The University of South Florida announced the creation of a Department of Medical Engineering. This trans-disciplinary department consists of physicians and engineers specializing in chemical and mechanical engineering, biomedicine and nanotechnology. It was established through the collaborative efforts of USF’s College of Engineering and USF’s Health Morsani College of Medicine. The goal is to combine related aspects of engineering and medicine while providing access to real-world health care environments for education and research.
How does this new department differ from other biomedical engineering programs?
Most biomedical engineering programs are based primarily within the engineering department, however, the Department of Medical Engineering at USF will offer a forward thinkinh concept that pairs engineers with doctors and medical residents in a clinical setting.
In an article for USF News, The dean of the USF College of Engineering, Robert H. Bishop says, “The new program will focus on how best to help patients and improve medical care. We are creating an environment where intellectual collaborations can readily occur between engineering professors, medical doctors, researchers, and students leading to innovative solutions that save lives and improve the quality of health care.”
According to Dr. Charles J. Lockwood, senior vice president for USF Health and Dean of the Morsani College of Medicine, “This medical engineering department will enhance opportunities for doctors and engineers to learn from one another in real-world clinical environments. It will facilitate joint work on applied research, including drug discovery and delivery and the development of medical devices and imaging to solve health care problems and improve patient care.”
The initial focus of the new department will be nanotechnology for drug delivery, orthopedics, and cardiology, neurology and cancer.
Robert Frisina, director of the biomedical engineering program, will serve as interim chair of the Department of Medical Engineering. The biomedical engineering (BME) graduate program at USF has grown more than 50 percent over the last five years. It is currently the largest BME graduate program in Florida. Due to the increasing demand, USF is expected to launch of a bachelor’s degree program in biomedical engineering soon.
More about USF’s College of Engineering:
There are over 150 faculty and researchers currently conducting research within The College of Engineering six departments and nine centers. With its tens of millions of dollars in annual, externally funded research expenditures, the College's faculty, researchers and students have the resources they need to study the emerging challenges facing today’s world. It’s Major Areas of Research include:
- Chemical & Biomedical Engineering
- Civil & Environmental Engineering
- Computer Science & Engineering
- Electrical Engineering
- Industrial & Management System
- Engineering Mechanical Engineering
More about the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine:
The Morsani College of Medicine has led USF’s aggressive drive to achieve the fastest growth of federally-sponsored research in the nation. The college is home to one of the world’s largest freestanding Alzheimer’s Centers where nationally-recognized scientists work alongside clinicians. It is also home to the USF Diabetes Center, which spends more than $400 million on diabetes and autoimmune research. Other parts of USF Health include:
- The College of Nursing
- The College of Public Health
- The College of Pharmacy
- The School of Biomedical Sciences
- The School of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation
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