The creation of new cardiovascular technology that can be successfully commercialized and deployed in the clinical environment relies on an array of skills and knowledge including engineering, cardiovascular science, and entrepreneurship. Current training environments are not structured to cultivate these skills in a single individual, and, as such, teams of highly specialized professionals are formed. Inevitably, barriers to communication exist between the disciplines that invariably create inefficiencies in the long and arduous process from idea conception to successful commercialization. We propose a new paradigm for training translational cardiovascular researchers that includes the efficient acquisition of a base skill set (or "fluency") in three major disciplines (engineering, cardiovascular science, and entrepreneurship). The training program is referred to as Cardiovascular Applied Research and Entrepreneurship (CARE), and all trainees will pursue the doctoral degree in biomedical engineering. Trainees enter the program through three existing pathways (or "feeder programs") that include the medical scientist training program (MSTP), a mathematical computational biology (MCB) "gateway" program, or the regular doctoral program in biomedical engineering. Mechanisms to acquire fluency range from traditional didactic courses, original research leading to the doctoral degree, training clubs, mentoring, creating a learning portfolio, and participation in UCI's annual business competition. We will also create a home for the trainees and leverage resources from The Edwards Life sciences Center for Advanced Cardiovascular Technology here at UCI. The program will create a new breed of cardiovascular researchers who can develop translatable technology more efficiently, and communicate more effectively with professional entrepreneurs and clinicians. Hence, the program will accelerate the process of commercializing basic research findings from the university lab.!
This proposal will create a training program to develop cardiovascular researchers who have expertise in three related disciplines: 1) engineering, 2) cardiovascular science, and 3) entrepreneurship. Graduates from the program will accelerate the development of innovative and translational cardiovascular technology.