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Memorial Tributes, Volume 11
versity of Frankfurt in 1940 and his professional doctorate (Dr. Habil.) in physics and biophysics in 1946.
After the war, Rajewsky was obliged to step down as institute director pending his appearance before a de-Nazification court, and Schwan, who had not joined any Nazi-related organizations, took over as associate director of the institute, now renamed the Max Planck Institute. In 1947, Schwan came to the United States, where his first job was at the Aeromedical Equipment Laboratory at the U.S. Naval Base in Philadelphia. He joined the faculty at the University of Pennsylvania in 1950. In 1952, he was appointed head of the Electromedical Division of the Moore School, and, in 1961, he became chairman of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences Group on Biomedical Electronic Engineering. In 1972, he became chairman of the Bioengineering Department. He retired as the Alfred Fitler Moore Professor Emeritus in 1983.
Over the course of his long career, Schwan published more than 300 scientific papers, gave countless lectures, and received many honors. These included fellowships in the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) and the American Association for Advancement of Science, membership in the National Academy of Engineering, and election as foreign member of the Max Planck Institute for Biophysics. He received three honorary doctorates (Universities of Pennsylvania, 1986; Kuopio, Finland, 2000; and Graz, 2001). He was awarded the Boris Rajewsky Prize for Biophysics (1974), IEEE Edison Medal (1983), IEEE Centennial Medal (1984), and d’Arsonval Medal of the Bioelectromagnetics Society (1985), as well as the first Otto H. Schmitt Award of the International Federation for Medical and Biological Engineering (2000). He was also an honorary member of the German Biophysical Society. An extended biography of Schwan can be found at http://repository.upenn.edu/be_papers/52/.
As a scientist, Schwan is best known for his many studies of the electrical properties of cells and tissues and the nonthermal mechanisms of interaction between fields and biological systems. He discovered or provided important theoretical insights into the large, low-frequency dielectric dispersion in biological ma-