A training program entitled Translational Research in Biomaterials (TRB) is proposed whereby women and men will learn how to "translate" their research ideas from the laboratory to the clinic. The mission of our program is to train Ph.D. students as interdisciplinary and translational research scientists who have: 1) a fundamental and quantitative understanding of materials, polymer chemistry, surface science, host-tissue response, and molecular and cellular biology;2) exposure to engineering technologies and characterization techniques;3) research experience in interdisciplinary programs that promote discussion and scientific inquiry in areas outside of the student's "comfort zone";and 4) training in societal impacts of new technology, public policy, ethics, clinical trials, and basic business. The capstone of the TRB program is the education curriculum that combines interdisciplinary research, quantitative science and engineering courses, translational-based courses in clinical trials and business, laboratory modules, a student-organized journal club, medical grand rounds, surgical theater, training in professional ethics, and industrial internships to train students. These skills are essential in future careers as graduates join teams that combine diverse backgrounds to meet a common goal in research, development, and ultimately commercialization. Impact on public health: Training young scientists and engineers in biomaterials will facilitate the implementation of biomaterial-based technologies, including tissue-engineering approaches, to the clinic. Specifically, this curriculum gives students the creative and analytical skills they will need to develop new and differentiated products in areas including orthopedics, ophthalmology, and cardiology.
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