Harvard Gets Huge Gift

Alum Gives Record $125 Million for Bioengineering

Tuesday, Oct 7, 2008  |  Updated 3:00 PM PDT
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Harvard Gets Huge Gift

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Harvard alum gives school record $125 million for new bioengineering school.

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (AP) -- A Harvard Business School alumnus has given the university its largest individual donation ever -- $125 million to start a bioengineering institute, the school announced Tuesday.


  Hansjorg Wyss, an engineer and entrepreneur who earned an MBA from Harvard in 1965, said he felt humbled to be able to contribute to an effort he believes will change the course of science and medicine.


  The Hansjorg Wyss (HAHNZ'-jorg VEES) Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering will attempt to discover the engineering principles nature uses to build living things, then use that information to create devices and technologies to meet medical needs.


  "Little did I dream when I began my career in engineering that we would reach a point where engineers and biologists would be using nature's templates to create solutions to our medical and environmental challenges," said Wyss.


  The new institute will bring together experts from numerous disciplines, including robotics, biology, computer science and surgery.
  It will build on the work of the existing Harvard Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering in Cambridge, and will be located in a science complex being built in Boston's Allston neighborhood.


  "Hansjorg Wyss's vision for the potential inherent in newly emerging areas of bioengineering will allow Harvard to integrate the worlds of biology and engineering to develop nontraditional solutions to seemingly insurmountable challenges," Provost Steven Hyman said.

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