This T32 program represents a new paradigm for training biophysical scientists and engineers to traverse cardiovascular medicine. The convergence of engineering with medicine is transforming clinical and patient care via advances in flexible electronics for sensing and imaging, coupled with machine learning, which has introduced new innovations to confront the rising endemic of cardiometabolic disorders. The University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) and the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) are partnering to develop the UCLA/Caltech integrated Cardiovascular Medicine for Bioengineers (iCMB) Program, that will be formalized into a 2-year, structured curriculum with an emphasis on recruiting the under-represented post- doctoral engineers or biophysical scientists into leadership roles in academia and industry. The approach is to strengthen individualized training in 1) advanced sensing or 2) imaging coupled with machine learning to address 3) cardiometabolic disease. The iCMB program will be built upon two successful Caltech and UCLA joint training programs: the Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP) for MD-PhD students and the unique Subspecialty Training and Advanced Research Program (STAR) for fellowship-level physicians to obtain a PhD. The partnerships with the industry leaders from Amgen, Johnson & Johnson, Medtronic, and Edwards Lifesciences have enriched our internship, mentorship, and leadership programs. Both the Caltech Diversity Center and UCLA Faculty Diversity & Development Office have supported workshops on Science Technology Engineering & Mathematics (STEM) for women and under-represented minorities. To implement this iCMB Program, we have developed a novel mentoring and self-evaluating structure in the inclusion of 24 seasoned mentors, 4 emerging faculty, 22 Clinical Faculty (42% female), and 10 industry leaders. Each iCMB scholar will have co-mentorships: a primary mentor from cardiometabolic medicine and a secondary from enabling technologies or industry. In Year 1, iCMB scholars will develop fundamental knowledge in advanced imaging, sensors, or computation and didactic training for ethics in biomedical research and publications. In Year 2, iCMB scholar will have an option 1) to participate in a certificate in Pathways in Clinical and Translational Research from the UCLA Clinical Translational Science Institute (CTSI) or Law and Technology for FDA regulatory science (BE188/299); and/or 2) to participate in UCLA CTSI-sponsored professional development in preparation for an academic or industry career. Both Caltech and UCLA Deans have committed matching funds for each iCMB scholar. Our Vice Provost for UCLA Graduate Education has also committed supplemental trainee support to enhance the diversity of trainees. Therefore, the complementary and synergistic strengths of the Caltech/UCLA iCMB Program provide a new infusion of workforce prepared to solve the worldwide endemic of cardiometabolic disease.

Public Health Relevance

) The Caltech/UCLA integrated Cardiovascular Medicine for Bioengineers (iCMB) embraces a humanistic approach to integrate training in imaging or sensing coupled with machine learning to confront the rising endemic of cardiometabolic disease. The joint mentorship with the biomedical faculty alongside with engineering or industry partnership provides an interactive ecosystem for recruiting and retaining our under- represented iCMB scholars. The vision is to accelerate innovation to commercialization via pathways in advanced skills in clinical research design, ethics of human research, and scientific communication as the next generation of leaders in cardiovascular engineering.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)
Institutional National Research Service Award (T32)
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NHLBI Institutional Training Mechanism Review Committee (NITM)
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Huang, Li-Shin
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University of California Los Angeles
Internal Medicine/Medicine
Schools of Medicine
Los Angeles
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