Research & Innovation

First International School of Biomedical Diagnostics Breaking New Ground

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First International School of Biomedical Diagnostics Breaking New Ground

First International School of Biomedical Diagnostics Breaking New Ground
February 03
08:58 2014

Arizona State University (ASU) and Dublin City University (DCU), Dublin, Ireland – are joining forces to create the new International School of Biomedical Diagnostics, which will offer the first degree program of its kind. The initiative is at the cutting edge of establishing diagnostics as an independent discipline.

Diagnostics are at the center of healthcare innovation today. They are involved in over 60 percent of clinical decision-making and the industry employs more than 3.5 million people worldwide. Diagnostics are critical to personalized medicine – the process of targeting drugs to those for whom they will be most effective.

The new school’s United States and European bases are home to diagnostic research centers in each region. In the US, Arizona is a growing academic and industrial hub for diagnostics. The state is home to the largest US diagnostics laboratories and non-profit institutes as well as innovative diagnostic companies such as Ventana Medical Systems. ASU is a leader in the field with its Virginia G. Piper Center for Personalized Diagnostics and the recently established National Biomarker Development Alliance. In Ireland, DCU hosts the Biomedical Diagnostics Institute (BDI), a Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) funded world-class multidisciplinary research institute focused on the development of next-generation point-of-care biomedical diagnostic devices.

“This school has been designed and implemented as a result of ASU’s partnerships with Dublin City University and Ventana Medical Systems,” said ASU President Michael Crow. “This is a tremendous example of how higher education is being transformed on a global basis through new technology-enabled collaborations. The school will have a huge impact on personalized medicine, as well as lowering health care costs and focusing on earlier disease detection and on wellness rather than illness.”

“The school is being launched at a critical time in healthcare worldwide,” said Mara G. Aspinall, President and CEO of Ventana Medical Systems, Inc., a member of the Roche Group. “Now is the time for diagnostics to be recognized as an independent and distinct discipline. With the significant advances in technology, diagnostics play a critical role in every aspect of the healthcare system – from pharmaceutical drug development to patient treatment.”

The new school will draw from several assets of each institution. At DCU, the school will build upon the award-winning M.Sc. in Biomedical Diagnostics program based at the Biomedical Diagnostics Institute, and upon expertise from its faculties of Science and Health, Engineering and Computing, and DCU Business School.

Pending approval from the Arizona Board of Regents, the ASU school will involve faculty from the Biodesign Institute, School of Life Sciences in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, College of Health Solutions, Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering, W.P. Carey School of Business, and Consortium for Science, Policy & Outcomes. The initiative will also leverage the expertise of the National Biomarker Development Alliance, led by ASU.

“This is an important and exciting development of global significance. The field of diagnostics is changing rapidly, and education programs must keep pace with developments,” said DCU President Brian MacCraith. “By combining the expertise and geographical context of ASU and DCU, and by collaborating with industry partners such as Ventana, we will be in a strong position to provide programs that are always at the cutting edge.”

Classes begin in the fall of 2014. Degrees will be offered by ASU and DCU. The program will employ a blended learning approach adopting online and face-to-face elements. Students will also be able to be offered the opportunity to be involved in research or industry immersion programs, as well as internship experiences at both sites.

The first degree offered will be an international M.Sc. in Biomedical Diagnostics with shared curriculum and courses offered by both universities. The academic programs will attract students from a mix of recent college graduates and those working in industry wanting to further their careers.

Four core curriculum areas will be the foundation of the school, covering the biomedical diagnostics field. They include the technology of diagnostics, the science of diagnostics, the business of diagnostics and the application of diagnostics.

The school expects to enroll 100 students per year within its first five years.

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