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The UAB Department of Biomedical Engineering will offer three new co-enrolled elective courses for medical students in the 2021-22 academic school year. Two will be offered in the fall semester and the third will debut in the spring.

The “Gene Editing and Engineering” course is designed to introduce concepts of gene editing technologies and potential applications to clinical therapies. The course will be led by Assistant Professor M.K. Sewell-Loftin, Ph.D., but will also feature guest lecturers from faculty members with expertise in specific techniques and student-led discussions of case studies. Case study discussions will include potential clinical translational strategies and ethical considerations for applications of such technologies.

The “Biomedical Device Design and Commercialization” course will focus on the development of a medical device with consideration of customer validation, design within realistic constraints, brainstorming and evaluation, and design proposals. Several development issues will be addressed in this course, such as market/intellectual property/patent landscapes, regulatory approval, business models, and reimbursement. Communication and how to reach target audiences is included in the curriculum.

“Entrepreneurship in Medicine” will be offered in spring 2022. Technological advances in science, engineering, and medicine continue to revolutionize healthcare. This course focuses on the process of commercially translating these technological advances to improve healthcare delivery and the quality of life for patients. It will provide an overview of the global biotechnology and pharmaceutical industry and address various topics related to the formation of a start-up company, such as entrepreneurship, idea development, IP protection, business planning, financing, management, and marketing. Small groups of students will collaborate to develop a commercialization plan for an NIH Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant submission.

These courses will allow medical students to understand cutting edge technologies, contribute to new innovations and developments, learn the science behind technologies, and become familiar with pathways to commercialize ideas and inventions.