CUA Expands Biomedical Engineering
With $1 Million Grant From Whitaker
May 15, 1998
$1 million grant from the Whitaker Foundation will fund a major initiative in home care technologies to be led by the School of Engineering at The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.
The Rosslyn, Va.-based Whitaker Foundation is a private, nonprofit organization dedicated to improving human health through the support of biomedical engineering.
With the grant, Catholic University will create a home care technology center, recruit dedicated biomedical faculty, and expand undergraduate and master's level programs in biomedical engineering.
The grant will help provide equipment and renovate laboratories for the new center. "We're adding a concentration in home care technologies that's unique among the biomedical engineering community. Full-time students will be working on the initiative directly," said Jack M. Winters, professor of biomedical engineering, who will direct the program.
The home care industry, which focuses primarily on senior and disabled citizens, is "the fastest growing segment of the medical device industry," Winters said. That growth has been fueled by the desire for additional technology to increase the possibility of independent living.
The university's biomedical engineering faculty and students will work closely with the National Rehabilitation Hospital, the National Institutes of Health, area nursing agencies and Catholic University's School of Nursing to reach providers and consumers of biomedical technologies.
Among the projects that students and faculty members will develop are video games and physical therapy aids to meet the needs of children with disabilities. "We're interested in developing enjoyable computer-based therapies for children with imbedded evaluation tools," Winters said.
The home care technologies initiative project will take advantage of CUA's strategic proximity to the Washington, D.C., medical community. "There are five hospitals within a mile of campus that can provide avenues for collaboration and student projects," Winters said.
Winters and Catholic University biomedical engineering professors Mark Mirotznik and Corinna Lathan conduct a variety of research projects, ranging from designing catheters to treat heart disease to developing methods to treat and evaluate neurological disorders using advanced telecommunications and Internet tools.
Catholic University is a thriving center of academic life: the national university of the Catholic Church, the only one established by the U.S. bishops, and located in the nation's capital. One of the university's 10 schools, the School of Engineering offers programs in biomedical, civil, electrical, and mechanical engineering and confers a full range of undergraduate and graduate degrees. Special programs include a dual degree program leading to degrees in architecture and civil engineering, a computer science in engineering program, and undergraduate concentrations in construction engineering and communication and information engineering.
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