The new School of Biomedical Engineering

The Faculties of Applied Science and Medicine have announced the joint establishment of the School of Biomedical Engineering (BME) at UBC, effective July 1, 2017.

The School of Biomedical Engineering will serve as an innovation hub for education and research across both Faculties, working with industry and our health partners, to accelerate discoveries and improve health outcomes here in BC and around the world.

The School will be the new home of UBC’s current graduate BME programs, which will welcome its seventh cohort this fall. An initial complement of faculty members and staff will support the new School, which will also house the Biomedical Research Centre.

Peter ZandstraTo lead this new collaborative initiative, Dr. Peter Zandstra, has been appointed as Founding Director, School of Biomedical Engineering.

A UBC alumnus from the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, Dr. Zandstra joins UBC from the University of Toronto where he is a University Professor and Canada Research Chair in Stem Cell Bioengineering in the Institute for Biomaterials and Biomedical Engineering, and served as Executive Director of Medicine by Design. The recipient of numerous awards, Dr. Zandstra and his team have pioneered the field of stem cell bioengineering which applies engineering principles and technology to fundamental and translational problems in stem cell biology. He has also directly participated in co-founding three companies, including most recently ExCellThera — a company focused on the use of blood stem cells for treatment of disease.

In addition to serving as the Founding Director of the new School of Biomedical Engineering, Dr. Zandstra has also been appointed Director of the Michael Smith Laboratories. This interdisciplinary department, named in honour of the Nobel Laureate Dr. Michael Smith, is host to researchers in the areas of human health and disease, bioengineering, plant biology and genomics, computational biology and science education.

Dr. Zandstra’s vast experience and leadership will be instrumental to building UBC’s capacity in one of the fastest growing fields of study in North America — fostering innovations in interdisciplinary education, research and entrepreneurship — strengthening our ties to BC’s vibrant life science and technology research communities.