BPEC Definition
77 Massachusetts Avenue, Building 16 Room 429, Cambridge, MA 02139
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Programs Administered through BPEC

BPEC has provided a focal point for biotechnology research and education at MIT. Prominent examples include the NIH Training Program in Biotechnology and the NIH Training Program in Genomics; both of these are run through BPEC, and together they sponsor close to 40 undergraduate, graduate, and postdoctoral students pursuing interdisciplinary studies at the interface of engineering with modern molecular-to-genomic biology. Another example is the new DuPont-MIT Alliance (DMA), focused on materials biotechnology and providing support for research and education at the nexus of biology, engineering, and materials, also run through BPEC.

BPEC has impacted the Institute through education, research, multidisciplinary involvements through education and research and university - industry involvements. BPEC has integrated with the university system through its past actions and it is now accepted as an integral part of MIT. Selected examples to illustrate the roles, which the BPEC have played within the university, are presented below.

One of the major impacts the BPEC has had in proving the importance and need for cross-disciplinary and inter-disciplinary education and research. Perhaps the most significant of this outcome is the creation of the Division of Bioengineering & Environmental Health in the School of Engineering level. This Division takes as its central focus the administration of educational programs, at both the undergraduate and graduate level, combining engineering with modern biology. Thus, it is truly the departmental structure that can be viewed to have its initial origins directly in BPEC. Correspondingly, BPEC is viewed to be one of the most crucial interdisciplinary research centers connected to BE; a significant portion of the approximately 10-12 new faculty expected to be added to BE in the coming decade are anticipated to work in BPEC-related areas.

Another impact BPEC has had is in demonstrating the value of adding an interdisciplinary aspect to undergraduate education where the frontier of biomedical sciences will be of significant importance to the careers of engineers in both industry and academia. The establishment of the Biomedical Engineering Minor accessible to undergraduate students from all disciplinary majors illustrates the formal process to integrate biological sciences with other engineering studies. This theme has been a major philosophy established by BPEC at its start in 1985.