Emory Report
February 16, 2009
Volume 61, Number 20



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February 16
, 2009
American, Chinese partnership in biomedical engineering

By Holly Korschun

Two highly respected biomedical engineering programs in the United States and China are breaking new ground in international academia as they begin to enroll the inaugural class of a new joint Ph.D. program.
Members of the Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering at Georgia Tech and Emory traveled to Beijing last fall to finalize the program details with the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Peking University (PKU).

“To my knowledge, this joint Ph.D. program is the first of this type showcasing international cooperation in education between China and the United States,” says Jianhua Lin, Peking University provost. “Forming a partnership with Georgia Tech and Emory will enhance our research and education in general and will provide a great opportunity for our BME students.”

Representatives from Georgia Tech, Emory and PKU have been laying the groundwork for this program during the past five years. Faculty collaborations have been funded by seed grants from the Coulter Foundation and, as a result, several new research projects are already under way.

“Our partnership with the recently formed College of Engineering at PKU is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for us to create a new paradigm for international biomedical engineering education and research,” says Larry McIntire, chair of the Coulter Department. “The infrastructure being created within our departments will allow our students and faculty to learn how to conduct research and business in a global arena and will prepare them to become international leaders in 21st century biomedical engineering industry and academia.”

Adds President Jim Wagner: “We are very excited about launching this new global endeavor in biomedical engineering that joins the diverse strengths of three excellent institutions.”

Students will have an advisor at their home campus and co-advisor at their secondary campus. Primary classes and research will take place on the home campus. However, students will also spend at least a year taking classes and participating in research in the co-advisor’s lab on the secondary campus. Classes will be taught in English and a single dissertation will satisfy the thesis requirements of all three institutions.