News Release

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Division of Bioengineering and Physical Science Transferred to the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering

The National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB) today announced the integration of the Division of Bioengineering and Physical Science (DBEPS), formerly part of the NIH Office of Research Services, into the NIBIB Intramural Research Program. The expertise of the DBEPS staff supports the mission of the NIBIB to integrate bioengineering with the life and physical sciences, and spans cutting-edge technologies operating at scales ranging from near-atomic resolution to intact organisms.

"We are excited about the transfer of this exceptional cadre of researchers to the NIBIB Intramural Research Program," said NIBIB Director Roderic I. Pettigrew, Ph.D., M.D. "The unique expertise and cutting-edge technologies developed by this group are an exceptional fit with the mission of the institute, which is to improve health by leading the development and accelerating the application of biomedical technologies."

The Laboratory of Bioengineering and Physical Science specializes in the development and application of new technologies, based on engineering, mathematics, and the physical sciences, for the solution of problems in biology and medicine. The 26 staff members formerly associated with DBEPS have been transferred to NIBIB, along with equipment and over 14,000 square feet of laboratory space. The current laboratory structure will be maintained, and staff will perform their same functions.

Consultations and collaborative research with other NIH intramural scientists will continue to be the main focus of this group's work. Research areas currently include new approaches to determine three-dimensional cellular structure, measuring interactions between macromolecules, modeling drug delivery, and performing nanoscale diagnostics.

"I look forward to increasing the impact of the DBEPS program through the innovative and stimulating environment of NIBIB, and to enhancing our collaborative contributions to the research programs of all the other NIH institutes and centers," said NIBIB Scientific Director Richard D. Leapman, Ph.D. "Incorporation of DBEPS into NIBIB will also provide an ideal setting for the new trans-NIH initiative in Imaging Molecules to Cells, which we will be helping to lead."

In addition to the added staff and laboratory space, the transfer brings to the NIBIB Intramural Research Program some unique training opportunities for undergraduate biomedical engineering students and postdoctoral scientists and engineers through the Biomedical Engineering Summer Internship Program (, and the National Research Council NIH/NIST Research Associateship Program (

This new intramural component will join the existing NIBIB Intramural Research Program, which includes the PET Radiochemistry Research Laboratory responsible for conducting research and training in the development and application of novel radiochemical probes for biomedical imaging, and the joint Laboratory for the Assessment of Medical Imaging Systems at the FDA.

The National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB), a component of the National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, is dedicated to improving human health through the integration of the physical and biological sciences. The research agenda of the NIBIB will dramatically advance the Nation's health by improving the detection, management, understanding, and ultimately, the prevention of disease. Additional information and publications are available at

About the National Institutes of Health (NIH): NIH, the nation's medical research agency, includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIH is the primary federal agency conducting and supporting basic, clinical, and translational medical research, and is investigating the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit

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