Archive for the 'Biomedical Engineering' Category

Early Notice: Research Data and Technology Fair

You are invited to the UVa Health Sciences Library’s Research Data and Technology Fair on Friday October 25th in Jordan Hall Conference Center.

Two nationally known speakers will explore Big Data and its impact on biomedical research.  The half-day event will also include exhibitors from UVa research and data service providers, innovative initiatives at UVa, and free lunch!  See our full agenda.

The Fair’s events include:

Keynote speakers Atul Butte, MD, PhD, Stanford University, and Michael Huerta, PhD, NIH’s Big Data to Knowledge (BD2K):

“Translating a trillion points of data into therapies, diagnostics, and new insights into disease”

Dr. Butte, a bioinformatician and pediatric endocrinologist, will highlight his lab’s work on using publicly-available molecular measurements to find new uses for drugs including drug repositioning for inflammatory bowel disease, discovering new treatable inflammatory mechanisms of disease in type 2 diabetes, and the evaluation of patients presenting with whole genomes sequenced.

“Exa, Zetta, Yotta: More Data – More Progress”

Dr. Huerta will provide an overview and status report of the NIH Big Data to Knowledge (BD2K) initiative, including: findings from a series of recently held workshops, synopses of funding opportunities and a vision of the manner in which BD2K will affect the scientific landscape in biomedicine.

Refreshments with UVa research and data support services:  Discover what is available to you as a researcher by visiting with our UVa exhibitors.  Find out about statistical consulting services, technology-enabled learning spaces, data visualization, bioinformatics resources, and new tools and services to help you navigate the research landscape on Grounds.

Innovations Panel:  Hear from UVa faculty about how innovations in technology and collaboration are impacting biomedical research at UVa.

For a full agenda, speaker information, list of exhibitors, and registration information, visit the Fair web site at

Stair Climbing Wheelchair

Japanese Researchers Develop Robotic Wheelchair That Can Climb Stairs.

Popular Science (10/17, Boyle) reports, “Wheels are the most efficient way to get around, but they can’t take you everywhere.” A “new robotic wheelchair designed in Japan can go almost anywhere, however–it can swivel its axles up and down to climb up stairs, onto curbs or over obstacles.” Popular Science explains, “All the user has to do is move a joystick to point it in the desired direction, and the robo-chair figures out what to do. Sensors on its feet detect the distance to nearby obstacles and determine their size. The chair will stabilize itself in the best position to hoist one of its front wheels, like a rider straddling a horse.”

Reposted from the 10/17/12 ASEE First Bell.

Revolutionary Aerospace Systems Concepts – Academic Linkage (RASC-AL) Competition

Revolutionary Aerospace Systems Concepts – Academic Linkage (RASC-AL) is a student design competition that is sponsored by NASA and managed by the National Institute of Aerospace.  RASC-AL was formed to provide university-level engineering students with the opportunity to design projects based on NASA engineering challenges as well as offer NASA access to new research and design projects by students.

RASC-AL is open to undergraduate and graduate university-level students studying fields with applications to human space exploration (i.e., aerospace, bio-medical, electrical, and mechanical engineering; and life, physical, and computer sciences).  RASC-AL projects allow students to incorporate their coursework into real aerospace design concepts and work together in a team environment. Interdisciplinary teams are encouraged.

Through RASC-AL, student teams and their faculty advisors will work to develop mission architectures to employ innovative solutions in response to one of the 3 following themes:
  • Near Earth Asteroid (NEA) Flexible Mission Architecture Designs
  • Human-Focused Mars Mission Systems and Technologies
  • Human Lunar Access and Initial Exploration

Teams can choose to participate in RASC-AL in one of two different ways:
  1. By developing a complete, integrated, end-to-end architecture addressing one of the three themes listed above (the traditional option); OR
  2. By performing a thorough system design of a supporting element such as a mobility system, habitat or lander (the advanced concept option).
In 2013, up to eighteen will be chosen to compete at the RASC-AL Forum in Cocoa Beach, Florida. Each team will receive a travel stipend to help defray the cost of attending the RASC-AL Forum. The teams with the top two winning papers will be invited to present their design projects to industry experts at a major Aerospace conference, such as Space 2013 (additional travel stipends provided).
Interested in RASC-AL?  Click here for more details.

Pew Scholars Internal RFP

Pew Scholars Internal RFP

Pew Scholars Program aim:  Candidates should demonstrate outstanding promise as contributors in science relevant to human health.  Strong proposals will incorporate particularly creative and innovative approaches.  Candidates whose work is based on biomedical principles, but brings in concepts and theories from more diverse fields, are encouraged to apply.  Risk-taking is encouraged.  The University of Virginia can nominate one candidate.  For program details see:

Eligibility:  As of 1 November 2012 candidates must hold full-time appointments at the rank of assistant professor or equivalent.  On 1 July 2013 they must not have been in such as appointment for more that three years.

Internal application package:  3-page research narrative that describes (1) research accomplishments to date; (2) three-year project proposed to Searle; (3) long-term research goals.  Chair’s nomination letter.  Names of 3 external references who can—if asked—provide letters.  2-page PI, with additional page listing research funding.

Pew deadline:  1 November 2012.

Internal deadline:  Send internal application package in PDF format to Jeffrey Plank and Meg Harris, by 24 August  4 September at 4:00 pm.

Review and notification:  Review, the week of 13 September; notification, by 17 September.

Questions?  Contact Jeffrey Plank, 4-6901 or

Molecular Motors and Nanomedicine

The UVa Nano and Emerging Technologies Club (NExT) and the Nanomedicine Engineering Academic Society (NEAS) are co-hosting a presentation by Dr. William H. Guilford, from the Biomedical Engineering Department, about his research in Molecular Motors and Nanomedicine!!!!

Refreshments and snacks will be provided!

When: Wednesday October 26th

Time: 6:00 PM

Room: Physics 204

Exoskeletal Legs

Students At UC Berkeley Build Exoskeletal Legs That Allow Paraplegic To Walk.

Popular Science (8/31, Vlahos) reports that student engineers at University Of California At Berkeley’s Robotics and Human Engineering Laboratory “built a machine that” allowed a paraplegic student “to stand up and walk across the commencement stage” in May. Until now, the exoskeletons developed in Berkeley’s Robotics and Human Engineering Laboratory “have been elaborately engineered test pieces.” For the current project, director Homayoon “Kazerooni challenged the students to invent the Honda of exoskeletons, a bare-bones device that would cost $15,000 or less, not $100,000 or more.” Popular Science reports, “With the goal of developing an exoskeleton that costs close to what a powered wheelchair does, the students were forced to adopt a minimalist approach.” Currently, they are “working on a new exoskeleton, one that is even more streamlined and affordable than the” model used in May.

Reposted from the 8/31/11 issue of First Bell.

Surge in Biomedical Engineering

The following article is reposted from the ASEE Connections Newsletter for August 2010:


Biomedical engineering degrees have increased more than any other field over the past decade.  Respectively, they’ve grown by 215 percent, 193 percent and 256 percent at the bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral levels since 2000.

Biomedical Engineering Bachelor’s Degrees Awarded
By School: 2009
1. Duke University 141
2. University of California, San Diego 136
3. Georgia Institute of Technology 134
4. University of Texas, Austin 102
5. Johns Hopkins University 100
6. University of California, Irvine 98
7. Boston University 96
8. Case Western Reserve University 93
9. University of Pennsylvania 86
10. University of California, Berkeley 85
11. Drexel University 72
11. Washington University 72
13. Arizona State University 69
13. University of Michigan 69
13. University of Minnesota, Twin Cities 69
13. University of Southern California 69
17. Rutgers University 67
17. University of Virginia 67
19. Northwestern University 66
19. Texas A&M University 66
89 schools reported.


This article was provided by Engineering Trends. For more information, visit Engineering Trends at


Growth in Biomedical Engineering Degrees
by Degree Level
2000 – 1,156
2009 – 3,644
2000 – 476
2009 – 1,396
2000 – 203
2009 – 722

Special Needs Shelter

High-Tech Dwellings For The Elderly Garner Praise, Concern.

The Washington Post (5/6, Kunkle) reports on “the MEDcottage, a portable high-tech dwelling that could be trucked to a family’s back yard and used to shelter a loved one in need of special care.” The shelter is the brainchild of the Rev. Kenneth Dupin of Salem, Virginia, who wanted to give the aged the option to “avoid a jarring move to the nursing home by living in small, specially equipped, temporary shelters close to relatives.” Critics, meanwhile, refer to the product as “the granny pod,” and “some local officials warn that Dupin’s dwellings — which have been authorized by Virginia’s state government — will spring up in subdivisions all over the state, creating not-in-my-back-yard tensions…and perhaps being misused.” The Post notes, “The enterprise has received backing from the Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center,” and VT engineering professor Janis P. Terpenny said the shelter “could have a huge impact on revolutionizing health care.”

Reposted from the May 6, 2010 ASEE First Bell

Seminar on Image and Video Analysis

The University of Virginia Applied Research Institute (ARI) presents a spring seminar series hosted by Battelle. The series will allow ARI to showcase the depth and range of technology being developed at the University of Virginia for the growing scientific and technology community in the region. The seminars are free and open to the public. Each seminar will be held at Battelle Memorial Institute in the U.Va. Research Park in Charlottesville, Va. Get directions here.

March 4 at 4 p.m.Scott Acton, Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Biomedical Engineering – “Image and Video Analysis”

In this talk, Scott Acton describes three active areas of research within the Virginia Image and Video Analysis (VIVA) laboratory. The first area highlights the image segmentation problem, which is a key step in image analysis. Applications such as the segmentation of microscopic cells, the segmentation of the heart in 3-D, and the use of segmentation in content-based image retrieval are detailed. In the second portion of the talk, the problem of target tracking in clutter is addressed. Two tools, the invariant feature transform and the particle filter, are emphasized. Finally, Acton describes the challenges involved with ongoing work in human pose detection and activity recognition from video.

If you are unable to attend in person, participate in this session online through Live Meeting. A software download may be required.

Ultraviolet Light and Sterilization: a History

Department of Science, Technology and Society Spring 2010 Colloquium Series
  Gerard J. Fitzgerald, NYU/UVA
       Title:   Turn on the Light:  The Technological Challenge of Airborne Disease Control in the United States, 1930-1947.
  Thursday, February 18th, 2010
       Time:  3:30 – 5:00 p.m.
Location:  Rodman Room, A207 Thornton Hall
During the 1930s, questions about the nature of airborne disease led American physicians, engineers, scientists, architects, and public health officials to analyze the airborne spread of bacteria and viruses. Interdisciplinary research programs were established by academic, industrial and military researchers to probe not only possible causal relationships between airborne microorganisms and the onset of infection in humans, but to also simultaneously investigate the feasibility of creating airborne disease containment technologies. One such technology, a potential key to a future free from airborne infection, was unveiled in the Westinghouse Pavilion at the 1939 World’s Fair. The Westinghouse Sterilamp, an ultraviolet lamp with germicidal properties, was developed by Dr. Harvey Rentschler who was the research director at the Westinghouse Lamp Division from 1917-1947. Unable to test the full experimental potential and commercial viability of the Sterilamp through in-house testing before the war, Westinghouse researchers willingly participated in Research Project No. X-231, a joint United States Navy, National Institutes of Health, and General Electric field trial between 1943 and 1945 carried out with large number of barracks bound navy recruits. Postwar debate over the interpretation of the epidemiological data from wartime studies such as X-231, which was codified in a 1947 American Public Health Association committee report, not only doomed the commercial viability of UV based containment technologies but also provides a useful historical case study on the nature of interdisciplinary research at a critical juncture in American history.
Brief Bio:
Gerard J. Fitzgerald is a visiting scholar in the University of Virginia Department of Science, Technology and Society and at New York University where his is finishing his first book on the history of airborne disease. He was a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Dibner Institute for the History of Science and Technology at MIT and a Sitterson Fellow to UNC, Chapel Hill. He has published in the Journal of American History and the American Journal of Public Health. His new work is a sensorial and architectural history of southern textile mills and villages.

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