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By Jennifer Sterba
Arizona Summer Wildcat
July 30, 1997

UA awarded $1 Million Biomedical Engineering Grant

The bionic man could become a reality with the aid of a $1 million grant awarded to the UA for advances in the development of artificial body parts.

The grant was awarded by The Whitaker Foundation to the University of Arizona's Graduate Interdisciplinary Program in Biomedical Engineering.

The interdisciplinary program, which offers master's of science and doctoral degrees, was recently approved by the Arizona Board of Regents. The grant will fund teaching facilities, salaries, internships and course development.

Advances in combining biology and engineering have resulted in the designing of biomedical implants that could benefit people with vascular or heart disease, cancer, arthritis or diabetes.

The major focus of UA's new program will be biomedical implants.

"One of the biggest obstacles to the success of implants has been the body's own defense systems," said Stuart Williams, chairman of the program.

Williams said the body perceives implants as foreign entities and attacks them.

"Our research examines the use of different materials for these implants and strives to identify a material that has the right chemistry," Williams said.

The new UA biomedical engineering program is a collaboration of faculty members from the Colleges of Medicine, Agriculture, Arts and Sciences, and Engineering and Mines.

Health Information accessible on the Web

Consumers confused by the explosion of health information on the World Wide Web can now seek free medical information through MEDLINE, the world's most extensive collection of published medical information.

"Free MEDLINE means that we now can provide consumers with better access to the quality information they need, and libraries can help them to tap into the full power of this authoritative source," said Rachael Anderson, director of the Arizona Health Scie nces Library and current president of the Medical Library Association.

MEDLINE can be accessed through the AHS Library's Web page: http://aloe.ahsl.arizona.edu/. The library is also offering free classes on how to use MEDLINE. The classes are open to the public on Wednesdays and Saturdays.

Compiled from news releases.

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