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BECON Honors Baldwin
Bioengineering Consortium Holds Symposium

NIH's Bioengineering Consortium (BECON) recently held a 2-day symposium titled "Reparative Medicine: Growing Tissues on Organs" at the Natcher Conference Center. Reparative medicine represents a critical and highly visible frontier in biomedical and clinical research, and is a field marked by recent scientific advances and optimism.

The symposium attracted almost 500 scientists, engineers and clinicians with interests in tissue engineering and reparative medicine. Goals of the meeting were to develop a vision for reparative medicine, identify the challenges and opportunities in the field, generate short- and long-term research needs and strategic goals, and recommend ways to achieve the goals.

Dr. Wendy Baldwin receives award recognizing her leadership of the Bioengineering Consortium from Dr. John Watson of NHLBI.

There was a keynote address, five plenary talks, 10 breakout sessions, posters, and vendor exhibits. The keynote talk was titled "Repair and Replacement: From Lab Bench to Market" and was given by Dr. Gail Naughton of Advanced Tissue Sciences, Inc. The plenary topics included tissue repair and replacement, biomaterials and scaffolds for tissue repair, sources of cells for repair, in vitro systems for tissue engineering, host response, and functional assessment. A report summarizing the proceedings and recommendations will be issued in the near future.

During the symposium, Dr. Wendy Baldwin, NIH deputy director for extramural research, was recognized for her leadership and dedication as chair of BECON since its establishment in 1997. A crystal vase engraved with the BECON logo and commemorative text was presented to her by Dr. John Watson, director of the Clinical and Molecular Medicine Program, NHLBI. Accepting the award, Baldwin said, "I have so enjoyed my time with the BECON. The members all work so hard and are so committed to supporting the best in bioengineering, that it has truly been a pleasure. BECON will always be a high point in my career at the NIH." Watson commented that although Baldwin is not a bioengineer by training, she recognized the benefits that could be realized from applying engineering and physical science principles and techniques to address problems in biology and medicine. Further, she used her strong administrative and technical skills to increase the importance and visibility of bioengineering at NIH, he said.

The conference was the fourth in a series of annual BECON symposia on emerging bioengineering topics. This year's symposium was notable because it was the last one that will be coordinated by BECON. During 2001, the consortium will be administered by the new National Institute for Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering.

NIH and extramural co-chairs for the Reparative Medicine Symposium included (from l) Christine Kelley, NHLBI; Lore Anne McNicol, NEI; Robert Nerem, Georgia Tech; and Helene Sage, Hope Heart Institute.

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