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October 11, 2006

NIH AWARDS $2.5 MILLION TO CCNY TO CREATE ‘NATIONAL URBAN MODEL FOR MINORITIES IN BIOMEDICAL ENGINEERING’

NEW YORK, October 11, 2006 – The Department of Biomedical Engineering of The Grove School of Engineering at The City College of New York (CCNY) has received a five-year, $2.5 million grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH).  The funds, awarded by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI), will be used to create a “national urban model for minority biomedical engineering education.” 

CCNY was the only institution to receive a grant through the Minority Undergraduate Biomedical Education Program administered by NHLBI.

“The programs we are supporting through this grant will enable The Grove School of Engineering to become the gold standard for minority biomedical engineering education and help increase the presence of underrepresented minorities in the profession,” said Dr. Sheldon Weinbaum, CCNY Distinguished Professor of Biomedical Engineering and Principal Investigator on the grant.

During each year of the grant, CCNY will award NIH Scholarships, which will cover full tuition and summer research stipends, to as many as 20 high-achieving undergraduate biomedical engineering majors from underrepresented groups.  Additional elements of the program include hands-on research experiences, a new mentoring program pairing undergrads with Ph.D. candidates, a new outreach program to the biotech industry and expanded outreach to New York City high schools.

Each student chosen as an NIH Scholar will have a hands-on research experience that can begin as early as the summer of the sophomore year.  Students will work in laboratories at CCNY or at one of the eight hospitals that are members of the New York Center for Biomedical Engineering (NYCBE), a collaboration between CCNY and these medical research facilities.

In addition, undergraduate scholars will be paired with advanced Ph.D. candidates in biomedical engineering who will serve as mentors and receive stipends out of the grant.  NIH Scholars in their freshman and sophomore years will be assigned to Teaching Fellows paid from the grant, as well, who will help them in core math and science courses that are prerequisites for advanced coursework. 

A pilot mentoring program for the department, created last year by Yuliya Vengrenyuk, a Ph.D. candidate in biomedical engineering, yielded significant grade improvements and better retention among participating undergraduates, Professor Weinbaum noted.

As part of the grant, the Department of Biomedical Engineering will initiate an industrial outreach program with select biotech companies.  Through newly created relationships, the department expects to offer NIH Scholars summer internships and industry-sponsored design projects that will enhance the student’s senior year design course.  The department anticipates its new corporate partners will also provide a valuable source of feedback for curriculum improvements.

To build and maintain the NIH Scholars base, the department will start a recruitment program that aims to cultivate relationships with science teachers and college advisors at select New York public high schools.  In addition, the department intends to work with two summer programs offered by CCNY, College Now and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) to build awareness for biomedical engineering and help students prepare for success.

The new grant is the second such award received from NHLBI by the Department.  An award of $2.2 million in 2001 helped establish the Department of Biomedical Engineering and create its curriculum in addition to funding scholarships.

 

About The Grove School of Engineering at CCNY

The Grove School of Engineering at The City College of New York, formerly the CCNY School of Engineering, is the only public engineering school within New York City.  It offers Bachelors, Masters and Ph.D. degrees in seven fields: biomedical, chemical, civil, computer, electrical, and mechanical engineering and computer science.  The School is recognized nationally for the excellence of its instructional and research programs and ranks among the most diverse engineering schools in the country.  On November 28, 2005, the CUNY Board of Trustees named the School in honor of Dr. Andrew S. Grove, a member of the CCNY Class of 1960, and a co-founder and former chairman of Intel Corp., the world’s leading producer of microprocessors.

About The City College of New York

For over 159 years, The City College of New York has provided low-cost, high-quality education for New Yorkers in a wide variety of disciplines.  Over 13,000 students pursue undergraduate and graduate degrees in the College of Liberal Arts and Science, the School of Architecture, the School of Education, the Grove School of Engineering, the Center for Worker Education and the Sophie Davis School of Biomedical Education.

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