Mary-Ann Mycek, Ph.D.

William and Valerie Hall Department Chair of Biomedical Engineering, Professor, Biomedical Engineering


(734) 647-6319


Professor Mycek received her Ph.D. in physics from the University of California at Berkeley, where she specialized in condensed matter physics and ultrafast optical spectroscopy, before pursuing postdoctoral training in laser medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School. 

Research Interests

Dr. Mycek’s translational research program involves developing and applying methods of optical science and engineering to quantitatively probe living cells and tissues, with the long-term goal of impacting patient care via the development of non- and minimally-invasive biophotonic diagnostic technologies. The research strategy she employs includes optical molecular imaging, clinical optical diagnostics, and computational modeling for quantitative tissue diagnostics, with diverse applications including early cancer detection, tissue engineering, and regenerative medicine.

Additional Title(s)

  • Professor, Biomedical Engineering

Personal Pronouns


Professional Service

A researcher in biomedical photonics, Professor Mycek has been elected to the College of Fellows of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE) and is a fellow of SPIE – The International Society for Optics and Photonics.


She was appointed as an assistant professor at Dartmouth College in 1998. Professor Mycek joined the faculty at U-M as an associate professor in 2003 and was awarded tenure in 2006. She has served as an associate chair of the BME Department twice: first as director of the BME Master’s and doctoral graduate programs and later as the associate chair for translational research. She was promoted to professor in 2012 and was appointed the associate dean for graduate education in Michigan Engineering in 2016. In 2018, her responsibilities were expanded to include online and professional engineering education and she was appointed the associate dean for graduate & professional education. In 2021, she was appointed the interim chair of the Department of Biomedical Engineering, a joint department in the Michigan Engineering and the Medical School.

As associate dean for graduate and professional education, Professor Mycek served as the chief academic officer for graduate education in Michigan Engineering and was responsible for the education and welfare of more than 3,600 Master’s and Ph.D. students engaged in over 60 graduate engineering degree programs. She was also responsible for the education and welfare of more than 1,900 Michigan Engineering online students and lifelong professional education learners. As associate dean, she co-led the Education pillar of our ME 2020 strategic vision, creating and implementing strategic initiatives and assessment plans related to CoE graduate, online, and professional education. In 2018, she established the NextProf Nexus partnership with UC Berkeley and Georgia Tech. The partnership expanded access to Michigan Engineering’s NextProf Future Faculty Workshop, which is designed to encourage graduate students and postdoctoral fellows in traditionally underrepresented demographic groups to pursue academic careers.

She also developed and implemented a centralized reporting framework and strategic communications plan for the Michigan Engineering Consultation, Assistance, and Resources in Engineering (C.A.R.E.) Center–the central hub for engineering student wellness–to identify and remedy student concerns. In 2019, she launched Nexus, Michigan Engineering’s home for online and professional engineering education. Established just prior to the pandemic, Nexus provided both strategic and operational advantages during the remote-learning transition.

The scope and significance of her contributions to science and engineering are evidenced by her peer-reviewed publications (more than 175 journal articles, book chapters, and conference proceedings), scientific presentations (more than 165 invited and contributed talks and posters), and intellectual property (seven issued U.S. patents).