Partnership with Southern Research Institute Brings New Opportunities
Technological advances are changing the way medicine is practiced, and the UAB Department of Biomedical Engineering is at the forefront of that change.
The department recently formed a partnership with Birmingham-based Southern Research Institute to create the Alliance for Innovative Medical Technology (AIMTech)—an interdisciplinary collaboration that combines the expertise of both organizations in the effort to design new medical devices that will improve the quality of health care in the United States and around the world.
“This partnership is another step forward for our department as we attempt to move biomedical applications from the laboratory to the hospitals and other health-care environments,” says Timothy Wick, Ph.D., chair of the Department of Biomedical Engineering. “Partnerships such as this one are accelerating the pace of research commercialization, with the ultimate goal of a better patient experience.”
As an initial step in the partnership, UAB and Southern Research jointly hired Robert Hergenrother, Ph.D., to be the director of AIMTech. Hergenrother, who also is a professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering, has led the creation of 15 neurovascular, diagnostic, wound care, and orthopedic medical devices during his career. Eighteen of his inventions have been patented in the U.S.
Virginia P. Sisiopiku, Ph.D., was recently named Fellow of the Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE). Sisiopiku, an associate professor of transportation engineering in the Department of Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering, is the first female ITE member in the State of Alabama to hold this professional distinction.
Founded in 1930, ITE is a professional association of transportation engineers with more than 17,000 members worldwide who contribute individually and collectively toward meeting society's needs for safe and efficient surface transportation. ITE Fellow is a distinction reserved for select ITE members whose exceptional professional accomplishments are deemed fitting of this prestigious grade elevation. Selection criteria include evidence of significant professional stature, demonstrated substantial contribution to the transportation engineering profession, and five references from ITE fellows.
Grant C. Alexander, a Ph.D. student in the Department of Biomedical Engineering, was selected as a finalist for the Featheringill Young Investigator Award at the 2014 Comprehensive Cardiovascular Center Symposium.
Alexander was one of three finalist invited to give a presentation at the symposium earlier in October. His presentation was on the "Prohealing Multifunctional Endothelium Nanomatrix Coated Stents."
Senior biomedical engineering student Ophelia Johnson was recently named a Tau Beta Pi Scholar for 2014-2015. Johnson, who was also recently named a Goldwater Scholar, is one of 242 students selected from across the nation for the honor. Also honored by Tau Beta Pi was Brandon J. Trip, a 2014 UAB graduate from the Department of Civil, Construction and Environmental Engineering, who was named a Tau Beta Pi Fellow. Trip is one of just 25 people selected to receive that honor.
"Having our students selected for prestigous awards such as these is a point of pride for everyone in the School of Engineering," says SOE Dean Iwan Alexander, Ph.D. "It is evidence of the high quality of students we have here, as well as the tremendous focus and effort these individuals put forth to distinguish themselves. Well done."