North Carolina institution chosen to lead bioengineering center

September 15, 2008

North Carolina's Business Journal of the Greater Triad Area (9/5/2008, Evans) reports that North Carolina A&T (N.C. A&T) State University is "the first historically black institution ever chosen to lead a prestigious National Science Foundation Engineering Research Center (ERC)." N.C. A&T's center, "which will be one of only a few dozen so-called ERCs created nationwide over the past 25 years, will conduct research in biomedical engineering and nanobio applications using $18.5 million in funding over the first five years of the program, according to the university." Furthermore, "in conjunction with the ERC, N.C. A&T will launch a new bioengineering department that will grant bachelor's, master's and Ph.D. degrees," said Jag Sankar, the "engineering professor who will act as director of the new center." He added that "there will also be an educational outreach component to university, community college, and high school students." Sankar stated, "We hope to expand the presence of African-Americans, women, and socially and economically disadvantaged students in bioengineering and nanotechnology."

North Carolina's News&Record (9/5/2008, Seals) points out that "more than eight companies will be associated with the A&T center to provide input for the direction of the research and help transition the technology into the real world." Furthermore, "the center's research will be done in conjunction with the University of Cincinnati and University of Pittsburgh, which also will offer training for A&T students and will work with the university to offer bioengineering degree programs." The News-Record notes that the "center is expected to have a large impact on the local and state economy by producing high paying jobs and increasing the state's competitiveness when research industries consider locating here." Erskine Bowles, president of the University of North Carolina System, said, "With the millions of federal dollars flowing to this center, what we can do to increase the economic opportunities in Guilford County, the Triad and in the state of North Carolina is truly phenomenal."