Gregg Trahey didn’t expect to spend his career working with ultrasound. In fact, he describes his life’s work as something that was initially ‘thrust upon him.’
“After graduating from the University of Michigan with my master’s degree, I went to work for a company in Philadelphia where we did side-by-side evaluations of medical instruments,” says Trahey, the Robert Plonsey Distinguished Professor of Biomedical Engineering at Duke University. “I had taken one ultrasound class during my master’s career, and apparently that was enough to make me the ultrasound guy.”
As the ‘ultrasound guy,’ Trahey was able to study a variety of fetal ultrasound monitors and ultrasonic imaging instruments, and to attend conferences around the country where he could meet ultrasound researchers from industry and universities. It was at one of these conferences where he met Olaf von Ramm and Steve Smith, biomedical engineers from Duke who pioneered the development of 3D ultrasound.
“Duke was the place to be if you wanted to go into ultrasound, and by that time I had completely fallen in love with the field,” Trahey says. “So I quit my job and started work as a PhD student in Olaf’s lab.”