Sunday, August 17, 2008

UCSD Launching New Institute

Top engineers, physicians, and scientists are joining forces to conceptualize and develop future tools and treatments for 21st century healthcare at the University of California, San Diego. The goal is to accelerate innovation in unconventional ways by establishing the Institute of Engineering in Medicine.

The Institute will intersect broad areas of research and focus on new approaches to disease identification, genomic medicine, clinical testing and monitoring, and the discovery of new drugs and therapies. Davis Brenner, MD, Vice Chancellor for Health Sciences and Dean of the School of Medicine sees the Institute as a leader in designing next generation therapies and new medical technologies.

“The next giant leap in patient care is going to happen through the joint efforts of engineering, medicine, and pharmacy specialists, by applying their expertise to expand the tool box for preventing, diagnosing, and treating disease, and injury”, said Dr. Brenner.

Examples of projects currently underway at UC San Diego:

  • Cells have been identified that may be capable of regenerating damaged or lost heart muscle in patients with cardiovascular disease
  • A nanoparticle drug delivery system to fight cancer is underway that will use tiny smart bombs capable of specifically targeting spreading cancer while delivering cancer-killing drugs and sparing healthy tissues
  • Visualization technologies and other minimally invasive devices are being developed to make scarless surgery a reality
  • State-of-the-art stroke care is being delivered to remote sites using wireless telemedicine applications developed in collaboration with the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology
  • Development of therapies to promote vascular remodeling and repair