Office of the Vice President for Global Communications

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Translational research is key to bioengineering's future, Coleman says

President Mary Sue Coleman told a Washington, D.C., audience Monday that bioengineering research offers great opportunities for both increased research and better care for patients.

Speaking on a panel of university presidents at the annual meeting of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering, Coleman said translational research must directly help patients.

  President Mary Sue Coleman participated in a panel discussion Monday about the importance of life sciences and bioengineering to universities and society. With her were Robert Daniels (left), president of Johns Hopkins University, and Robert Brown (right), president of Boston University. (Photo by Mike Waring, Washington Office)

"That is the real promise and product of biomedical research: education and research with an impact," said Coleman. "It represents finding ways to a patient, rather than a journal article."

Coleman said the Coulter Translational Research Partnership with U-M is helping bridge the gap between pure research and commercialized products ready for clinical use.

"Our success has led the Coulter Foundation to endow our program with a $10 million gift, with a challenge to the university to raise a matching endowment and to expand the program even further," Coleman added.

Coleman said the Department of Biomedical Engineering at U-M has grown from 11 faculty positions seven years ago to 20 now, with hopes of expanding it to the mid-30s. U-M's program is a joint department between the College of Engineering and the Medical School.

Other presidents participating in the panel were Robert Brown of Boston University and Ronald Daniels of Johns Hopkins University. The event also marked the induction of new fellows into the AIMBE to honor their achievements to the future of medical and biological engineering innovation.