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History

Timeline

History

1993
Whitaker Foundation Biomedical Engineering Program Development Grant

Georgia Tech and the Emory School of Medicine collaborate to become one of three centers in the U.S. to receive a Whitaker Foundation Biomedical Engineering Program Development Grant.

1995
Approved joint MD/PhD program

GT and Emory approve joint MD/PhD program (MD granted by Emory, PhD in bioengineering, with the understanding that a joint PhD degree would be created (this became the BME PhD from Emory/GT).

1997
Don Giddens is named as inaugural Department Chair

Georgia Tech Provost and Vice President Michael E. Thomas and the Emory Dean of Medicine Thomas J. Lawley established an Advisory Committee of Georgia Tech and Emory faculty to address new opportunities in biomedical engineering. Don Giddens arrives from Johns Hopkins (where he chaired the College of Engineering) and returns to Georgia Tech, where he chairs the Georgia Tech/Emory Advisory Committee on Biomedical Engineering (BME) over the summer. The Committee met initially on June 2, 1997 and was charged to develop a set of recommendations for an innovative and unique Department of Biomedical Engineering that is joint with Georgia Tech and Emory and that will enable both institutions to maximize research and educational opportunities in fields of intersecting biomedical interest.

The advisory committee turns in its report to the Emory Board of Trustees and the University System of Georgia Board of Regents, and a new joint BME department is approved in September. The department, first headquartered at the Petit Institute (Georgia Tech) and Woodruff Memorial Building (Emory), is chaired by Giddens.

That same year (1997), the Department of Biomedical Engineering is approved and Don Giddens is named as inaugural Department Chair.

1999
Georgia Tech Biomedical Engineering Society (GT BMES) was created

Led by Ajit Yoganathan, BME maps out a unique Ph.D. academic program that will award advanced degrees jointly from Emory and Georgia Tech. 

Georgia Tech Biomedical Engineering Society (GT BMES) was created to promote the profession of biomedical engineering and to acquaint the student body with ideas, purposes, and objectives of the bioengineering field. Our interests extend from tissue and cellular engineering, to biomaterials and biological interfaces, to biological signal processing and instrumentation, to biomechanics, rheology, and integrative biology.

2000
First students enroll

First Ph.D. and undergraduate students enroll.

The burgeoning department earns a $16 million leadership development award from the Whitaker Foundation.

2001
The Wallace H. Coulter Foundation makes a $25 million landmark grant to the BME department

The Wallace H. Coulter Foundation makes a $25 million landmark grant to the BME department. Wallace Coulter was recognized as one of the most influential engineers in the 20th century through his entrepreneurial efforts in shaping the fields of automated cell analysis and hematology. In recognition of the grant, the department is named the Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering. Within this grant is a unique $8 million endowment, which becomes the template for the Coulter Translational Research Partnership Program.

2002
Ground is broken for Whitaker Building

Ground is broken for Whitaker Building, which will become the new home of BME at Georgia Tech. Meanwhile, labs and offices are renovated at Emory's Woodruff Memorial Research Building.

Don Giddens becomes dean of Georgia Tech's College of Engineering.

2003
Larry McIntire is named as Department Chair

Larry McIntire, who had been chairing the Rice University Department of Bioengineering, comes to Atlanta to become the second chair of the Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering on July 1, 2003 (retires July 1, 2013).

2009
PKU joint program

First 5 students enroll in PKU joint program.

2010
The Biomedical Research and Opportunities Society was founded

The Biomedical Research and Opportunities Society was founded in 2010 and went on to become Georgia Tech's "Best New Organization" for the academic year.

2013
Ravi V. Bellamkonda is named as Department Chair

The Georgia Institute of Technology and Emory University have selected Ravi V. Bellamkonda, a prominent biomedical scientist and engineer, to chair their joint department of biomedical engineering. He begun as chair of the Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering at Georgia Tech and Emory University in July.

Launching of Master's degree program in BioID, Sathya Gourisankar named Director of Master of Biomedical Innovation and Development (MBID).

2016
C. Ross Ethier is named interim Department Chair

Department chair Ravi Bellamkonda is named dean of engineering at Duke University.

C. Ross Ethier becomes interim chair for the Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering starting August 1, 2016.

In September 2016, the Coulter BME undergraduate program is ranked No.1 by U.S. News and World Report.

2017
Susan Margulies is named as Department Chair

On May 22, 2017, Susan Margulies, Ph.D., is named the Wallace H. Coulter Chair of the Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering and a Georgia Research Alliance Eminent Scholar in Injury Biomechanics. Her appointments are effective Aug. 1.

2019
Coulter Translational Fund becomes Biolocity

After a five-year pilot during which the Coulter Translational Fund awarded more than $6.2 million to 40 projects, the program expanded and became Biolocity. Biolocity provides university innovators with a combination of investment, resources, and guidance to help early-stage biomedical innovations reach critical commercialization milestones.

2021
Machelle Pardue named interim Department Chair

On July 1, Wallace H. Coulter Department Chair Susan Margulies is selected to lead the Engineering Directorate at the U.S. National Science Foundation. She transitions to NSF in mid-August.

Effective Aug. 16, Machelle Pardue steps in as interim chair for the Coulter Department. Pardue has been serving as associate chair for faculty development.