Penn founds the Center for Precision Engineering for Health with a $ 100 million commitment

Penn founds the Center for Precision Engineering for Health with a $ 100 million commitment

The University of Pennsylvania today announced that it has made a $ 100 million commitment to its School of Engineering and Applied Science to establish the Center for Precision Engineering for Health.

The Center will conduct interdisciplinary, fundamental and translational research in the synthesis of new biomolecules and new polymers to develop innovative approaches to design complex three-dimensional structures from these new materials to perceive, understand and direct biological function.

“Biomaterials represent the ‘invisible technology’ that will create breakthroughs in improving health care and saving lives,” said Amy Gutmann, president of Penn. “Innovation that combines precision engineering and design with a fundamental understanding of cellular behavior has the potential to have a tremendous impact in medicine and society. Penn is already well established as an international leader in innovative healthcare and engineering, and this new center will generate even more advancements for the benefit of people around the world. “

Penn Engineering will hire five new President’s Penn Compact Distinguished Professors, as well as five additional junior faculty with fully funded faculty positions that are central to the Centre’s mission. New state-of-the-art laboratories will provide the infrastructure for research. The Center will generate early stage project grants to promote advances in interdisciplinary research through engineering and medicine that can then be leveraged into competitive grant proposals.

“Engineering solutions to problems within human health is one of the great challenges of the discipline,” says Vijay Kumar, Nemirovsky Family Dean of Penn Engineering. “Our faculty is already leading the charge against these challenges and the Center will take them to new heights.”

This investment represents a game changer in Penn’s ability to bring creative and bio-inspired approaches to design new behaviors at the molecular, cellular and tissue levels, using biotic and abiotic matter to improve understanding of the human body and develop new therapies and discoveries. clinics. He will catalyze integrated approaches to modeling and computational design of building blocks of peptides, proteins and polymers; the synthesis, processing and manufacture of new materials; and the experimental characterizations necessary to refine the approaches to design, processing and synthesis.

“This exciting new initiative,” says Interim Provost Beth Winkelstein, “brings together the essential work of Penn Engineering with the fields on our campus, particularly in the Perelman School of Medicine. It positions Penn for global leadership at the convergence of materials science. and biomedical engineering with new innovative techniques of simulation, synthesis, assembly and experimentation “.

Examples of the types of work being done in this field include new nanoparticle technologies to improve vaccine storage and distribution, such as COVID-19 mRNA vaccines; the development of protocells, which are synthetic cells that can be engineered to perform a variety of tasks, including adhesion to surfaces or drug delivery; and liquid biopsy based on vesicles for cancer diagnosis.

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