Summer calendar and community news edition

Vol. V No. 2   ·   1 August 2001 


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$14M Whitaker Foundation award boosts biomedical engineering program

Boston University has received a $14 million Leadership Award from the Whitaker Foundation to enhance and expand its biomedical engineering programs. The grant, which will be made over a five-year period, will be matched with an $18 million commitment from the University, for a total of $32 million in new program funding.

The award will be used for research and education in three interdisciplinary areas: cellular and subcellular bioengineering, protein and genomics engineering, and physiological systems dynamics. It will also allow the University to recruit and hire a dozen new faculty members, fund graduate fellowships, and renovate and add new teaching and research space at both the Charles River and Medical Campuses.

  Professor Kenneth Lutchen
Photo by Fred Sway

The grant, one of the largest in the history of the University, also will fund the development of biomedical engineering and related courses and greatly expand the biomedical engineering program at the University. The biomedical engineering department, which was established at the College of Engineering in 1966, is the oldest undergraduate program of its kind in the country and serves as a model for developing programs nationwide.

Professor Kenneth Lutchen, ENG biomedical engineering department chairman, will serve as principal investigator and direct implementation of the award.

According to Whitaker Foundation President and CEO Peter G. Katona, "Boston University laid out a thoughtful and credible plan that the reviewers found exciting. The leadership at the University has a clear and convincing vision for the future, and the faculty is intensely dedicated to education."

"An unprecedented era of opportunity for biomedical science lies ahead," Lutchen says. "Now, thanks to the Whitaker Foundation, we have the resources to advance our world-class nucleus of advanced bioengineering education and research. We will develop an educational program that brings to bear, in a comprehensive fashion, basic and applied sciences on both biomedical engineering and the life sciences."

"Boston University is sincerely grateful to the Whitaker Foundation for the significant support and recognition the Leadership Award provides," says BU President Jon Westling. "It will enable the University to continue to educate and train the next generation of biomedical engineers and researchers to better understand the machinery of life, to advance the knowledge and treatment of human disease, and to develop new technologies to improve the health of mankind."

BU is only the third school to earn the Whitaker Foundation's highest award since it was founded in 1975, funded by a bequest from inventor and engineer Uncas A. Whitaker. The foundation's primary focus is the support of education and research in biomedical engineering. (The Bridge will cover this award in depth in an upcoming issue.)


1 August 2001
Boston University
Office of University Relations