In spite of great effort and many medical advances, heart disease remains the leading cause of death in the United States causing 1 in 4 deaths annually. In 2010, the treatment of these diseases accounted for about $1 of every $6 spent on healthcare in the U.S. The demand for cardiovascular devices is only going to increase as the incidence of cardiovascular diseases rises, the population ages, and medical technology continues to advance. To help meet this demand, we need biomedical engineers with the appropriate advanced multidisciplinary education and training. The proposed T32 training program is designed uniquely to educate, train, and experientially sharpen doctoral students in biomedical engineering, within a multidisciplinary context that specifically engages clinicians and clinician-scientists towards that end. During their participation as trainees in their first two years of predoctoral study in the University of Minnesota (UMN)'s established biomedical engineering graduate program, six trainees per year will interact with a strong training faculty in numerous ways, including these distinctive activities beyond commencing their doctoral research: ? complete the courses Advanced Cardiac Physiology and Anatomy (organized by the leader of UMN-Medtronic Visible Heart Lab collaboration) and Cardiovascular Devices (taught by local cardiovascular device company experts); ? complete a clinical immersion in one of the UMN cardiovascular clinics; ? attend an innovation lecture series (offered through the UMN Medical Devices Center); ? attend monthly clinical focus lunches with invited clinicians presenting specific cardiovascular diseases and associated medical device limitations; and ? attend monthly professional development lunches with invited speakers addressing broad career opportunities including medtech company R&D, FDA, and patent law. We will recruit a diverse group of trainees, and the program will be reviewed periodically by an advisory committee to ensure its success in all respects. We expect that the resulting multidisciplinary research and perspective of our trainees will enable them to meet the aforementioned demand by driving future technological advancements, either as R&D engineers at cardiovascular device companies, device regulators at federal labs, or as professors leading their own research programs in cardiovascular engineering.
Program Narrative This training grant aims to educate, train, and experientially sharpen doctoral students in biomedical engineering to meet the leading and yet increasing burden of cardiovascular diseases on the U.S. healthcare system. Trainees will be exposed to unique courses, clinical experiences, innovation methodologies, and local cardiovascular device company experts in developing a multidisciplinary capability and perspective of biomedical engineering solutions to diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of cardiovascular diseases.