WPI Bioengineering Chief Appointed to MFUA Board

Contact: WPI Media Relations, 508-831-5616

Worcester, Mass. - January 10, 2003 - Timothy R. Gerrity, Ph.D., director of the Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) Bioengineering Institute (BEI), has been appointed a Member of the Board of the Medical Follow-Up Agency (MFUA), a Washington, D.C.-based, non-profit, medical research organization. MFUA is part of National Academy of Sciencesí Institute of Medicine (IOM) division.

The charge of the MFUAís 11-member board is to oversee the work of the Medical Follow-Up Agency in utilizing the medical and other records of the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Department of Defense, and other federal agencies for purposes of medical research. The board also studies the natural history of diseases and other health outcomes in military veteran populations.

As a MFUA board member Gerrity has also been appointed as a liaison member to the Institute of Medicine/National Research Council Committee on accelerating the research, development and acquisition of medical countermeasures against biological warfare agents.

"Tim Gerrity came to WPI with a strong reputation in Washington, D.C.," says William W. Durgin, associate provost and vice president for research at WPI. "His appointment to the MFUA board further raises his profile in the governmental and non-profit circles of our nationís capital, and can only aid in the growth and development of the Bioengineering Institute at WPI."

Since joining WPI last year, Gerrity has guided the Bioengineering Institute, an interdisciplinary research and development organization dedicated to taking academic research discoveries and converting them into usable biomedical devices. Prior to that, Gerrity was Executive Director of the Georgetown Chronic Pain and Fatigue Research Center in the Georgetown University School of Medicine; Assistant Chief Research and Development Officer at the Department of Veterans Affairs (1997-1999) after being Deputy Director of Medical Research (1994-1997); and noted researcher in human pulmonary physiology, specializing in the human health effects of air pollution, and later a highly regarded research manager at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, as well as at the University of Illinois School of Medicine.

Gerrity is the author of more than fifty peer-reviewed scientific papers, as well as book chapters and technical reports. He has received many awards and citations for his research and his innovative skills at advancing large multidisciplinary research organizations. He received his B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees in physics at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He then received post-doctoral training in pulmonary physiology in the Department of Medicine at the University of Illinois, where he later became a member of the faculty.

About MFUA

The Medical Follow-Up Agency (MFUA) was founded in 1946 by Dr. Michael DeBakey in order to follow the health status of the approximately 15 million WWII veterans. 56 years later MFUA activities encompass epidemiological research on the health of WWII, Korean War, Vietnam War, and Persian Gulf War veterans. In addition, MFUA, through its various committees, provides advice to the Department of Defense and Department of Veterans Affairs on matters related to health of US military veterans and active duty service members. The MFUA Board oversees the research and committee activities of MFUA. MFUA is the oldest board of the National Academies of Science and even predates the founding of the Institute of Medicine. MFUA is supported by the Department of Defense, Department of Veterans Affairs, and the National Institutes of Health.

About Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Founded in 1865, WPI is a pioneer in technological higher education. WPI was the first university to understand that students learn best when they have the opportunity to apply the knowledge they gain in the classroom to the solution of important problems. Today its students, working in teams at more than 20 project centers around the globe, put their knowledge and skills to work as they complete professional-level work that can have an immediate positive impact on society.

WPIís innovative, globally focused curriculum has been recognized by leaders in industry, government and academia as the model for the technological education of tomorrow. Students emerge from this program as true technological humanists, well rounded, with the confidence, the interpersonal skills and the commitment to innovation they need to make a real difference in their professional and personal lives.

The university awarded its first advanced degree in 1898. Today, its first-rate research laboratories support masterís and Ph.D. programs in more than 30 disciplines in engineering, science and the management of technology. Located in the heart of the regionís biotechnology and high-technology sectors, WPI has built research programs-including the largest industry/university alliance in North America-that have won it worldwide recognition.