September 22, 2006|
Indiana company's gift advances Purdue biomedical engineering researchWEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - An Indiana company on Friday (Sept. 22) capped the dedication of Purdue's new Biomedical Engineering Building with a gift to support a $1.5 million endowed professorship that recognizes the father of biomedical engineering at the university.
Cook Group Inc., of Bloomington, Ind., will provide $750,000 to endow the Leslie A. Geddes Chair in Biomedical Engineering in honor of the longtime faculty member. Geddes, who came to the university in 1974, is the Purdue Showalter Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Biomedical Engineering.
Purdue President Martin C. Jischke made the announcement during the annual College of Engineering Dean's Club Luncheon, which took place at the Biomedical Engineering Building in Discovery Park. The $25 million building was dedicated just prior to the luncheon.
"Purdue has had a long collaboration with the Cook Group," Jischke said. "Certainly Les Geddes has been involved in numerous research projects with the group over the years, and this gift and the new building open a new door for continued and expanded research partnerships."
These projects include the research and development of products that help patients heal better and faster. The regenerative tissue graft made from a layer of a pig's intestines known as the small intestinal submucosa, or SIS, that was developed at Purdue has been used by surgeons to treat more that 200,000 patients since its introduction six years ago.
Geddes' research has spawned other innovations, from miniature defibrillators to tiny blood pressure monitors for premature infants. Licensed patents and technologies emerging from Geddes' lab have generated more than $15 million in royalties for Purdue.
"Les officially retired in 1991, but he still comes to work every day around 4:30 a.m., teaches a course and has three ongoing research projects," said Leah Jamieson, the John A. Edwardson Dean of Engineering. "His contributions to Purdue and the field of biomedical engineering are countless."
It was the first Dean's Club Luncheon presided over by Jamieson, who in her speech talked about the future of engineering.
Geddes, 85, received the university's Outstanding Commercialization Award in 2004 to recognize his 30 patents, many now licensed by Indiana companies.
"Les Geddes is considered the father of biomedical engineering at Purdue, and he certainly is recognized internationally for his research in the field and his commitment to technology transfer to industry and clinical medicine," said George R. Wodicka, head of the Purdue Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering. "More than that, Les has inspired countless students to follow in his path into the medical device field."
Michael Hiles, a former student of Geddes, is Cook Biotech's vice president and was the company's first employee.
"This new professorship commemorates the longstanding collaboration Dr. Geddes and his colleagues have with Cook, and it will help ensure there is strong interest going forward," Hiles said.
Bill and Gayle Cook founded Cook Inc. in 1963 in Bloomington, Ind. Today Cook has 15 medical companies located on three continents. It employs more than 6,000 employees and sells to 110 countries. These medical companies serve 42 medical disciplines. Two of Cook's companies, Cook Biotech and the MED Institute, are located in the Purdue Research Park.
"The support and partnerships of companies like the Cook Group are essential to our success on the academic front," Wodicka said. "Industry and academic leaders understand the importance of research collaborations and, through these partnerships, we can convert biomedical engineering research into effective products and treatments to help patients and impact the health-care field."
The $750,000 Cook gift will be matched as part of the Purdue Goodwin Challenge to create 20 endowed professorships. The challenge program was made possible through a $15 million estate gift from Purdue alumnus George E. Goodwin, who died in 2002. Money from the estate is used to match dollar-for-dollar every new $750,000 gift, and the combined total of $1.5 million will fund each chair.
The Purdue College of Engineering is made up of 11 schools and departments: aeronautics and astronautics, agricultural and biological, biomedical, chemical, civil, electrical and computer, engineering education, industrial, materials, mechanical, and nuclear. The college includes the divisions of engineering professional education, construction engineering and management, and environmental and ecological engineering. Also, the college houses programs such as Engineering Projects in Community Service, the Minority Engineering Program, the Women in Engineering Program and the Indiana Space Grant Consortium.
In addition to the more than 6,400 undergraduate students, the college enrolls more than 2,200 graduate students.
Writer: Cynthia Sequin, (765) 494-4192, firstname.lastname@example.org
Sources: Leah Jamieson, (765) 494-5346, email@example.com
George Wodicka, (765) 494-2998, firstname.lastname@example.org
Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096; email@example.comNote to Journalists: Video of biomedical research is available by contacting Cynthia Sequin, Purdue News Service, at (765) 494-4192, firstname.lastname@example.org.
A publication-quality photo is available at http://news.uns.purdue.edu/images/+2006/geddes-biomed.jpg
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