Timothy Gerrity Named Director of Worcester Polytechnic Institute Bioengineering Institute

Contact: WPI Media Relations, 508-831-5616

Worcester, MA - May 8, 2002 - Dr. Timothy R. Gerrity has been named Director of Worcester Polytechnic Institute’s (WPI) Bioengineering Institute. He will assume his directorship on July 1, 2002.

Gerrity is currently executive director of the Chronic Pain and Fatigue Research Center at Georgetown University School of Medicine in Washington D.C..

Gerrity’s appointment is funded in part by a two-year grant from the Fairlawn Foundation, a Worcester-based charitable fund, which enabled the University to pursue candidates of the highest caliber.

"The foundation sees the Bioengineering institute as an ideal vehicle to foster excellence and innovation in healthcare delivery, education and research," said Karl Bjork, chair of the Fairlawn Foundation. "We are especially mindful of the positive impact that the Institute might have on the economic development of Worcester."

"WPI’s bioengineering institute provides a unique opportunity to integrate academic research, technology development and commercialization," said Dr. Gerrity. "The Institute will be an important bridge from the laboratory bench to the consumer, supported by the quality of the research at WPI and the talent and excitement of the researchers. We are ready to go!"

"The discoveries being made in the biological sciences will be the basis for significant industrial growth in the next decades," said William W. Durgin, associate provost for academic affairs at WPI. "Just as rapid progress in understanding physical and chemical phenomena fueled industrial growth and prosperity throughout the last century, we will see the biological sciences drive advances in environmental quality and human health, and that is why WPI created the Institute for Bioengineering, to be able to create a new interface discipline," explained Durgin.

"Tim Gerrity brings to the bioengineering institute his broad experience as a researcher, research leader and administrator," said Durgin. "His work has taken him to the U.S. Department of Veterans’ Affairs in Washington, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and the Westside VA Medical Center in Chicago. We are excited about his vision for the bioengineering institute."

Gerrity has also served on the faculty of Georgetown University, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and the University of Illinois, at Chicago where he received his BS, MS and Ph.D. in Physics.

About the WPI Bioengineering Institute

The WPI Bioengineering Institute was created in 2001 to promote job creation and economic vitality by facilitating conversion of research discoveries into new products and new companies; to conduct research and development, tap the intellectual capital of the region and invoke the innovation process to create high-wage industries in the region.

The institute focuses on applied research, product development and product realization and will create a network of universities, hospitals, research organizations and development organizations linked electronically through design studios. It is based at Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Worcester, Massachusetts, and draws from WPI’s expertise in biosensors, wireless communication, information technology and database analysis.

About the Fairlawn Foundation

The Fairlawn Foundation was established in 1991 upon the transfer of Fairlawn Hospital, a provider of local community care since 1921, to a for-profit rehabilitation corporation. The proceeds of that transaction were used to establish the Fairlawn Foundation. It is managed by the Greater Worcester Community Foundation, a public charity. The Fairlawn Foundation's mission is to support excellence and innovation in healthcare delivery, education and research in the Worcester, Massachusetts area.

About WPI

WPI is a pioneer in technological higher education, and is recognized as one of the leading outcomes-oriented undergraduate programs preparing people for success in our technological world. Since its founding in 1865, WPI has broadened and perfected an influential curriculum that balances theory and practice.

This innovative and unique combination of educational methods, learning environment and a worldwide network of project centers is located in Worcester, Massachusetts, WPI supports the academic and research pursuits of over 2,500 students and 200 faculty pursuing opportunities to blend technological research and practice with societal needs, delivering meaningful real-world benefits.

For over a century, WPI has awarded advanced degrees in the sciences and engineering disciplines, as well as the management of technology and business. Our alumni include Robert Goddard, the father of modern rocketry; Harold Black, inventor of the principle of negative-feedback; Carl Clark, inventor of the first practical airbag safety system; Dean Kamen, inventor of the first wearable drug infusion pump; and many others who contribute to the transformation of our technological world.