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Thursday, November 9, 2006
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Ohio University set to train biomedical engineers

ATHENS, Ohio (Nov. 9, 2006) -- Preparing for the growing demand for biomedical engineers, Ohio University has added a new master's degree program in biomedical engineering to begin in fall 2007. Applications are now being accepted.

Professors from the Russ College of Engineering and Technology; colleges of Osteopathic Medicine, Arts and Sciences, and Health and Human Services; and the Edison Biotechnology Institute will collaborate as faculty for the multidisciplinary program. Courses offered will range from applied molecular biology to artificial intelligence in medicine.

Russ College Dean Dennis Irwin, who initiated the program, says it's a high priority for the college. "We see biomedical engineering as an important growth area," he said.

According to the Department of Labor, the number of jobs available for biomedical engineers is expected to grow by 31 percent through 2010. Biomedical engineers apply advanced engineering technologies to biology and medicine, with the goal of improving health care. They design new medical devices, develop new drugs or use computers to monitor, diagnose and treat disease. 

The faculty plans to focus on program quality versus student quantity. "We want a very individualized program where we can pay a lot of attention to the students," said Doug Goetz, professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering and one of the key players in the program's development. 

A new integrated learning and research facility that Ohio University is building will help support the new program. It will bring together engineers, clinicians, faculty and students for collaborative learning and research. Construction will begin in 2007 and will be completed in 2009. 

"These students will really benefit from working with faculty and fellow students in the medical, life sciences, and engineering communities," said Cindy Marling, an associate professor of computer science who helped to develop the program.

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Media Contact: Russ College Director of External Relations Colleen Girton, (740) 593-1488 or girtonc@ohio.edu, or Director of Media Relations Jack Jeffery, (740) 597-1793 or jefferyj@ohio.edu

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