The University of California, San Diego, is located in the town of La Jolla. The twelve-hundred-acre picturesque campus extends along the Pacific seashore of San Diego. The diverse ethnic background of San Diego (population slightly over one million) provides a dynamic cultural environment with many museums and theaters. San Diego and its vicinity has world-famous tourist attractions such as Sea World, the San Diego Zoo, the Wild Animal Park, the Stephen Birch Aquarium of the Scripps Institute of Oceanography at UCSD, and beautiful beaches. The San Diego Convention Center was completed in 1990. While being a part of a big city with all of its available facilities, La Jolla is tranquil and serene as a university town. The climate is almost ideal, with a daytime temperature usually in the range of 60° to 80°F throughout the year, which lends itself well to numerous outdoor activities.

The marvelous weather in La Jolla is matched by the superb academic climate of UCSD and its neighboring institutions. There is an outstanding collection of talent in bioengineering, molecular and cell biology, and clinical investigations. The strong research programs at the La Jolla Cancer Research Foundation, the Salk Institute, and the Scripps Research Institute provide excellent resources and strengths for bioengineering. Scientists at these institutions collaborate effectively with their colleagues at UCSD, and many of them are members of the Institute for Biomedical Engineering. La Jolla also features vibrant biotechnological and pharmaceutical industries that have close interactions with the scientists in local academic institutions.