Biomedical Engineering at the University of Virginia was founded in 1967 as a joint program of the School of Medicine and the School of Engineering and Applied Science. There are 21 core BME faculty and more than 20 joint faculty across multiple schools and departments. We have a vibrant student population with more than 80 graduate students and 200 undergraduate students from across the country and the world. The BME building, built with support from a Whitaker Foundation award, is centrally located in the School of Medicine complex and adjacent to a world-class Cardiovascular Research Center and Cancer Center. Charlottesville,Virginia, is a cosmopolitan small city located in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, a two-hour drive from Washington D.C. and three hours from the Atlantic beaches. The Charlottesville community is regularly recognized as one of the best places to live in the nation by sources as various as Frommer's, Forbes, Outside Magazine, and the National Trust.
The UVa BME program is regularly recognized among the top programs in the country for its research, educational, and translational activities. For example, we received a Wallace H. Coulter Foundation Translational Partners Award, one of only nine departments to receive such support across the country. Among our faculty are recipients of many awards (for example, multiple recipients of the Rita Schaffer Young Investigator, NSF CAREER, and other awards), and leaders of international societies (for example, multiple past presidents of BMES). The faculty lead several international programs such as the formation of the world's largest bioengineering network, thanks to a National Science Foundation "Partnerships for Innovation” award. The graduate students are regularly recognized and supported by external fellowships.
A key feature of the UVa BME environment is the translation of these research discoveries to have a real-world impact on the practice of medicine. Faculty and students have started multiple successful companies, licensed technologies to leading international corporations, and improved medical practice. These translational activities take place among an environment with a world-class business school and several pan-University programs, including the BME-led Coulter program. These translational activities have been supported through private (venture capital, angel, foundation) and public (NIH, NSF) programs.
We enjoy a vibrant student community in the BME department, where the students are truly partners with the faculty and University community in biomedical discovery and innovation. The UVa BME graduate and undergraduate students are recognized with international awards, publications in highly-respected journals, and as leaders of externally-funded projects. The student-led BMES chapter has been recognized several times as the preeminent chapter in the nation at the annual BMES conference.