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Volume 68, Issue 118, Tuesday, March 25, 2003


Grant will fund new engineering prof

Endowed position may spur research 

Cougar News Services

Bolstering a new UH program that isnit technically available yet, the Houston-based John S. Dunn Foundation is committing some $500,000 toward an endowed professorship in the biomedical engineering program.

The Board of Regents approved the biomedical degree program last fall. It is still undergoing review by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, but Cullen College of Engineering officials are confident that the program will be established at UH, and are happy to receive the endowment.

"The professorship in the Cullen College of Engineering will represent a significant asset to the Universityis rapidly emerging biomedical engineering academic program," said Raymond Flumerfelt, the engineering dean, in a press release.

Flumerfelt added that the endowment should help spur research efforts that can contribute to advancing health care.

The college offers a masteris degree program and is also seeking to offer a Ph.D., in addition to its pending undergraduate program.

When proposed last fall, it was hoped the undergraduate program to bring the disciplines of biology and engineering closer together earlier in a studentis career to boost innovation. 

"Our faculty are actively pursuing a fundamental understanding of the life sciences, the creation of new and innovative biosensing technologies and effective integration of these knowledge bases to invent new clinical practices in medicine," said Matthew Franchek, director of the biomedical undergraduate program.

Franchek, who is also the Department of Mechanical Engineering chairman, told The Daily Cougar last fall that UH is in a unique position with its proximity to the Texas Medical Center to make the most out of a full-fledged biomedical program.

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