The Edwards Lifesciences Corporation recently gifted $5 million to UC Irvine’s Henry Samueli School of Engineering to institute a center that will provide opportunities to research and develop solutions to cardiovascular disease.
The Edwards Lifesciences Center for Advanced Cardiovascular Technology will involve undergraduate and graduate students from various areas of the school. These include the Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Sciences, the Beckman Laser Institute, the Integrated Nanosystems Research Facility, the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology and UCI’s Schools of Medicine, Physical Sciences and Biological Sciences.
The project will be spearheaded by the Department of Biomedical Engineering. Edwards Lifesciences, headquartered in Irvine, was founded 45 years ago and has become a global leader in products and technologies designed to treat advanced cardiovascular disease. The corporation presented its gift to UCI through its Edwards Lifesciences Fund, whose mission is to support advancements in knowledge and improvements in quality of life, primarily focusing on cardiovascular disease.
‘Edwards Lifesciences has been an active member of our Corporate Advisory Board since 1999,’ said Steven C. George, M.D., professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering and the head of the new center’s development. ‘We approached them at the time to join the board to help develop our program with an interest in partnering with us to train new biomedical engineers and participate in novel and exciting research in the cardiovascular area.’
A national search has recently begun for a director of the center, who will be in charge of forming a leadership council and a strategy to determine the center’s specific goals. The heads of the project hope to have the director in place by next fall, hopefully when the new Engineering 3 building opens.
The School of Engineering has high hopes for the center, which will do much to increase the potential of treating cardiovascular disease in the already flourishing medical environment of Irvine. ‘Our goal is to create an interdisciplinary facility that encourages students, faculty, researchers and visiting scholars to collaborate and exchange new ideas to drive the development of cardiovascular advancements and devices,’ George said. ‘The Center should offer exciting research opportunities for both undergraduates and graduate students.’
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