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Education Pipeline

First Biomedical Engineering Students Graduate from UB

Biomedical engineering is an emerging field of research that applies engineering principles to medicine.

UB recently celebrated the first graduating class from its Department of Biomedical Engineering, a milestone for the fast-growing program that focuses on developing medical devices and therapies for diabetes, cancer and other illnesses.

Most of the 12 undergraduates are expected to immediately enter the workforce. But most plan to attend UB’s new biomedical engineering graduate program. Starting this fall, UB will offer MS and PhD degrees in biomedical engineering.

Biomedical engineering is an emerging field of research that applies engineering principles to medicine. Examples include the development of the pacemaker and prosthetic limbs, as well as creating artificial organs and ultrasounds.

Students come from a variety of backgrounds, including engineering, medicine and pharmacy. Such was the case with North Tonawanda native Jessica Utzig, who transferred into the department from the School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences two years ago, and graduated last month.

“There are so many avenues to pursue, but I’m really interested in devices,” said Utzig, a summer intern at Greatbatch in Akron who plans to enter UB’s biomedical engineering graduate school later this year.

The UB department is a collaboration between the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences and the School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences. Created with the support of the John R. Oishei Foundation, which provided $3 million toward its establishment, the department is expected to advance and support the Buffalo Niagara region’s already strong medical device industry.

Enrollment has climbed steadily since UB launched the department two years ago. Fifty-six students were enrolled in 2010, the number rose to 137 the following year, and it is expected to reach 195 students this fall.


University at Buffalo

Written by University at Buffalo

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