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IU School of Medicine and Purdue University are proximally located in Central Indiana, and only about a 45 min. drive from each other. Over the past 30 years, the two institutions have had collaborative research programs in Biomedical Engineering (BME) that have led to pioneering contributions in the field of Medicine. Contributions include the development of the first energy-efficient implantable cardiac defibrillator, a significant commercial success; the discovery of a xenogeneic biomaterial scaffold for the repair and regeneration of human tissues that is in widespread clinical use; the invention of acoustic guidance systems for endotracheal tubes that has recently been FDA-approved; the design and synthesis of novel controlled release devices for the localized delivery of drugs, peptides, and proteins; and the development of the first fully experimental techniques to design, test, and improve artificial knee joints in concert with regional industrial partners. These contributions reflect major research strengths of the two institutions in intelligent biomaterials, orthopedic biomechanics, medical imaging, implantable devices, and tissue engineering. Today, the inter-institutional CTSI serves as the major hub for collaborative efforts between the two institutions, including our MSTP (for which students have received both research and stipend support).
The Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering serves as Purdue University’s focal point for education, research, and partnerships in this emerging and growing field that integrates engineering and medical sciences. The School encourages and fosters highly interdisciplinary research and teaching that spans modern BME with a dedicated emphasis on the molecular and cellular foundations of implantable devices and tissues. Weldon faculty have a strong commitment to graduate training, and collectively are currently training 89 pre-doctoral students.
For our MSTP students, the infrastructure and faculty investments in BME and related signature areas by Purdue University offer truly unique opportunities for them to pursue and solve highly technical thesis research with a bent toward translation into the clinic. Recently, the Weldon School led the establishment of the Alfred Mann Institute for Biomedical Development at Purdue. Founded through a $100M endowment from the Mann Foundation, this on-campus institute provides dedicated resources and expertise to develop biomedical discoveries into clinical products, in part through the formation of highly functional product development teams that include faculty members, postdoctoral fellows, and graduate students. The Institute provides a unique opportunity to translate technologies through a myriad of entrepreneurial routes and company partnerships.