As the baby boomers reach their 60s, the rush is on for
technologies that will allow longer, healthier, and more independent
lives. Medical technology is one of the fastest growing
industries in the U.S., with its 300,000 jobs estimated to increase
31.4% through 2010. North Carolina is among the top-ranked states
both a place to retire and a place for med-tech businesses.
in the field of biomedical engineering has grown at NC State and the
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
(UNC-CH) with advances in medicine, breakthroughs in biomaterials applied
to new uses, new medical and engineering techniques, and computer integration
in both medicine and engineering.
Faculty and student research collaboration between the two universities
has become so frequent that the UNC Board of Governors has approved
the first-ever comprehensive, joint graduate degree program in the
Systemoffering both M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Biomedical Engineering
(BME) beginning in August 2003. Student diplomas will have both university
seals, indicative of their integrated education in medicine and engineering.
Dr. Troy Nagle, NC States interim BME department chair, explains:
This combination of a world-class medical school and a top-ranked
College of Engineering will allow our students to take advantage of
the best expertise and courses on both campuses. The new departments
NC State associates also include faculty from the Colleges of Engineering,
Textiles, Physical and Mathematical Sciences, Agriculture and Life
and Veterinary Medicine.
BME is representative of NC States larger theme of combining
physical sciences and technology with life sciences to attack challenging
multidisciplinary problems, says Dr. John Gilligan, Vice Chancellor
for Research and Graduate Studies.
Theres strong student interest in biomedical engineering at both
institutions, with current enrollment at 66 graduate students at UNC-CH,
in addition to 179 undergraduates at NC State. With approval of the
joint graduate program, NC State will begin recruiting up to 75 graduate
Areas of shared research interest include:
Medical imaging, bioinformatics, computational biology;
Bioelectronics, biophotonics, biosensors;
Biomaterials, tissue engineering;
Biomechatronics, rehabilitation engineering;
Implants, medical devices;
Intracellular engineering, nanoinstrumentation;
Microfluidics, biofluid dynamics.
This issue features some of NC States most promising
BME people and programs.