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

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

“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,” said Provost Steven Hyman

Wyss, an engineer and entrepreneur, earned his MBA from Harvard in 1965. .

“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,” Wyss said.

The institute will build on the work of the existing Harvard Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering in Cambridge.

The new institute will bring together experts from numerous disciplines, including robotics, biology, computer science and surgery. It will be located in a science complex being built in Boston’s Allston neighborhood.

AP-ES-10-07-08 1658EDT

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