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Welcome from the Chair

Martine LaBergeDear Alumni, Colleagues and Friends,

Welcome to Clemson’s Department of Bioengineering, which possesses a rich tradition of international outreach. In 1969, Clemson hosted the first in a series of annual symposia (later known as the Annual International Biomaterials Symposium) that led to the founding of the Society For Biomaterials (SFB) in 1974. Now the world’s premier professional society in promotion of advances in all phases of materials research and development, the SFB encourages cooperative educational programs, clinical applications and professional standards in the biomaterials field.

Pioneering biomaterials work conducted by Clemson faculty has led to the discovery of medical devices that have revolutionized health care. Through the years, Clemson has sustained its international reputation as the landmark for the field of biomaterials. Annually, the SFB recognizes three outstanding researchers in the field through its Clemson Award for Contributions to the Literature, Clemson Award for Basic Research and Clemson Award for Applied Research.

In February 2008, at Clemson’s Conference Center and Inn, SFB founders and past-presidents gathered for the Society For Biomaterials History Summit. Chairing the summit was Samuel F. Hulbert, president-emeritus of Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, founder and past-president of the SFB and founder of the Department of Bioengineering at Clemson University.

The group commemorated the equity volunteered by the society’s founders and the dividends that have benefited so many and have marked the field of medical devices since the late ’60s. One outcome of the summit will be the publication of a monograph on the society’s rich historical background, which is to be shared and built upon. The narrative will include text and photographs from the C. William Hall Biomaterials Documentation Center in Clemson’s Rhodes Research Center.

One aspect of Clemson’s internationalism in biomaterials research is its new bioengineering summer-abroad program, which is aimed at enhancing students’ global awareness of health care and medical-device regulation. To consolidate activities, the department established an Office of International Programs headed by John DesJardins.

Our academic mission is to provide high-quality undergraduate and graduate bioengineering education programs that prepare students to

  1. apply science and engineering principles to solve problems in biology and medicine
  2. generate and disseminate knowledge to benefit humankind and
  3. apply that knowledge toward health care improvement and scientific and technological development. This mission will be successfully carried out through outreach, integration, and awareness. We look forward to continuing this exciting undertaking.

Best regards,
Martine LaBerge
Professor and Chair of Bioengineering