Northwestern Office for Research


Joseph (Jay) Walsh, PhD

Jay Walsh, Vice President for Research, Northwestern University

Vice President for Research
Professor of Biomedical Engineering

As Northwestern University’s vice president for research since 2007, Jay Walsh oversees a research infrastructure and annual research budget exceeding half a billion dollars. He also leads the development and implementation of university-wide research-related strategic plans through support for programs including the Energy Frontier Research Centers; the UI Labs consortium and national hub for digital manufacturing; and the Northwestern-Argonne Institute of Science and Engineering. 

Under Walsh’s leadership, the Office for Research has made major contributions to the development of Northwestern's core research facilities and research centers and institutes, including the Institute for Policy Research, the Buffett Institute, the Chemistry of Life Processes Institute, the International Institute for Nanotechnology, and the Institute for Sustainability and Energy at Northwestern. Walsh also has championed global impact programs such as the Mandela Washington Fellowship-Young African Leadership Initiative and the program on Equality Development and Global Studies. 

Walsh joined Northwestern in 1988 as a professor of biomedical engineering at the McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, where he later served as associate dean for graduate studies and then senior associate dean. He earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in electrical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a doctorate degree in medical engineering from Harvard Medical School. His early research on laser-tissue interactions has framed understanding of laser ablation and the scientific foundation for today’s standard laser-based procedures in medicine and surgery. More recently, his research has focused on the diagnostic and therapeutic applications of light.

Walsh has contributed his insights and leadership beyond Northwestern, too. He has served on the Board of Directors at Fermi National Laboratory and at the Chicago Council on Science and Technology; the Board of Governors at Argonne National Laboratory; the Illinois Governor’s Innovation Council; the Naval Research Advisory Committee; and the MIT Corporation Visiting Committee for Sponsored Research.


Erin O’Brien Wallace, assistant to the Vice President for Research
Office of the Vice President for Research
Northwestern University
847-491-3485 Office
847-722-9100 Cell

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