NIH launches intramural bioengineering center to promote agency-wide technology collaboration

NIH launches intramural bioengineering center to promote agency-wide technology collaboration

A resource across the NIH will promote diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility.

Center for Biomedical Engineering Technology Acceleration The BETA Center will act as a biotechnology resource and catalyst for NIH research findings for the broader intramural research program.

The center will employ a concentrated engineering strategy to expedite the creation, validation, and diffusion of cutting-edge innovations. Biomedical imaging, biosensing, engineered and synthetic biology, nanomaterials and biomaterials, artificial intelligence, modeling, computation, and informatics will be areas of attention. The center’s ability to rapidly create expert teams for purpose-driven technology creation to meet pressing national and global health needs will be one of its distinguishing characteristics.

“The BETA Center will be a catalyst for innovation and collaboration,” stated Bruce J. Tromberg, Ph.D., director of the NIBIB. “Engineering and technological innovation are important to all NIH endeavors. New technologies stimulate new biomedical discoveries, and new findings are converted into widely disseminable methods, equipment, and knowledge.

Using the inherent interdisciplinarity of biomedical engineering as a foundation, one of the primary goals of the BETA Center is to increase diversity, equality, inclusion, and accessibility (DEIA) at NIBIB.

Nina F. Schor, M.D., Ph.D., Deputy Director for Intramural Research at the National Institutes of Health, stated, “We are all so excited about this intramural center devoted to applying engineering principles to biomedical discovery and therapeutics.” The BETA Center’s focus on bringing together varied people to solve complex challenges and systems will enhance its influence and success.

Manu Platt, Ph.D. has been appointed as the first head of the new center after a nationwide search. Additionally, Dr. Platt has been designated associate director for Scientific Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at NIBIB. As the director of the BETA Center, Platt will endeavor to increase opportunities for biomedical engineering training and career advancement, including the recruitment of individuals from various backgrounds. Platt will likely join NIBIB on February 27, 2023.

Dr. Platt joins the NIH from the Georgia Institute of Technology and Emory University in Atlanta, where his team led the development of innovative approaches to addressing health issues in low-resource settings. His research has ranged from cardiovascular and sickle cell disease technology development to personalized and predictive therapy for breast cancer and HIV. In addition to his extensive experience as a bioengineer and educator, Dr. Platt is a nationally renowned leader in the field of scientific workforce diversification.

“Increasing collaboration within the NIH bioengineering community is essential for translating promising technologies into improved patient health,” said Griffin P. Rodgers, M.D., director of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases at the NIH and chair of the BETA Director search committee. “We eagerly anticipate joining forces with Dr. Platt and the BETA Center to address urgent national and global healthcare needs.”

More information about Dr. Manu Platt.

The National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB) was established in 1988.

The objective of NIBIB is to promote health by driving the development of biomedical technologies and expediting their use. To enhance basic research and medical care, the Institute is committed to merging the physical and engineering sciences with the life sciences. NIBIB promotes research and development of emerging technologies in its internal laboratories and through grants, partnerships, and training. NIBIB’s website, https://www.nibib.nih.gov, contains additional information.

NIH stands for the National Institutes of Health. The National Institutes of Health (NIH), the nation’s medical research organization, consists of 27 Institutes and Centers and is part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The NIH is the principal government organization that conducts and supports basic, clinical, and translational medical research and investigates the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. Visit www.nih.gov for more information on the NIH and its initiatives.

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