While many engineering schools and specifically biomedical engineering departments offer summer research experiences whereby students can gain exposure to engineering approaches to medicine, there is no program focused on pediatric diseases. As our ability to detect and treat pediatric congenital and acquired diseases improves, so do opportunities to better manage, treat, and cure these diseases. While exciting, this is an area in need of multidisciplinary research across several disciplines. Emory, Georgia Tech and Children's Healthcare of Atlanta have formed a partnership with this as the sole purpose. The Centers for Pediatric Nanomedicine and Pediatric Innovation are focused on applying engineering principles to addressing pediatric diseases. This program is well supported by all 3 institutes, has maturing projects that are nearing independent funding, and truly extends from Bench-to-Bassinet. While there is much excitement, there is also great opportunity. The next step is to help train the next generation of scientists that can carry this innovative discipline forward. We propose to create a 10-week summer program for 10 undergraduate students to perform interdisciplinary research focused on pediatric nanomedicine. We will integrate with the existing Emory SURE program, reach out to local (and national) universities serving underrepresented minorities, and use the well-developed infrastructure to not only train the students scientifically, but to also help them understand clinical needs, ethics in research and medicine, and career development opportunities.
Despite the great need in engineered therapies for the pediatric population, little has been done to merge the areas of Biomedical Engineering and Pediatric Medicine to find solutions to childhood diseases. We have created Center for Pediatric Nanomedicine to enhance existing collaborations between these programs, but lack of exposure to this field could limit its progression. This proposal seeks to train the next generation of scientists, clinicians, and physician/scientists in engineering and nanomedicine approaches to treating pediatric diseases.