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UCSD Jacobs School of Engineering

UC San Diego Institute of Engineering in Medicine

San Diego, CA, February 5, 2019 -- At the University of California San Diego, engineers, computer scientists, physicians and clinical researchers work together to improve human health. The collaborations span the lab, the clinic and the classroom. The work addresses a broad array of medical innovations, drives the next generation of medical care, and helps people live longer, healthier lives. 

A key catalyst behind these UC San Diego collaborations is the university’s Institute of Engineering in Medicine (IEM), which recently celebrated its 10th anniversary. Since its launch in 2008, the Institute of Engineering in Medicine has been connecting engineers and physicians with the goal of improving health care delivery through next-generation tools and technologies. Watch the 10th anniversary video here.

“The Institute is a campus-wide initiative to synergize our unique strengths in engineering and medicine—two fields in which we have top-ranking faculty and resources at UC San Diego,” says Shu Chien, MD, PhD, Professor of Bioengineering and Medicine, and founding Director of the IEM.

Collaborations between surgeons and engineers at UC San Diego have already produced many awe-inspiring advances in medicine, and the best is yet to come.

“Surgeons and engineers have a lot in common,” says Michael Bouvet, MD, Professor of Surgery in the Division of Surgical Oncology at UC San Diego Health. He specializes in endocrine surgery. “We want to solve problems and we want to do good for patients. Surgery is becoming ever more technical, and some of the incredible advances we have made are because of the work of engineers. They are critical for improving things in the operating room.”

“It’s about bringing together different points of view with different kinds of expertise. As long as you have two groups that are open-minded, which is the trick, then one and one equals much more than two,” says Andrew Baird, Vice Chair of Research in the Department of Surgery at UC San Diego Health.

The Institute lists out its research centers, its labs, and programs including the Siebel Scholars on its website.

“Looking ahead,” says Chien, “we hope to amplify what the Institute of Engineering in Medicine has accomplished over the last 10 years and get more physicians and engineers, not just at UC San Diego but at other campuses throughout the nation and throughout the world, to link together and collaborate for the benefit of people’s health. We’re working to make that a reality,” says Chien.

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