About the Interim Provost

Beth Winkelstein, Eduardo D. Glandt President’s Distinguished Professor of Bioengineering and Professor of Neurosurgery, began her tenure as Interim Provost on July 1, 2021.

Prof. Winkelstein was appointed Deputy Provost in 2020, after serving as Vice Provost for Education since 2015. A former Penn undergraduate, she has taught at Penn for almost twenty years, becoming in that time one of the world’s leading innovators in research on new treatments for spine and other joint injuries. Her pioneering interdisciplinary research focuses on the mechanisms of bodily injury and pain – especially injuries from sports, automobile accidents, and/or degenerative diseases – and has been continuously supported by the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, and the Department of Defense, among many others, including a Presidential Early Career Award from the NSF. She is a global leader in research into orthopaedic and musculoskeletal disorders, including developing innovative new pharmacological treatments and biomedical devices to treat pain.

Prof. Winkelstein is the author of Orthopaedic Biomechanics (2012) and has published more than 175 papers and book chapters. She served as editor of the Journal of Biomechanical Engineering from 2012 to 2020 and currently serves as Chair of the Board of Editors of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and an Executive Committee Member of the World Council on Biomechanics. She is a Fellow and former member of the Board of Directors of the Biomedical Engineering Society and a Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, which has recognized her groundbreaking research with its Van C. Mow Medal and Y.C. Fung Young Investigator Award.

At Penn, she has served as Associate Dean for Undergraduate Education in the School of Engineering and Applied Science, Chair of the Graduate Group in Bioengineering, and a Penn Fellow, the cross-University program for select faculty members to develop leadership skills, build alliances across disciplines and gain deeper knowledge of University governance. In partnership with Prof. Dennis DeTurck, then Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, she led Penn’s multi-year grant (2013-2018) from the American Association of Universities to improve the quality of teaching in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, especially through new techniques of active in-class learning. SEAS students twice awarded her the Ford Motor Company Award for Faculty Advising, and in 2012-13 she led the cross-campus working group that studied best practices in undergraduate research as part of the University’s reaccreditation by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

As Deputy Provost, she oversaw the academic policies and programs that govern undergraduate and graduate education across Penn’s 12 schools, as well as the Center for Undergraduate Research & Fellowships, the Center for Teaching & Learning, College Houses & Academic Services, Penn First Plus, New Undergraduate Student Orientation & Academic Initiatives, the Graduate Student Center, the Family Resource Center, the Online Learning Initiative, and the Office of Student Conduct.

Prof. Winkelstein joined the Penn faculty in 2002, following a two-year postdoctoral fellowship at Dartmouth College and a PhD in bioengineering from Duke University (1999). She earned a BSE cum laude in bioengineering from Penn in 1993, as a Benjamin Franklin Scholar