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Shu Chien named to Y.C. Fung Endowed Chair in Bioengineering

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UCSD bioengineering professor Shu Chien is a world leader in understanding how blood flow and pressure affect blood vessels.

September 15, 2006 -- UC San Diego today announced that Shu Chien has been appointed the inaugural holder of the Y.C. Fung Endowed Chair in Bioengineering at the Jacobs School of Engineering. Chien, director of the UCSD Whitaker Institute of Biomedical Engineering and a university professor of bioengineering and medicine, is a world leader in understanding how blood flow and pressure affect blood vessels.

 “Professor Chien is exceptional as a researcher, instructor, mentor, and citizen of the university and his professional community,” said Frieder Seible, dean of the Jacobs School. “Among his many scientific contributions, his research on the response of cardiovascular cells to mechanical forces is an area that has led to greater understanding and better treatment of arterial lesion formation and restenosis in coronary angioplasty.”

Chien is one of only a few scientists who are members of all three U.S. national institutes: the National Academy of Sciences; National Academy of Engineering; and the Institute of Medicine. He is also a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He has published nearly 450 archival journal articles and nine books, and he is in continual demand as an invited speaker at meetings around the world.

The Y.C. Fung Endowed Chair is named in honor of professor emeritus Yuan-Cheng Fung, a founder of the Bioengineering program at UCSD in 1966. Fung, who also is a member of all three national academies, is a recipient in 2000 of the President’s National Medal of Science. Fung is known as the father of biomechanics and a pioneer in establishing the founding principles of the field of bioengineering.

The Y.C. Fung chair was made possible through generous gifts by 70 of Fung’s students, colleagues and friends as well as the the Wallace H. Coulter Foundation, Senyei Family Foundation, and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, Ltd. With the support for the Y.C. Fung chair, The Campaign for UCSD: Imagine What’s Next has raised nearly $915 million since the initiative was launched in July 2000.

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This video offers a biographical sketch of bioengineering professor Shu Chien. Length: 12:49.

Chien grew up in Shanghai and was a premed student at National Peking University when he and his family fled in 1949 to Taiwan during the turmoil of the Communist takeover of China. He received a medical degree from National Taiwan University and a Ph.D. from Columbia University, where he served as professor from 1969 to 1988. During a sabbatical from 1987 to 1988, Chien founded Taiwan’s Institute of Biomedical Sciences in Academia Sinica. He joined UCSD in 1988 and became the founding chair of the Department of Bioengineering in 1994. He is widely credited with building the department into a world class institution, with a focus on multi-scale bioengineering, regenerative medicine, and systems biology.

“In addition to all of his other accomplishments, professor Chien is an extraordinary teacher,” said Andrew McCulloch, chair of the Department of Bioengineering. “He has taught and advised numerous students who have gone on to leadership in academia and industry. He has been a tireless advocate for bioengineering students and he has been recognized many times during his career for his outstanding teaching, most recently being selected by students at the Jacobs School as the Tau Beta Phi Professor of the Year for 2005.”

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