This award by the Biomaterials program in the Division of Materials Research in support of the 39th Northeast Bioengineering Conference is cofunded by the Biotechnology, Biochemical and Biomass Engineering program, and Environment, Health, Safety of Nanotechnology program, both in the Division of Chemical, Bioengineering, Environmental, and Transport Systems. This conference is a multidisciplinary forum for dissemination of advances in biomedical engineering, including biomaterials, drug delivery systems, and tissue engineering. This meeting is expected to enhance the interactions at all levels, and facilitate sharing of knowledge across interdisciplinary barriers. The conference serves as an open forum for discussion of new directions, ideas, and approaches in research and education. Additionally, this is expected to provide a setting to reinforce existing contacts and in establishing new collaborations. Sessions will be organized covering a broad range of topics related to Biomaterials.

Broader Impact: The conference will serve as a forum for students to present their research and provides them an opportunity to discuss potential career choices with scientists from academia, government, and industry. The conference organizers plan to broadly disseminate the scientific presentations at the conference by electronic media.

Project Report

The 39th Annual Northeast Bioengineering Conference (NEBEC) took place April 5-7, 2013. The theme of the conference was "Rehabilitative and Regenerative Engineering." The objectives of the conference were: to expose diverse students (undergraduate and graduate) and trainees at multiple levels of professional development to exciting research at the cutting edge of biomedical engineering; to encourage and enable students to pursue careers in biomedical engineering; to introduce and connect students to research leaders and encourage interactions across disciplines and across multiple levels of professional and scientific development; and to stimulate new interactions between research groups (academic, industrial, and governmental) in the Northeast. An outstanding scientific program highlighted the breadth of bioengineering research in the Northeast. In addition to the scientific program, the student program included diverse career related activities. As always, students were at the heart of the conference. Specific activities and outcomes and related metrics included the following. Participation by 410 conferees (comprising 299 early online registrants and 111 same-day-registrants, invited speakers, organizers, and volunteers). 14 oral sessions (comprising 67 oral presentations, with 1 invited speaker per session and the balance contributed talks). 4 research poster sessions (comprising 78 contributed posters). 4 themed panels: Undergraduate Professional Development; Rehabilitative and Regenerative Engineering; Translational Medicine; and Graduate Professional Development. 2 plenary talks (Margaret A. Wheatley, PhD, John M. Reid Professor of Biomedical Engineering, School of Biomedical Engineering, Science and Health Systems, Drexel University; and Alan J. Grodzinsky, PhD, Director, Center for Biomedical Engineering, Professor of Biological, Electrical, and Mechanical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology). Participation of 38 Senior Design Teams in a Senior Design Competition for which 7 monetary awards (2 for 1-semester programs and 5 for 2-semester programs) were awarded. A 10-table Career Fair (with government, academic, and industrial institutions represented). IEEE-EMBS technical co-sponsorship. Synergy with SU ADVANCE, the National Science Foundation ADVANCE program at Syracuse University, through a day of ADVANCE activities for NEBEC plenary speaker Margaret Wheatley, including meetings with faculty, an informal tea with graduate students and postdocs, and lunch and dinner with faculty and staff. Colocalization and coordination with the Syracuse University Nunan Lecture and Research Day. Reduced registration fee ($90 total) for the approximately 300 paying undergraduate and graduate students and additional subsidy (reducing registration to $20 total) for 46 students who applied for registration assistance. A social ice-skating event to facilitate informal interactions outside of the scientific program. Rapid advances in engineering are facilitating an enhanced understanding of biology and providing novel transformative solutions to biomedical problems. The NEBEC provided a multidisciplinary forum for dissemination of these advances in biomedical engineering at all levels, and facilitated the sharing of knowledge across interdisciplinary barriers. The conference served as an open forum for discussion of new directions, ideas, and approaches in research and education. The 39th NEBEC had broad impact for the Northeast bioengineering community and for engineering education. The knowledge shared at the conference by researchers from institutions in the Northeast was disseminated via thumb drives and the IEEE website. The conference's emphasis on students, with multiple opportunities for them to present their work and discuss current obstacles to progress with leading researchers in an intimate setting, better prepared them for careers in both research and industry. One of the main goals of the conference was to nurture exceptional students and to help develop an environment to support future leaders in the field. The exposure of attendees, particularly students and trainees, to research in diverse fields is anticipated to help spawn innovations and create ground breaking bioengineering technologies, and hence benefit society at large.

National Science Foundation (NSF)
Division of Materials Research (DMR)
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Joseph A. Akkara
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Syracuse University
United States
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