UVA happens to be one of only eight universities in the United States with top schools of Engineering and Medicine separated by less than a mile. Thanks to Jeffrey Holmes, MD, PhD, Professor of Biomedical Engineering and Medicine; and Mark Sochor, MD, Vice Chair for Research, Emergency Medicine and the Medical Director of the Center for Applied Biomechanics, we are taking advantage of that physical proximity with initiatives like the newly developed Center for Engineering in Medicine.
With money from the Strategic Investment Fund, this center is a joint effort among the Schools of Medicine, Engineering, and Nursing and will provide seed funding for research projects.
Collaboration is the name of the game here. Each project will combine clinical teams with engineering teams to innovate. To give you an idea what faculty have already proposed, here is a list of the currently funded projects:
- Fast and Automatic Reconstruction of High Frame-Rate Cardiac Magnetic Resonance (Weller, Kramer, Salerno)
- In situ Bioengineering of Scar Formation after Myocardial Infarction (French, Saucerman, Wolf)
- Airflow-powered Implantables for Batteryless Monitoring of Respiratory Health (Quinn, Lach, Borish)
- Leveraging mHealth and Wireless Sensing to Empower Patients and Family Caregivers in the Safe and Effective Management of Cancer Pain (Lebaron, Lach, Blackhall)
- Computational Imaging to Predict Intestinal Mucosal Alterations in Children in Virginia (Syed, Brown)
- Using mobile technology to monitor and treat depression and anxiety symptoms in caregivers of cancer patients (Gerber, Showalter, Cohn)
- A Novel Analgesic Device for Pain Management (Li, Xu)
- Development, Implementation, and Demonstration of a Robotic Gait Simulator (Kerrigan, Park, Cooper, Perumal, Kent, Blemker)
Details on these projects can be found here.
I recommend reading a recently published article on the Engineering in Medicine website (“Initiative Encourages Collaborations Between Engineers and Clinicians”). In it, Jeff, says, “Many of our best weapons in the fight against common diseases, such as pacemakers and stents to treat heart disease or mammography to detect breast cancer, developed at the interface between engineering and medicine. This same interface holds enormous promise to deliver the next generation of advances.”
I couldn’t agree more and look forward to see what innovative technologies the marriage of engineering and medicine will produce.
There will be annual calls for projects and Dr. Steve Wasserman and I will be sending out information for each pilot opportunity. For questions or to receive help in finding a partner for a project idea, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Margaret A. Shupnik, PhD
Gerald D. Aurbach Professor of Endocrinology
Professor of Medicine
Senior Associate Dean for Research