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UT Institute of Biomedical Engineering Hosts Cross-Discipline Symposium

Cutting-edge ideas in medical, mechanical and biological technology were on display at the UT Conference Center this week for the annual two-day symposium sponsored by the Institute of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.
Jim Stefansic(Jim Stefansic, director of commercialization for LaunchTN, delivers the keynote address “Fundraising Strategies for Medical Device Companies” at the Institute of Biomedical Engineering’s annual symposium at the UT Conference Center on Tuesday.)
Bringing together representatives from six UT colleges and the Graduate School of Medicine, UT Health Science Center in Memphis, and various businesses and government laboratories, the event serves as a way for faculty and researchers to brainstorm ideas about the next wave of medical breakthroughs.
“iBME bringing all of these various disciplines and real-world partners together is a wonderful idea and the perfect example of how the colleges here at UT can work together,” said College of Engineering Dean Wayne Davis. “Sharing ideas between colleges can not only help solve problems that one group or another might have had, but it can help alert you to things, both good and bad, that you might not have considered.”
Medical personnel and equipment manufacturers in attendance can provide instant thoughts and feedback about which ideas have merit and the potential pitfalls of various programs and proposals, while at the same time getting the chance to present their own concerns to the very faculty and innovators who could help solve their problems. 
“The Institute of Biomedical Engineering and our annual symposium exist to provide an intellectual bridge between highly talented researchers throughout the state of Tennessee in academia, industry and the national laboratories,” said iBME chairman Mohamed Mahfouz.
In addition to the College of Engineering, the College of Veterinary Medicine; College of Education, Health and Human Sciences; College of Arts and Sciences; College of Business Administration; and the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources all took part in the event.
The near-term goal of the group is to come up with sustainable ideas and to file a number of patents on those innovations within the next five years.
Along those lines, and perhaps as a preview of what is to come, topics at the symposium ranged from regenerative medicine and biomechanics to sensor technology and simulations. 
“By bringing together researchers from across disciplines we were able to discuss and develop teams around highly complex topics,” said Mahfouz. “We were able to address topics like cancer, neurological trauma rehabilitation, regeneration of damaged tissue and how to provide quality treatment for patients with decreasing insurance reimbursement and rising costs.” 
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