Biomedical Engineering NEWS

    November 2017
Photos: BMES Annual Meeting images from Phoenix now available

Hundreds of images from the 2017 BMES Annual Meeting in Phoenix are now available on the Society's Flickr page.

Feel free to view all the pictures and download the ones you want to keep or post on social media, blogs and news articles.

If you are looking for a specific event that isn't posted on the Flickr site, let us know and we will see if images are available in the archive.


BMES opposes elimination of tuition waiver for graduate students proposed by 
House tax bill

The Biomedical Engineering Society strongly opposes the proposed change to make tuition waivers granted by universities count as taxable income.  This provision, in the tax bill endorsed by the House of Representatives, discourages graduate education, especially in the technology, engineering, health and science sectors that are vital to our economic future.

Graduate students in these STEM fields pursue their education with support from a modest stipend, often less than $30,000 per year and typically from their universities, intended to cover the cost of food, board, and healthcare.

Graduate school tuition is often waived for these students, a benefit that can vary from $20,000 to $50,000 depending on degree of enrollment and institution.  By eliminating the tuition waiver, the House of Representatives asks that graduate students pay taxes on the full cost of tuition each year. 

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Newly Archived BMES Professional Development Webinars 
The BMES Professional Development webinar series is a valuable benefit the Society offers members to enhance and grow professional skills. Take a moment to review the highlighted archived webinars below and visit the BMES Education E-Learning website to view all upcoming and archived webinars available to members. 

Best Practices for How to Sustain a BMES Student Chapter 

Archive Now Available 

This webinar features an overview of how to start a BMES Student Chapter and expectations for sustaining a chapter. There is a presentation from the 2017 BMES Outstanding Student Chapter award winner, University of California, San Diego. The chapter provides their undergraduate student chapter best practices, goals and accomplishments, and shares ways they interact with their graduate student chapter. The chapter highlights initiatives targeting student success, research literacy, and community outreach. They identify best practices in their transition processes, how to illicit student involvement, and future directions. 

Connecting Leaders in BME with Underrepresented Groups 

Archive Now Available 

This webinar is part of a series, organized by the BMES Diversity Committee, to give BMES members that are part of underrepresented groups a chance to hear from and interact with leaders in the field. The main goals are to provide a means to bridge the gap between highly regarded scientists and students, post-doctoral fellows, industry, and faculty across institutions and to help forge new relationships. Tejal Desai, PhD, Ernest L. Prien Endowed Professor and Chair, Department of Bioengineering and Therapeutic Sciences, UCSF Schools of Pharmacy and Medicine is the featured speaker. 

New NSF Solicitation for Tissue Engineering Researchers due February 12th  
The National Science Foundation (CBET - Chemical, Bioengineering, Environmental and Transport Systems Division of the Engineering Directorate) and the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS) announced a new collaborative initiative. This program will support transformative tissue engineering research that can take advantage of experiments conducted on the International Space Station (ISS) in order to benefit life on earth. For more information, CLICK HERE.
BMES Supported Travel Awards for Public Policy Institute   
The BMES Minority Network, a program supported by a grant from the Wallace H. Coulter Foundation, awarded 21 travel awards to underrepresented minorities to attend AIMBE's Public Policy Institute last month in Washington, DC. BMES provided underrepresented minority undergraduate students, graduate students and postdoctoral fellows awards to attend the Public Policy Institute for Rising Leaders workshop. 

The 2-day workshop explored how public policies shape medical and biomedical engineering. Congressman Rush Holt served as the keynote speaker. Students had the opportunity to listen to and interact with policy experts and thought leaders and network with early career participants in health and engineering across the nation.
New tissue-engineered blood vessel replacements closer to human trials

Researchers at the University of Minnesota have created a new lab-grown blood vessel replacement that is composed completely of biological materials, but doesn't contain any living cells at implantation, the university announced. 

The vessel, that could be used as an "off the shelf" graft for kidney dialysis patients, performed well in a recent study with nonhuman primates, according to the announcement. 

It is the first-of-its-kind nonsynthetic, decellularized graft that becomes repopulated with cells by the recipient's own cells when implanted, according to the researchers. The discovery could help tens of thousands of kidney dialysis patients each year. 

The grafts could also be adapted in the future for use as coronary and peripheral bybass blood vessels and tubular heart valves.

Medical research group asks lawmakers to commit $36 billion investment for NIH

The Ad Hoc Group for Medical Research sent a letter to Congressional leaders this month urging them to enact a bicameral, bipartisan budget agreement that raises the spending caps and enables a $36.1 billion investment in NIH in FY 2018. 

According to the letter, the group is "concerned that without relief from sequestration, final funding for critical federal agencies like the NIH could face significant hurdles. Our country is known for its outstanding medical research capacity, but the discretionary spending caps imposed by sequestration will jeopardize our competitive edge in an increasingly innovation-based global marketplace," the letter states. 

"To maintain our leadership, we must reaffirm this commitment by providing biomedical research enterprise the support needed to maintain our competitive edge," it concludes.

USC Viterbi biomedical engineers develop a system that tracks vital signs of patients from admission to discharge

Dinesh Seemakurty founded the startup Stasis Labs with fellow USC Viterbi biomedical engineering alum Michael Maylahn to develop technology that tracks the vital signs of patients with custom bedside monitors.

The system compiles that data in the cloud, making it available to doctors and nurses on smartphones, tablets and other devices, according to a university article.

Envisioning a centralized system that monitors vitals from admission to discharge, Seemakurty  began building prototypes with classmates - including Maylahn, Clayton Brand and Derek Nielsen - while studying at USC Viterbi. The project rapidly grew from an idea into a company that now provides monitoring services in 15 medical facilities in India and plans to expand into the United States, according to the article.

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