American and Chinese Universities Announce Groundbreaking Joint Ph.D.

“To my knowledge, this joint Ph. D. program is the first of this type showcasing international cooperation in education between China and the U.S. Forming a partnership with Georgia Tech and Emory will enhance our research and education in general and will provide a great opportunity for our BME students,” said Jianhua Lin, Peking University Provost.

Representatives from Georgia Tech, Emory and PKU have been laying the groundwork for this program during the past five years. Faculty collaborations have been funded by seed grants from the Coulter Foundation and, as a result, several new research projects are already underway. “Our partnership with the recently formed College of Engineering at PKU is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for us to create a new paradigm for international biomedical engineering education and research,” said Larry McIntire, chair of the Coulter Department. “The infrastructure being created within our departments will allow our students and faculty to learn how to conduct research and business in a global arena and will prepare them to become international leaders in 21st century biomedical engineering industry and academia.”

James W. Wagner, president of Emory University, said Emory “has been engaged with Peking University for several years in developing educational and research relationships. We are very excited about launching this new global endeavor in biomedical engineering that joins the diverse strengths of three excellent institutions.”

Students can apply to the program through either the Department of Biomedical Engineering at PKU in Beijing or the Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering at Georgia Tech and Emory in Atlanta. Students will have an advisor at their home campus and co-advisor at their secondary campus. Primary classes and research will take place on the home campus. However, students will also spend at least one year taking classes and participating in research in the co-advisor’s lab on the secondary campus. Classes will be taught in English and a single dissertation will satisfy the thesis requirements of all three institutions.

Founded in 1898, Peking University (PKU) is among the first national universities in Chinese modern history. PKU enjoys an outstanding reputation within and outside of China, based on its abundant teaching resources and outstanding research achievements. Peking University now consists of 31 colleges and 14 departments, offering 101 undergraduate programs, 224 postgraduate programs and 202 doctoral programs. The student body includes more than 4,000 international students from nearly 80 countries.

The Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering at Georgia Tech and Emory University is dedicated to shaping and advancing the discipline of biomedical engineering through innovative translational research, inspiring education and the comprehensive integration of engineering methods into the mainstream of health care. Founded in 1997, the department is currently ranked second among graduate programs in Biomedical Engineering by the 2009 U.S. News and World Report Best Graduate Schools in America.


Georgia Tech: Don Fernandez

Emory University: Holly Korschun

Peking University: Shanshan Zhang

Program Web site:

The Georgia Institute of Technology is one of the nation’s premier research universities. Ranked seventh among U.S. News & World Report’s top public universities, Georgia Tech’s more than 19,000 students are enrolled in its Colleges of Architecture, Computing, Engineering, Liberal Arts, Management and Sciences. Tech is among the nation’s top producers of women and African-American engineers. The Institute offers research opportunities to both undergraduate and graduate students and is home to more than 100 interdisciplinary units plus the Georgia Tech Research Institute.
Emory release: