UC Berkeley's Department of Bioengineering (BioE) is educating the next cadre of biomedical leaders and innovators. Our program consists of a Clinical Immersion (summer internship), Engineering Immersion (Fall Semester Capstone), and Translational Immersion (Spring Semester) periods. The renewal R25 builds on established partnerships with >20 departments at UCSF Medical Centers, Stanford Medical, and the UC Davis Medical Centers in addition to the newly established UCSF Rosenman Institute and the new UC Berkeley Jacobs Institute for Design Innovation. Unique aspects include: first, unmet needs formulated from 8-week in-clinic needs finding during the Clinical Immersion by BioE Fellows (Capstone alumni) and Protgs (rising Capstone seniors). Second, direct teaming of BioE undergraduates with clinical clients during the Engineering Immersion. Third, we partner the aforementioned two new institutes, one focused on engineering design (Jacobs) and one focused on biomedical device translation (Rosenman) . Fourth, we will enhance all three Immersion periods by integrating two factors (self-efficacy and community support) that are correlated with subsequent pursuit of STEM careers; the latter factor being acutely relevant to URM career decisions. We will retain the Clinical-Engineering-Translational Immersion framework and pursue two new Aims: (1) Inculcate engineering design approaches with an emphasis on self-efficacy (Engineering Immersion) and (2) Expand community engagement and support (Engineering & Translational Immersion).
In Aim 1, we will transform our Capstone course into a fully studio-based course housed in the new Jacobs Hall. Lecture content will be recorded and viewed a priori. Studios will be hands-on workshops, case study discussion, and in-depth Design Reviews. Real-time self-assessment will be developed and integrated into each studio so that students receive tangible (irrefutable) evidence of mastery to enhance self-efficacy.
In Aim 2, we will enhance both the Engineering and Translational Immersion periods. We will add Engineering Advisors to each Capstone project, but not supplant the Clinical Client. Engineering Advisors are accomplished senior engineers and fellows of the UCSF Rosenman Institute. In addition to technical feedback, Advisors will provide societal capital needed for our students (and URM students in particular) to join established formal and informal entrepreneurial networks. Also supporting Aim 2, we will provide financial support not just for project resources but also for student presentation of project outcomes at state and national meetings, as is crit ical for establishing self-efficacy and engaging with a supportive technical community (again, an acute factor in URM selection of BioE as a career path). The Immersion program combines didactic and experiential training to provide a comprehensive introduction to translational medicine innovation -- with the aim of supplementing theoretical knowledge with hands-on engineering for clinical and biomedical environments. 1
Increasing the number of new bioengineers with didactic & experiential training in translational medicine will increase and improve needs-centered innovation in medicine. Engineering students face challenges in translational medicine training, namely in gaining clinical experience and mentoring. In collaboration with UCSF and surrounding medical programs, UC Berkeley's Team-Based Design in Biomedical Engineering Education program offers a full spectrum of immersion experiences from the clinic to engineering practice to translation of innovation to the biomedical arena.
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