in improving the nation’s health through technological innovation.

His newest undertaking is EnHealth, the world’s first initiative to holistically integrate engineering into all of the colleges of a university that are a part of the health care enterprise. EnMed is the first constituent initiative, creating a new school that integrates engineering into medical training to develop a new kind of engineering-minded physician, or physcianeer, who invents solutions to healthcare problems. An invention is required of each EnMed graduate who will earn both MD and MEng degrees in four years.

Dr. Pettigrew’s expertise is in health technologies emerging from the convergence of the life sciences, the physical sciences, and engineering. A Morehouse BS in physics and MIT graduate (PhD 1977) who finished his medical training at UCSD (1983), he  is known internationally for his pioneering work involving four-dimensional imaging of the cardiovascular system using magnetic resonance (MRI). His knowledge base also includes nanotechnology, regenerative medicine, point-of-care technologies, and computational modeling.

He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering, the National Academy of Medicine, the National Academy of Inventors, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the National Academy of Sciences of India. Other awards include the Bennie Award, the Pierre Galletti Award of the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering, the Distinguished Service Award of the National Medical Association, the Inaugural Gold Medal of the Academy of Radiology Research, the Distinguished Service Medal of the International Society of Magnetic Resonance in Medicine, the Spirit of the Heart Award of the Association of Black Cardiologists, the Pritzker Distinguished Achievement Award of the Biomedical Engineering Society, the Gold Medal of the Radiological Society of North America, and the Arthur M. Bueche Award of the National Academy of Engineering.

Links to Additional Information

History Overview – Spirit of Heart Award

Interview with Roderic Pettigrew in Proto Magazine

NIH and India Partner to Develop Low Cost Medical Technologies

National Press Foundation: Biomarkers

Brief Video

National Academy of Engineering Award