Bioengineering Report Released

Among the report's major recommendations are the hiring of a minimum of 20 new faculty members in the joint field and the creation of undergraduate and graduate curricula...

"Bioengineering is the natural next step in the intellectual development of biology, medicine, and engineering...." So began the final report of a University committee charged with developing a plan to establish a joint program in bioengineering between Harvard Medical School and the newly established Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. Citing two of the greatest prospective challenges of the twenty-first century—promoting human health and the health of the planet—the report emphasized that "the future presents unprecedented opportunities in the area of bioengineering, which could lead to enormous advances of potential societal and economic value."

Among the report's major recommendations are the hiring of a minimum of 20 new faculty members in the joint field (with a critical mass to be located in the new science building now under construction in Allston) and the creation of undergraduate and graduate curricula in bioengineering. The schools of business, law, and public health and other Harvard affiliates are also expected to become involved in this burgeoning field.

The report, which has not yet been approved, lays out a clear timeline for progress in the field, starting with an international search, beginning this September, for a new director of the Harvard University Bioengineering (HUB) program. By September 2009, the committee hopes Harvard will have established a Ph.D. program and begun recruitment of faculty members scheduled to arrive in the fall of 2010, coincident with the launch of an undergraduate curriculum and the enrollment of the first class of doctoral candidates. (For background, see "On the University's Agenda," in the current July-August issue.)

The full report may be read at http://hms.harvard.edu/public/strategy/Bioengineer.pdf

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