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UNC, NC State to Launch Biomed Program in Fall; Functional Genomics is One Focus

NEW YORK, Aug. 14 (GenomeWeb News) -  North Carolina State University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill plan to launch a joint graduate-degree program in biomedical engineering this fall.

The new joint program, approved by the UNC Board of Governors last spring, will begin this month as the fall 2003 semester kicks off on both campuses. The program will offer students MS degreed and PhDs in biomedical engineering, the schools said.


Among research initiatives currently planned for the program are functional genomics; bioelectronics and biosensors; biomaterials and tissue engineering; medical imaging; implants and medical devices; and intracellular engineering.


The program "is aimed at enabling better use of biomedical engineering resources at both universities," they said in a statement. For NC State, for example, the program will provide students greater proximity to biomedical research in UNC's School of Medicine funded by the US National Institutes of Health.


For UNC, meantime, it will mean closer ties to NC State's College of Engineering, which contains 11 engineering departments and ranks seventh nationally in non-federal research expenditures.


"The joint biomedical engineering graduate program will serve as a valuable academic link between the applied sciences, basic life sciences and medical programs at UNC and the engineering, science and veterinary medicine programs at NC State," Jeffrey Houpt, dean of the UNC School of Medicine, said in the statement. "In addition, cooperation between our two major research universities can leverage scarce resources." Currently, both universities have eight core biomedical engineering faculty.


It was not immediately clear how much the program will cost, or how it will be paid for.


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