Mike McGee, Class of '78, received the Outstanding Alumni Award from the Department of Biomedical Engineering in recognition of his work in industry and his support of the department. | Image: Texas A&M Engineering

The Department of Biomedical Engineering at Texas A&M University presented its first Outstanding Alumni Award to Mike McGee, vice president in the Office of Research Administration at the Texas Heart Institute.

“I’m very humbled and appreciative of getting this recognition, especially being the first— maybe it’s because I’m the oldest.” McGee said. “I look forward to enjoying this relationship for many years to come.”

McGee graduated with a bachelor’s degree in bioengineering from Texas A&M in 1978. Shortly after graduation, he began working as an engineer at the Texas Heart Institute (THI). During his 40 years of service there, McGee has made contributions to the institution and to the researchers, educators and clinicians who have advanced cardiovascular medicine to benefit both the students they train and the patients they serve.

“I had the very good fortune of working with other people who really made that happen,” McGee said. “I would to thank those people and recognize those people. I’ve been fortunate to be part of some just amazing advances, working with some amazing people.”

McGee joined Texas Heart Institute during a time of exciting creative innovations such as the development of the implantable Ventricular Assist Device (VAD), which can provide a bridge for patients waiting on heart transplants or while their own heart recovers from certain conditions. More than 1,000 patients have received VAD implants at THI and more than 20,000 patients worldwide.

“All of those 40 years have been wonderful, and I’ve enjoyed being able to support the department,” McGee said. “I’m just extremely excited about where the department is now and all the opportunities and the growth.”

THI has provided 20 years of co-op educational opportunities for many biomedical engineering students from Texas A&M, as well as sponsorship of many senior design projects. McGee also provided administrative support to help THI and the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences win a $3 million Texas Emerging Technology Fund grant to launch the Center for Cell and Organ Biotechnology, which has provided new jobs and educational opportunities for biomedical engineering and veterinary medicine students and faculty.

“For decades, Mike has provided major support to the biomedical engineering department, including long-term active service on the Biomedical Engineering External Technical Advisory Board,” said Dr. Mike McShane, head of the Department of Biomedical Engineering. “He is certainly a role model who is very deserving of this award.”

McGee said he is proud to have Texas A&M be part of his past, present and future and plans to continue to contribute however he can to the success of the department.

“Many more can find ways to continue to support the department. All of us can do what we can and contribute as we can,” McGee said. “If we find ways to support good things and what’s going on here, I think the rewards for that are really all that matters and really worth that effort.”