A Perfect Match

How Emory and Georgia Tech have combined forces — and complementary strengths — to make the world a better place

Though their main campuses are located less than six miles apart — a relatively short shuttle ride from one side of Atlanta to the other — Georgia Tech and Emory have long leveraged their expertise to make a profound and lasting impact not just in their own backyards, but also throughout the state of Georgia and across the globe.

Separately, each university is a dynamic force for good. Both Emory and Georgia Tech rank among the top institutions of higher education in the world, drawing some of its brightest minds — thought leaders, teachers, scientists, and students — to their campuses. There, future generations of innovators train in a wide range of fields and conduct cutting-edge research that aims to solve humanity’s most pressing challenges.

A private university, Emory boasts an internationally recognized bold approach to liberal arts, professional, and graduate education. It’s also home to top-ranked academic and research programs in the life sciences, as well as the preeminent health care system in Georgia.

Conversely, Georgia Tech is a public university that has developed some of the best engineering programs on Earth. Its sharp focus on technology and innovation permeates everything the Institute does across business, computing, design, the sciences, and liberal arts.

Combine their forces — these complementary strengths that just beg for interdisciplinary collaboration — and the possibilities are boundless. In fact, the impact of the collaboration is far greater than the sum of their individual contributions.

“The partnership between Emory and Georgia Tech is one of the most distinctive in the country,” says Emory President Gregory L. Fenves. “It is a model for what can be accomplished when two of America’s leading research universities focus their expertise, vision, and resources on collaboration. Both Emory and Georgia Tech are defined by our education and research missions, which complement one another in extraordinary ways. When we work together, we magnify our abilities and impact, enabling us to better serve Georgia, the nation, and the world.”

“Georgia Tech and Emory are bonded in our missions to serve humanity,” says Georgia Tech President Ángel Cabrera. “The best example of this is our one-of-a-kind joint biomedical engineering program, which best leverages the expertise of both institutions as our brightest faculty and students connect, learn from each other, pioneer new interdisciplinary ideas, and champion innovations that improve and save lives.”

First conceived back as a seed grant program in 1987, the Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering today consists of hundreds of faculty, students, and research facilities spread across both Emory and Georgia Tech’s campuses. Coulter ranks in the top three biomedical engineering programs in the country and has become a global model for private-public collaboration. Over time, the partnership has expanded in numerous ways that cross traditional academic — and institutional — boundaries. It’s now home to courses and joint research projects that touch upon topics ranging from public health to psychology and from robotics to patent law. 

Additional collaborations between the two universities continue to emerge organically from their complementary strengths and shared missions. In this ongoing series, we share stories about how Georgia Tech and Emory, together, are continually striving to create a new — and better — world.

Animation by Peter and Maria Hoey. Art direction by Elizabeth Hautau Karp.

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