Johns Hopkins and the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa, Israel, have signed an agreement to establish a joint research and educational program in biomedical sciences and biomedical engineering. A major objective of the program is to enhance collaborative research between the institutions and speed the commercialization of new products.
The Joint Johns Hopkins University-Technion-Israel Institute of Technology Program for Medical Science and Biomedical Engineering is to become operational on Jan. 1, 2001.
The program involves faculty from Johns Hopkins' School of Medicine and the university's Whiting School of Engineering and, at the Technion, the Bruce Rappaport Faculty of Medicine along with departments and faculties dealing with biomedical engineering, in collaborative projects and extensive exchanges of faculty, undergraduate and graduate students and postdoctoral fellows.
Murray Sachs, director of Hopkins' Department of Biomedical Engineering; Elias Zerhouni, Hopkins' executive vice dean; Ilene Busch-Vishniac, dean of the Whiting School of Engineering; and Rafael Beyar, dean of the Technion medical school, will be on the management committee for the program, along with other faculty from both institutions.
"The Hopkins-Technion program is an in-ternational educational and research collaboration unique in the fields of biomedical engineering and medical research," Sachs said.
"In an era when medical advances depend on genetic engineering and medical technology, the unique strengths of both universities in these areas will enhance the development of new diagnosis and treatment," Beyar said.
At Hopkins, most work will take place in the Whitaker Biomedical Engineering Institute, located in the School of Medicine, and in the Whiting School, on the Homewood campus.
Technion scientists and Hopkins' Division of Cardiology and departments of Radiology and Biomedical Engineering have pursued numerous joint opportunities. Current collaborations in these areas include physiological system modeling, cardiopulmonary resuscitation and cardiac assistance devices, three-dimensional sophisticated imaging techniques and image-guided surgical technology. These and other technologies also have potential use in oncology and neuroscience and other fields at the frontiers of biomedical research, according to university President William R. Brody.
"With the scientific advances and technological developments occurring at a rapid pace in areas of major strengths at both institutions, a unique opportunity exists to capitalize on the kind of synergy these collaborations produce," Brody said.
The program will be funded by a combination of donations and research grants and contracts. Half the funds will be raised by the American Technion Society, the leading private American organization supporting higher education in Israel. Eventually, it is anticipated that the program will become self-funded through the development and licensing of commercial products.
The Johns Hopkins University Biomedical Engineering Department is ranked No. 1 in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. The Technion-Israel Institute of Technology commands a worldwide reputation for its pioneering work in many engineering disciplines, has a well-established, research-oriented medical faculty and department of biomedical engineering, and is considered a major economic engine in that country.