"International Collaborations"

Semahat S. Demir, Ph.D.
Program Director, Biomedical Engineering (BME)
National Science Foundation


Dr. Demir will present an overview of National Science Foundation (NSF), a summary of different NSF funding opportunities for international collaborations (including with China) and NSF Merit Review Criteria. She will present recent studies and recommendations for the future of interdisciplinary biomedical engineering research and education.


Dr. Semahat Demir has 22 years experience in academic research, 10 years experience in teaching in academia, 2 years experience in medical industry and 7 years experience in research funding administration and science/public diplomacy in the US federal government. Currently, Dr. Semahat Demir is the Program Director for Biomedical Engineering at National Science Foundation (NSF). She has developed and lead 6 new programs and participated in 13 other NSF and interagency funding programs. At NSF, she received two awards: Program Officer Excellence Award and Director's Award for Collaborative Integration. Before joining NSF, Dr. Demir has held the positions of professor of Biomedical Engineering at the Joint Biomedical Engineering Program of University of Memphis and University of Tennessee, Expert Scientist and Consultant (for the Bioinformatics) for The Scientific and Technical Research Council of Turkey, Technical Manager and Medical Laser Engineer for Messerschmidt Bolkow Blohm and Rodenstock in Turkey, and Research and Development Engineer in the X-Ray Division of the Medical Engineering Center of Siemens Company in Erlangen, Germany.

Dr. Demir's academic research expertise is computational modeling of bioelectricity in cardiac cells and bursting neurons. She has developed simulation-based teaching and learning resources including the interactive cell modeling resource, iCell. She supervised, trained and mentored 42 undergraduate students, graduate students and postdocs in research. She was a visiting professor at Istanbul Technical University, Bogazici University (former Robert College), Isik University and Yeditepe University in Turkey. Currently, she is an advisor to the Chair of Board Trustees and to President of Istanbul Kultur University. She is also a member of Board Trustees Atilim University, Ankara, Turkey.

Semahat Demir received her BS degree in electronics engineering from Istanbul Technical University, MS degree in biomedical engineering from Bosphorous University, and second MS degree, and PhD degree in electrical and computer engineering from Rice University and postdoctoral training at Biomedical Engineering Department, Johns Hopkins University. Dr. Demir has held leadership roles at IEEE EMBS, BMES, ASEE BED, and SWE. She served on the governing boards of 6 technical organizations including IEEE EMB AdCom, ASEE Bioengineering Division and SWE. She is an AIMBE fellow and an US Embassy Science Fellow selected by the State Department. She has contributed to the US State Department's science diplomacy and public diplomacy work in Turkey.