Vietnamese exchange

Tufts leads effort to build biomedical engineering in Vietnam

Vo Van Toi, associate professor of biomedical engineering, organized the first International Conference on the Development of Biomedical Engineering in Vietnam in July in what has been called a benchmark event for Vietnam-U.S. collaboration in research, education, and entrepreneurship.

Toi was one of 35 U.S. faculty members to attend the conference in Ho Chi Minh City that was sponsored by the National Science Foundation, Vietnam Education Foundation, Vietnam National University and the National Center of Laser Technology. Tufts participants included David Kaplan, chair of biomedical engineering, Sergio Fantini, associate professor, and Ph.D. students An Dinh, Anh T. Nguyen and Trang Nguyen.

The three-day conference featured more than 60 presentations by scientists and academicians from Vietnam, the United States, France, the United Kingdom, Switzerland, Belgium, Ukraine, Bulgaria, Australia, China and Thailand.

Toi led a delegation of U.S. scientists and professors to Vietnam in January 2004 to find out how the United States could help Vietnam develop training and expertise in biomedical engineering. The work was funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF). The group wrote a report for the NSF, proposing a five-year plan for collaborating on biomedical engineering programs between the two countries.

“This international conference is one of the first steps in the framework of this recommendation,” Toi said. The second international conference on biomedical engineering will be held in Hanoi next summer.

Hoang Nhu Phong, Vietnam’s minister of science and technology, says he foresees a promising future for biomedical engineering in Vietnam. He described training and research introduced at the conference as valuable experiences for Vietnamese scientists.