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Release: Immediate

UI receives $309, 000 Whitaker Foundation grant for biomedical engineering

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- A $309,000 Special Opportunity award from the Whitaker Foundation will provide funding to enhance biomedical engineering research and teaching at the University of Iowa College of Engineering.

Professor of biomedical engineering and project director Krishnan B. Chandran, who, along with his colleagues has been working on the proposal for two years, said that he is happy to see the university receive the money. "I am pleased. This is the largest Whitaker Foundation grant that the university has received," Chandran says. "It will greatly enhance the program in biomedical engineering."

The grant will enable the biomedical and the electrical and computer engineering departments in the College of Engineering and the department of radiology and the cardiology division of the department of internal medicine in the UI College of Medicine to conduct collaborative research in functional cardiovascular image analysis. The research will involve acquiring images in the cardiovascular area, image processing, three-dimensional reconstruction, and quantitative functional analysis.

Chandran also plans to use the grant to hire a new faculty member who will hold a joint appointment with the department of biomedical engineering in the College of Engineering and the department of radiology in the College of Medicine.

Students will benefit from the Whitaker grant as well. "The project will also enhance the course work for undergraduates and graduates in biomedical engineering," Chandran says. "A series of courses in medical image processing and functional analysis will be offered with faculty from engineering and medicine participating in this endeavor."

The UI's Special Opportunity award, which took effect March 1, is a single-year grant. At the end of the one-year period, the Whitaker Foundation will conduct a site visit. Future funding will be determined following the visit and the research team's submission of a progress report. Based in Rosslyn, Va., the Whitaker Foundation is dedicated to enhancing biomedical engineering programs across the country.