Alan D. Hirschman, PhD

After retiring from a 30+ year industry career in medical product development, Dr. Alan Hirschman started an encore career as Professor of Bioengineering with the Swanson School of Engineering at the University of Pittsburgh. Dr. Hirschman  established the Professional MS in Bioengineering (Medical Product Development) and Professional Certificate in Medical Product Innovation. He designed and now teaches several core courses in that program. Dr. Hirschman also serves as Executive Director of the University of Pittsburgh Center for Medical Innovation [], a multidisciplinary program involving faculty and students in the School of Engineering, School of Health Sciences, Schools of Business and Law, the Innovation Institute, and the Coulter Translational Partnership II. His goal as an educator is to utilize his industrial experience while at the University of Pittsburgh to catalyze, promote, and champion the translation of technology into clinical applications benefiting the quality of healthcare delivery.

As Director of Technology in the Corporate Development & Innovations group at MEDRAD, Inc. (now Bayer, Inc., Pittsburgh, PA), Dr. Hirschman led and participated in successful efforts to develop, commercialize, and/or acquire medical diagnostic and therapeutic interventional products used primarily by radiologists, cardiologists, and vascular surgeons worldwide.

In his career at MEDRAD, Dr. Hirschman had critical roles of increasing responsibility as a senior biomedical engineer, Engineering Director, MEDRAD Fellow, and most recently as a Business Development executive within Corporate Development. In the latter role, he had responsibility for identification of and assessment of companies subsequently acquired by the MEDRAD/Bayer organizations. This included due-diligence assessment of technology, intellectual property, business model and strategy, operations, and general fit and attractiveness with MEDRAD’s business interests.

Dr. Hirschman contributed to MEDRAD’s patent strategy and to the company’s patent portfolio as an inventor of core technologies, with over 60 issued and pending US patents in which he is a sole inventor or a co-inventor.  Dr. Hirschman has a detailed understanding of processes and standards for identifying user requirements, FDA regulations, human factors, intellectual property, reimbursement, and product liability issues for medical devices.  In recognition of major contributions to MEDRAD’s growth and market leadership, he was designated as the first MEDRAD Fellow in 1999.

Dr. Hirschman’s product development experience included applications of physics and engineering to medical instrumentation, biophysical sensors, radiation sensors, MRI and RF engineering, digital image storage and display systems, ultrasound imaging systems, nuclear medicine delivery, cell therapy, embedded microprocessor control systems, motion control systems, and plastics used in medical disposable products.

Dr. Hirschman is a Life Member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers and a Fellow of the AIMBE (American Institute for Medical & Biological Engineering).

A list of Dr. Hirschman’s publications follows:

  • “Translational Research Initiatives Within a University Setting.”  Khanwilkar P, Malandro M, Redfern M, Badylak S, Hirschman A, Borovetz H. In: Proceedings of the AIChE 2012 Annual Meeting. 2012 Oct 28 – Nov 2; Pittsburgh, PA.
  • “Early Detection of Extravasation of Radiographic Contrast.” Radiology 1992, 184:141-144.
  • “Progress on Information Preserving Image Compression for Radiological Images.” Society of Digital Image Communication Management (conference proceedings, 1988).
  • “Information Preserving Compression for Archiving NMR Images.” Computerized Medical Imaging and Graphics, Vol. 15, No. 4, 1991, pp.277-283.
  • “A Flexible Surface Coil for High Resolution MR Imaging of the Orbits.” RSNA Proceedings, 1987.
  • “Automatic Phase Alignment for the Karhunen-Loeve Expansion.” IEEE Transactions Biomedical Engineering, 1979.
  • “Standard Modules Offer flexible Multiprocessor System Design.” Computer Design, 1979.
  • “A Numerical Calculation of the Circulation in the North Atlantic.” Journal of Physical Oceanography, October 1972.
  • “Methods for Efficient Compression, Reconstruction, and Evaluation of Digitized Electrocardiograms.” PhD Thesis, Carnegie-Mellon University, 1977.