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Whitaker Center for Biomedical Engineering (WCBE)

John Watson, Ph.D., Professor of Bioengineering

A major goal of the Whitaker Center for Biomedical Engineering (WCBE) is to foster and enhance interactions between the UC San Diego Bioengineering Department, constituents of the IEM, and Industry, with a focus on the training of students in biomedical engineering.

Industrial Affiliate Members and Industrial Advisory Board

The WCBE has Industrial Affiliate Member companies, who have representation on the Industrial Advisory Board (IAB). The IAB constitutes a forum for advising the WCBE on policies and developing activities that benefit students, faculty and industry, and it provides member companies with specialized access to students for internship and career opportunities. Thus, the IAB provides the conduit for student-­‐employer relationships and enhances students’ professional development. The IAB also matches member companies with the IEM faculty and researchers who have common research interests. The IAB holds three Advisory Board meetings during the academic year, at which the member companies learn about the research in IEM and offer advice regarding the programs in IEM and the Department of Bioengineering, thus ensuring that the curriculum is relevant and that the students are prepared to become productive leaders in our dynamic economy and industry. The IAB members serve as ambassadors of UCSD bioengineering activities on campus, locally and nationally. This role is exemplified in the new IAB seminar series sponsored by the IAB.


Access to IEM faculty and researchers

The IEM has more than 100 members from disciplines that include engineering, medicine, biology, and chemistry. Member research interests include biotechnology, medical devices, cell biology and biophysics, computation and modeling, diseases, molecular biology, and tissue, organ, and system responses in health and disease. Members and faculty foster collaborations and grant or contract projects for basic and applied research.

Access to the Industrial Internship Program

The WCBE in cooperation with the Department of Bioengineering co-­‐sponsors the Graduate and Undergraduate Internship Program. Industrial Affiliate members can receive priority of access and placement of students if they wish. The company sponsoring the internship will own any intellectual property that is created in these projects.

Company Visits

The WCBE coordinates on-­‐campus and company site-­‐visits, where companies host students and can learn about faculty research and discuss opportunities for collaboration. Through these research collaborations, Bioengineering and IEM faculty’s research and technological developments can form the basis of new products, processes and services. The projects can be conducted on campus or at the company.

Company Sponsored Events and Outreach

The IAB, working with the WCBE, sponsors many student programs, such as the Annual Bioengineering.

Graduate Student Research

Symposia, Annual Breakfast with Industry, Annual Systemwide Bioengineering Symposia, and the weekly Bioengineering Seminar Series. The IAB is now sponsoring a new seminar series that focuses on science and engineering advances created in the laboratories of industry.

Wcbe 1

Breakfast with Industry.


The quarterly newsletter of the IEM and WCBE contains information regarding current events, faculty profiles and research highlights, and information about the companies and graduate and undergraduate students.

Networking among WCBE members and other Affiliate members: The WCBE fosters knowledge sharing and collaborations through the holding of events, seminars, and symposia as mentioned above. These activities bring together engineers and scientists from Bioengineering and the IEM and those in other programs on campus and other Institutions. These networking opportunities enrich the research and career opportunities, which will benefit and grow this important partnership between Industry and UC San Diego.

Center Contacts

For more information about this center please contact the principal investigators