Purdue News

October 15, 2005

Purdue announces gifts for biomedical and pharmacy programs

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Purdue and Indiana universities on Saturday (Oct. 15) celebrated a $525,000 gift from the Guidant Foundation that will help biomedical engineering graduate students, MBA students and medical fellows perform biomedical research and develop commercialization opportunities in the medical device industry.

Leslie Geddes and Rebecca Roeder test a biomedical device
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Purdue also announced a $300,000 gift from CVS Corp. to the School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences as part of a two-week series of Homecoming events. Also announced was a $100,000 campaign by the Class of 1980 to build a courtyard as its 25th anniversary class gift.

The Guidant Foundation gift will provide funding to launch the Biomedical Entrepreneurship Program that involves a partnership among Purdue's Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering, Purdue's Krannert School of Management and the Indiana University School of Medicine.

"This partnership builds on Purdue's successful track record of discovery research and translating technology," said George Wodicka, head of the Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering. "The program provides students with formal training in innovation and entrepreneurship in biomedical technology."

Examples of emerging biomedical methods and devices include:

• A regenerative tissue graft made from a layer of a pig's intestines known as small intestinal submucosa, or SIS. The material enables the body to regenerate tissue damaged by injury or disease. To date, surgeons have used the material to treat more than 175,000 patients. The grafts have been used to repair various parts of the body, including tendons, the urinary bladder, the heart muscle and a covering of the brain called the dura, which often is damaged in head injuries.

• An acoustic guidance system for proper placement of breathing tubes in patients that need respiratory assistance. The device ensures accurate positioning of the breathing tube in even the smallest of infants' airways and guards against unwanted movement of the tube over time.

The biomedical entrepreneurship program will help students take the first steps in development of new biomedical devices from the concept to invention, prototype, patenting and commercialization.

"Biomedical research and development has been listed as a state priority in the governor's Energize Indiana report," said Tim Folta, associate professor in the Krannert School and director of the Biomedical Entrepreneurship Program. "Indiana has grown into a globally recognized center for medical devices, including orthopedic products, diagnostics and high-tech cardiac implants. The Biomedical Entrepreneurship Program will help continue this vital and growing industry segment.

"The Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship at Discovery Park is the perfect place to house this dynamic, interdisciplinary program."

According to the Indiana Health Industry Forum, Indiana ranks between second and 12th nationally in revenues for medical device sectors, and one in nine jobs in the state is directly tied to life sciences and health care.

"There is a strong and continually growing market for medical devices," said Richard Cosier, dean of the Krannert School. "This program brings our management, science and engineering students together in a multidisciplinary setting to understand medical device product development – from concept to delivery – and prepares them for a future in this field."

The U.S. Department of Labor estimates that 31.4 percent more biomedical engineers will be needed in the medical device and biotechnology industries by 2010.

"Biomedical engineering students already understand the importance of developing new medical technologies, but it is equally important that the products they develop are available to help patients as quickly as possible," said Dr. Keith March, director of the Indiana Center for Vascular Biology and Medicine, and professor of medicine at the Indiana University School of Medicine. "This program will help the next generation of medical technology leaders understand the business of producing and marketing their products."

Students in the biomedical entrepreneurship program will interact with key regional business partners in the medical device and products industry.

The Guidant gift brings to more than $1.6 million the total the foundation has awarded to Purdue during the university's five-year, $1.5 billion Campaign for Purdue. These gifts are in addition to the more than $3 million from the Guidant Foundation to the IUPUI campus, including a $1.9 million endowed chair in biomedical engineering in the Purdue School of Engineering and Technology.

"The Guidant Foundation recognizes the value of investing not only in the research mission of the universities but also in the educational mission," said Edward Berbari, the department chair of biomedical engineering at IUPUI.

Guidant Foundation President James Baumgardt said, "The Guidant Foundation is focused on education and advocacy for patients who are at risk or who suffer from cardiovascular disease. The technical training of students (non-physician) who are dedicated to spending their careers developing new life-saving technologies that are cost-effective is critical to true patient advocacy."

In 2003 the Guidant Foundation established the Ronald W. Dollens Graduate Scholarship in Life Science, a $500,000 scholarship for graduate students in the Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering and the School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences.

Dollens, Guidant Corp. president and CEO, graduated from Purdue in 1970 with a bachelor's degree in pharmacy. He and his wife, Susan, who graduated from Purdue with a bachelor's degree in education in 1970, live in Zionsville, Ind.

Pharmacy chain CVS Corp. gave $300,000 to renovate what will be renamed the CVS Pharmacy Practice Laboratory. The total cost of the project is $825,000, and the project is scheduled to be completed in fall 2006.

The pharmacy lab, housed in the School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, will provide flexible space for lectures, video presentations, LCD projectors, private areas for patient consultation and new technologies. The new technologies will enable students to review medical and drug information as they prepare medications using new computers.

Steven Scott, associate head of the Department of Pharmacy Practice, said the new lab will greatly enhance students' learning experience.

"The building has been basically the same since it opened more than 30 years ago, but the practice of pharmacy has changed so much during that time," Scott said. "Back then, there was a lot of focus on compounding drugs, but now the profession is much more patient-focused.

"The new lab also will be equipped with video technology so faculty can critically assess students' skills and provide feedback, both in their practice of pharmacy as a science and in their interactions with patients."

In addition, Scott said the lab will allow pharmacy students to compound new types of drugs in formulations that weren't common years ago, such as gels and creams.

"The new lab also will be adaptable," he said. "It is being constructed with the future in mind."

The Class of 1980 announced a $100,000 campaign to construct a courtyard area between the Purdue Memorial Union and Stewart Center.

"We felt this Class of '80 courtyard would be an attractive addition to the Purdue campus," said Steven Ford of Wabash, Ind., chair of the Class of 1980 25th Anniversary Campaign Committee. "We hope the project will not only complement the surrounding green space, but become a gathering place for students, alumni and visitors for generations to come."

Writer: Cynthia Sequin, (765) 494-4192, csequin@purdue.edu

Sources: George Wodicka, (765) 494-2998, wodicka@purdue.edu

Tim Folta, (765) 494-9252, foltat@purdue.edu

Keith March, (317) 278-0130, kmarch@iupui.edu

James Baumgardt, (317) 971-2272

Steven Scott, (765) 494-1476, scottrx@pharmacy.purdue.edu

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096; purduenews@purdue.edu


Related Web sites:
Purdue Campaign News Page

Purdue Home Page


Leslie Geddes, Purdue's Showalter Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Bioengineering, and doctoral graduate Rebecca Roeder test a biomedical device they invented that uses optical techniques to measure the vital signs of premature infants. (Purdue file photo/Vincent Walter)

A publication-quality photo is available at https://news.uns.purdue.edu/images/+2005/geddes-guidant.jpg


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