Floyd Dunn was born in Kansas City, Missouri in 1924. He received the B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees in 1949, 1951, and 1956, respectively, from the University of Illinois, Urbana, all in Electrical Engineering. Dunn joined the faculty of the University of Illinois in 1955, became Professor in 1965, and retired in 1995 with emeritus status. During his tenure, he held joint appointments as Professor of Electrical Engineering, of Bioengineering, and of Biophysics. He was Director of the Bioacoustics Research laboratory from 1977 to 1995, and Chairman of the Bioengineering Faculty 1978 to 1982. He has held visiting professor or scientist posts at universities and research institutions in Wales, England, Japan and China, under various international fellowships.
Dunn's main research interests deg with all aspects of the interaction of ultrasound and biological media, about which he has published more than 200 journal articles, book chapters, and books (ed). These related to the safe and efficacious employment of clinical diagnostic and therapeutic ultrasound. Specifically, he determined the in vivo temperature dependence of ultrasound absorption showing it to exhibit behavior considerably different than in vitro preparations; he determined the threshold for irreversible in vivo structural changes in the mammalian central nervous system which led to quantitative dosimetry; he postulated that ultrasonic visualizability of tissue structures results largely from the structural protein constituency; he demonstrated that ultrasound effects upon cells in suspension can be related to discrete cavitation events making this capricious mechanism quantitative; he determined the acoustic nonlinearity parameter of tissues in vitro showing it to be dependent upon macromolecular constituents and hierarchical structure; and he has also contributed to bioultrasonic microscopy, spectroscopy and metrology.
Dunn is a Fellow of the IEEE, the Acoustical Society of America, the American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Institute of Acoustics (LTK), and the American Institute of Engineering in Medicine and Biology. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering, the Biophysical Society and a number of honors societies. He has received numerous awards, including: the William J. Fry Memorial Award (1984); the Joseph H. Holmes Basic Science Pioneer Award of the AIUM (1990); the AIUM/WFUMB History of Medical Ultrasound Pioneer Award (1988); the University of Illinois Senior Scholar Award; the Medal of Special Merit of the Acoustical Society of Japan (1988); the Silver Medal in Bioresponse to Vibration of the Acoustical Society of America (1989); the Career Achievement Award of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society (1995); and the 1996 IEEE Edison Medal "For creative contributions to the fundamental knowledge of ultrasonic propagation in and interactions with biological media".
Professor Dunn is an Associate Editor of the Journal of the Acoustical Society of America and serves on a number of editorial advisory boards. He has served on FDA committees and on NIH study sections, and is currently a member of Committee 66 (Ultrasound) of the National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurement and the AIP Publishing Policy Committee.