Instrumental Access 2016
Universidad de Ingeniería y Tecnología: Department of Bioengineering
Meet the Department
The Universidad de Ingeniería y Tecnología (UTEC) is a private, engineering-focused university established in 2012. UTEC is currently in the process of establishing a program in bioengineering that will be the first and only program of its kind in Peru. A 10-year agreement is in place with the Cleveland Clinic to provide technical assistance and teaching and curriculum support for the new program.
Launching the Country’s First Bioengineering Program: Dr. Melanie Cornejo
Bioengineering is especially important for Peru given its biodiversity, rates of tropical and infectious disease, and issues of pollution and bioremediation.
To find creative solutions for these challenges, UTEC provost Dr. Melanie Cornejo is spearheading the country’s first bioengineering program. The new Department of Bioengineering will launch its undergraduate and graduate degree programs in 2017.
Solving the country’s most important public health issues through bioengineering is the center of Dr. Cornejo’s own research. She is currently working with nanotechnology and nanomedicine to find novel solutions to Peru’s shortage of potable water, which is often contaminated by illegal mining. She is also investigating new approaches to accurate early diagnosis and treatment of neglected tropical diseases.
The new Department of Bioengineering has strong relationships with US-based institutions, including Harvard, MIT, and the Cleveland Clinic, and top hospitals and clinics in Peru that will “make it successful from an academic point of view,” Dr. Cornejo says. “However, the investment for research is big, which is why the support from Seeding Labs plays such an important role.”
In the future, Dr. Cornejo hopes to explore research issues such as population genetics relevant to cancer and infectious diseases, as well as biotechnology-based solutions for challenges facing Peru’s agriculture and fishing industries.
Dr. Cornejo holds a PhD in immunology from Harvard University.