We are requesting renewal of our Training Program: Cardiovascular Applied Research and Entrepreneurship (CARE). 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 so teams of highly specialized professionals are formed. Inevitably, barriers to communication exist between the disciplines and team members that invariably create inefficiencies in the long and arduous process from idea conception to successful commercialization. We have proposed 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). This is the CARE program, and the majority of trainees will pursue the doctoral degree in biomedical engineering. We are requesting support for four pre-doctoral trainees. The Edwards Lifesciences Center for Advanced Cardiovascular Technology along with UCI Graduate Division will support a further two students in the program for a total of six at any one time. These 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 plan competition. We will also create a home for the trainees in, and leverage resources from, The Edwards Lifesciences Center for Advanced Cardiovascular Technology here at UCI. The program is creating a new breed of cardiovascular researchers who can develop translatable technology more efficiently, and communicate more effectively with professional entrepreneurs and clinicians. We launched successfully four years ago and have already trained, or are in the process of training, 13 students. The T32 supports four of these students in years two and three of their Ph.D. studies. As this is our first renewal, only one of our students has so far graduated. This cohort of students has already published 25 papers and two (independently) have won top awards in the campus-wide business plan competition. We believe the CARE program has a high potential for future successes.
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.
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