A new institute at the University of Tennessee connects not only engineering and medicine but also three diverse campuses in a collaboration that is unique in the country; innovative for UT faculty, physicians and students; and beneficial to people everywhere.
On February 1, the UT College of Engineering and the Office of Research & Engagement in collaboration with the UT Graduate School of Medicine and UT College of Veterinary Medicine established a new multidisciplinary initiative: The Institute of Biomedical Engineering (iBME). While the institute is operationally based in the engineering college, it is intended to be an intellectual bridge to a number of disciplines including engineering, medicine, veterinary medicine, arts and sciences, nursing, agriculture and others.
iBME provides a unique opportunity for UT to respond to the growing demand for education and research opportunities in the rapidly expanding field of biomedical engineering. Researchers from the three founding institutions work collaboratively with scientists, physicians, faculty and students from many UT disciplines to research today’s medical problems, resulting in better healthcare for the state and beyond.
The goals of iBME include generating cross-disciplinary teams to develop healthcare innovations and discover new research funding; to offer a multidisciplinary curriculum and real-world medical experiences to engineering students; to provide a regional resource to improve the general public’s understanding of biomedical engineering; and to establish outreach to area educators and students to develop interest in and knowledge of the field.
“We are coming together to capitalize on resources and collaborate on medical problems that can only be solved through such teamwork,” says Mohamed Mahfouz, PhD, a professor in the UTCOE and director of iBME. “If we confine the field of biomedical engineering into just one department, we lose the perspective of what can be accomplished.”
Research focus areas include molecular, cellular and tissue engineering; healthcare engineering; and imaging, biomechanics and devices. iBME will also feature masters and Ph.D. programs in biomedical engineering that include specialization tracks in the three research focus areas.
Dr. Mahfouz, a professor of biomedical engineering in the Department of Mechanical, Aerospace and Biomedical Engineering (MABE) and an internationally established researcher in the field of biomedical engineering, is the director of iBME. Eric T. Boder, PhD, an associate professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering, is the institute’s academic director, and serving as research and outreach director is Christopher P. Stephens, PhD, medical-engineering liaison and an assistant professor in the COE, GSM, the Center for Materials Processing and the biomedical engineering program in MABE.
February 21, 2013
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