The California Institute of Technology has announced an $18 million grant from the New York City-based Benjamin M. Rosen Family Foundation to establish the Donna and Benjamin M. Rosen Bioengineering Center.
The Rosen Center will work to advance basic scientific exploration and the development of engineering analysis and synthetic approaches. Innovations in these areas have led to inexpensive diagnostic devices, new insights into the functioning of the heart, and the engineering of molecular devices capable of recognizing and responding to disease processes in individual cells.
The field of bioengineering developed at Caltech as the field of biology became more open to approaches that are commonly used in engineering, including mathematical modeling, systems theory, computation, and abstraction-based synthesis. The accelerating pace of discovery in the biological sciences has revealed new design principles that are of fundamental importance to understanding living organisms and could have important practical applications in future synthetic biological and biomedical systems and devices.
"Caltech's Bioengineering Center will foster the foundational work that will blossom into the next generation of tissue regeneration and diagnostic instrumentation," said Scott Fraser, the Anna L. Rosen Professor of Biology at Caltech, who will lead the new center. "The results of these innovations will make tools once considered too futuristic for anything but science fiction films into practical devices that can be carried in a physician's rear pocket."