Dr. Jean Zu, Dean of the Schaefer School of Engineering & Science, announced this Monday that the Department of Biomedical Engineering, Chemistry and Biological Sciences (BCB) will split into two new departments: the Department of Biomedical Engineering (BME) and the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology (CCB). The decision comes after approval from President Farvardin’s Cabinet and the Institute’s Academic Council.
The Department of Biomedical Engineering, Chemistry and Biological Sciences’ stated mission is to “amplify the natural independence of science and engineering, maintain comprehensive educational programs, and conduct innovative purposeful research in chemistry and biology that informs and is informed by biomedical engineering applications.”
BCB offers five undergraduate programs as well as three academic minors and eight graduate programs. The department also operates several research laboratories in the McLean building and has obtained recognition for its research in fields such as mass spectrometry, green chemistry, and nanotechnology. The most recent issue of the Schaefer School of Engineering & Science Newsletter highlighted some of the successes of the department, including BCB alumni Maria V. De Abreu Pineda, Andrew Falcone, and David Ferrara winning first place at the International Society of Pharmaceutical Engineers Annual Meeting for their CerebroSense project, and Ph.D. student Hanxue Xia having her paper featured on the cover of the prestigious Journal of the American Society of Mass Spectrometry December issue.
With the restructuring comes a division of BCB’s undergraduate and graduate programs between the two new departments. The Department of Biomedical Engineering will offer only the Biomedical Engineering undergraduate major, as well as Biomedical Engineering Master’s and Ph.D. programs. The Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology will offer all other programs originally offered by BCB. BME and CCB will jointly offer the Bioengineering Master’s program originally offered by BCB.
BME will be chaired by Dr. Hongjun Wang, who has conducted research focused on biomimetic materials design, 3D tissue reconstruction, in vitro tissue-on-a-chip, and nanomedicine. Dr. Wang’s research has been funded by organizations such as the National Institute of Health and the National Science Foundation. He has also published a dozen book chapters and invited reviews, filed more than 10 provisional and full patents, and co-edited a book.
CCB will be chaired by Dr. Peter Tolias, the interim chair of BCB and director of Stevens’ own Center for Healthcare Innovation. His research has focused on understanding the role of RAS signaling in cancer and the discovery and development of drugs against key targets in the pathway. Dr. Tolias is a recipient of several grants, contracts, and awards.
Jean Zu stated in her email to the community on Monday that “Biomedical engineering, healthcare and life sciences is one of the six foundational pillars in the strategic plan that represents a research and education domain of significant societal need in which the university possesses deep-rooted technical expertise and strategic focus for the future. The new departments will strengthen each of these areas, as well as the core science areas, and accelerate both educational and research activities.” The restructuring will be effective as of Jan. 1, 2018.