"We're very excited and happy," said department chair Katherine Ferrara. The money will be used to attract new faculty, support graduate students, and purchase equipment, said Ferrara. It will also help fund the new Genome and Biomedical Sciences building, to be completed in 2004, which will house the department as well as the campus genomics initiative and other programs.
"Biomedical engineering is a tremendously exciting area of research with positive outcomes for human health," said UC Davis Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor Virginia Hinshaw. "Thanks to the vision and hard work of Dr. Ferrara and her colleagues, the Whitaker grant will provide a significant and timely boost for biomedical engineering here at UC Davis. All of us are delighted with their success in competing for this grant and we anticipate many advances in human health emerging from this program."
The Department of Biomedical Engineering at UC Davis was established within the College of Engineering in February this year. As of July 1, the department had six faculty, with another 10 to be recruited in the next five years.
"We are extremely pleased with this very important development for the college. With the help of this award, our new Department of Biomedical Engineering will be able to play a major role in developing interdisciplinary teaching and research programs with considerable impact on the college and the campus," said Zuhair Munir, interim dean of engineering at UC Davis.