Yes, you can change the world

A Message from President Dennis D. Berkey

"If you have ever yearned to change the world, you are not alone. At WPI, you will find a community filled with kindred spirits—students, faculty, and staff working together side by side, day by day, to improve the lives of millions of people in the United States and around the globe."
— President Berkey

Ours is a university rich with possibility, ripe with innovation, and raring to find the cures, develop the resources, and make the progress on which our world depends.

But don’t just take my word for it. As you read through this marvelous publication, you will find vivid examples of the kind of students and faculty members who choose to pursue research at WPI—those working on neuroprosthetic devices that will bring new independence to amputees, including the thousands of young men and women who have lost limbs during the war in Iraq; those working on producing fuel from sustainable biological sources that do not compete with food crops; and those dedicated to helping our nation’s first responders, giving these brave individuals the tools they need to protect themselves and make better assessments of their dangerous surroundings and the medical needs of the people they rescue.

"We pride ourselves on focusing our attention on what will truly make a difference to mankind."
— President Berkey

When I consider research at WPI, I find that there are three characteristics that distinguish our university from all others. First, we are a small institution whose faculty is devoted to a high quality of teaching and learning. WPI professors spend meaningful time with their students, serving as enthusiastic, clear-eyed mentors, and creating a wonderfully collaborative work environment.

Second, we pride ourselves on focusing our attention on what will truly make a difference to mankind. Our faculty and students discern what is important and attack it vigorously. As the stories in this publication demonstrate, research at WPI addresses some of the major challenges of our time.

Third, because we are a small institution, we have ample opportunity for interdisciplinary and collaborative work.

The most pressing problems in our increasingly complex world are, in fact, interdisciplinary and highly interconnected, and WPI is just the kind of learning and research community that is well prepared to help its students and faculty attack these problems and find effective solutions.

So if you want to change the world, do not doubt that you can. We're working to change the world, too. Keep your eye on WPI.

A New Center for a New Era

The124,600-square-foot WPI Life Sciences and Bioengineering Center at Gateway Park officially opened in September 2007 - the first building to rise in the 12-acre Gateway Park, a mixed-use life sciences–based campus WPI is co-developing near downtown Worcester. The center is filled to capacity with entities that represent the full spectrum of activities associated with a new era in which advances in the life sciences are translated by scientists and engineers into innovations and products that will help prevent and cure disease, address environmental challenges, and improve health care. About three-quarters of the building is occupied by faculty and students from four WPI academic departments (Biology and Biotechnology, Biomedical Engineering, Chemical Engineering, and Chemistry and Biochemistry) who are working in modern laboratories on a broad range of interdisciplinary research areas. Other university tenants are the WPI Bioengineering Institute, where the fruits of innovative research are shepherded toward commercialization, the WPI Bioprocess Center, a state-of-the-art biomanufacturing facility, and the WPI Corporate and Professional Education Division, which helps prepare the highly skilled workforce that will be needed to sustain and advance the life-sciences economy. On the commercial end of the spectrum are the Massachusetts Biomedical Initiatives' Gateway Incubator, which nurtures up to six young life sciences-oriented start-ups, and the labs and offices of RXi Pharmaceuticals, a company co-founded by Nobel Laureate Craig Mello that is exploring new therapeutic agents employing RNA interference (RNAi) technology. "The discoveries made in this marvelous new facility, and the collaborations with industry that bring these discoveries to the public, will play a vital role in Worcester’s economic development and in WPI’s ability to make a difference in the world," noted WPI President and CEO Dennis D. Berkey at the facility's dedication.