On September 30, the Institute of Biomedical Engineering (iBME) held a reception at BridgeView for all participating faculty and program administrators (department heads, deans, etc.) so these individuals would become better acquainted with one another. iBME consists of faculty from beyond just the College of Engineering, including the College of Arts and Sciences, UT College of Veterinary Medicine, and UT Graduate School of Medicine. Many of these individuals had never met, and were not familiar with the research being conducted by each faculty member.
Dr. Christopher P. Stephens, iBME research and outreach director, said the institute currently has several facets in place to bring together complimentary researchers in the process of developing the institute and its associate research focus areas (Biomaterials and Regenerative Medicine; Computational Biology and Drug Design; Medical Sensors and Devices; Multi-Scale Imaging; Biomechanics; Healthcare Engineering and Bioinformatics; and Environmental Health). However, the reception was the first, all-inclusive iBME faculty and program administrators gathering.
“This reception allowed for large-scale, cross-disciplinary discussions between clinicians, engineers, and scientists; thereby planting multiple seeds of collaboration,” Dr. Stephens said. These discussions have raised awareness for the diversity of expertise assembled in iBME and have opened the doors of communication, he said. “The iBME research program coordinators and other leadership staff will continue to nurture these seedling collaborations to facilitate the development of preliminary results and multi-investigator proposals,” Dr. Stephens said.
Established in February 2013, the institute was designed to research solutions to medical problems such as devices for improved delivery of medications and monitoring of patients; better imaging technology; regenerative models to help the body heal itself; and optimized efficiency in the healthcare setting. Ultimately the goal of iBME is to offer a multidisciplinary curriculum and real-world medical experiences to engineering students by promoting collaboration throughout the university for those participating in biomedical research.
Other leaders of the institute include: Dr. Mohamed Mahfouz, director of iBME, and Dr. Eric T. Boder, iBME academic director.
For more information about iBME, visit the iBME website.