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UML Awards First Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering and Biotechnology

Program Offers Classes on Four UMass Campuses

Congratulating Gene Cardarelli, second from left, on the successful defense of his dissertation are, from left, Prof. Clayton French, Dean Jerry Hojnacki and Prof. Bryan Buchholz, director of the Biomedical Engineering and Biotechnology Program.

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Gene Cardarelli becomes the first doctoral graduate of the multi-campus Biomedical Engineering and Biotechnology program after successfully defending his dissertation in late November.  His dissertation committee consists of Drs. Clayton French, David Wazer and David Medich.

Biomedical Engineering and Biotechnology is a multi-campus program offered at the Boston, Dartmouth, Lowell and Worcester campuses. It accepts students with a wide range of science and engineering backgrounds.   Spearheaded by Jerry Hojnacki, dean of the Graduate School, the program will help meet the growing need for professionals with expertise in both biology and engineering.  Hojnacki says, "It is a major benchmark for us to have Lowell as the premier campus of this program and to be the first campus to award a doctorate in this degree."  He points out that this degree will meet an important niche in economic development in Massachusetts with the high number of pharmaceutical, biotech and medical device companies based in the state. 

According to French, the multi-campus program also offers students the flexibility of taking classes on any of the four campuses.  It also enables them to tap into the talent in their specialty areas on all four campuses.  For Cardarelli, who hails from Rhode Island and is a medical physicist at Rhode Island Hospital, this meant he could take courses at Lowell and also at Dartmouth, which was significantly closer to home for him. 

The program has grown since it first was launched in 2002.  Currently, there are 60 students enrolled with 45 at the Lowell campus.