UCSD bioengineer to receive President's National Medal of Science

The White House announced today that Yuan-Cheng Fung, fondly known as the father of biomechanics, will receive the Presidents National Medal of Science, the nations highest scientific honor. Fung, a professor emeritus of bioengineering at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) Jacobs School of Engineering, will be recognized at an awards dinner scheduled for December 1 in Washington, D.C.

In announcing the 12 Medal of Science honorees for the Year 2000, President Clinton paid tribute to a group of scientific leaders who changed or set new directions in social policy, neuroscience, biology, chemistry, bioengineering, mathematics, physics, and earth and environmental sciences.

Fung is the first bioengineer to receive the prestigious National Medal of Science since it was established in 1959. He is also the only engineer among this years honorees. UCSD now counts five National Medal of Science recipients among its distinguished faculty.

Dr. Fung was one of the first visionaries to recognize that quantitative and analytical engineering principles and technologies could be used to develop innovative ways to diagnose, treat and prevent human disease, said UC President Richard Atkinson. Today, medical researchers, physicians and government leaders agree that major medical advances in the 21st century will only be possible through active involvement of engineers.

Fung joined UCSD in 1966 to initiate a B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. program in bioengineering. He helped shaped and continues to bolster a Bioengineering Department that was ranked third best in the nation in the 2000 U.S. News & World Report survey of graduate programs.

Dr. Fung is a pioneer, both in establishing the founding principles of the field of bioengineering, and in helping to

Contact: Denine Hagen
University of California - San Diego

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