Class of 2003
of Columbia Graduates Names Great Teacher
Foundation Grant to Biomedical Engineering
Side of Volunteerism
Biomedical Receives $3 Million Whitaker Foundation Grant
The Center for Biomedical Engineering came one step closer to department
status with the grant of $3 million over the next three years from
the Whitaker Foundation. The Whitaker Biomedical Engineering Development
Award, combined with matching Columbia funds earmarked in Z.Y. Fu's
naming gift to the School, will help propel the fledgling Center
into a full and outstanding Biomedical Engineering Department among
the top ranks of biomedical engineering programs in the country.
Whitaker grant will allow the Center to hire four new tenure-track
faculty members, build a new student laboratory and renovate lab
space on the third floor of Engineering Terrace," said Van
C. Mow, the Center's Director and Stanley Dicker Professor of Biomedical
Engineering. "These funds will help solidify the important
multidisciplinary links between engineering and health sciences
and also create new ones. We expect to be a major resource for research
and teaching within the University in a very short time. The Center
already provides a platform for synergistic research interactions
between the engineering and medical faculties and our status as
a department will only strengthen our efforts."
Dr. Mow was elected last year to the Institute of Medicine (IOM)
of the National Academy of Sciences, one of only a handful of non-physicians
so honored, and became one of only 24 researchers in the U.S. to
concurrently hold membership in the IOM and the National Academy
of Engineering. His leadership has been key to the successful relationship
between the University's engineering faculty and the medical faculty
at Physicians and Surgeons. Under his aegis, the Center received
a previous Whitaker Foundation Special Opportunity Grant of $1 million
in 1996 and, so far this year, research grants to young faculty
in the Center total nearly $3 million.
The University Faculty Senate recently approved formation of the
Biomedical Engineering Department. If the University Board of Trustees
approves, it will become the first new department since Computer
Science, which was established in 1979.
"Biomedical engineering is to the new millennium what computer
science was to the last half of this century," said Dr. Mow.
"We have had a dramatic increase in student interest so that,
by 2001, we expect to graduate 40 undergraduate biomedical engineering
The Center has three educational tracks: biomedical imaging, biomechanics,
and cellular engineering. Graduate students and doctoral candidates
already are doing research in orthopaedic and musculoskeletal biomechanics,
artificial organs and cardiovascular prostheses, bone bioengineering,
cellular engineering, cardiovascular biomechanics, auditory biophysics,
and magnetic resonance imaging.