How did you first learn of MCIRCC?
When MCIRCC leadership (Profs. Ward and Najarian) contacted me with inquiries about potential use of piezoelectric materials in several physiological monitoring concepts. As it happened, I had an excellent summer student who was just finishing up work with some piezoelectric sensing circuitry. We started testing it with some of our materials on hand and found that we could get a clear signal from arterial pressure fluctuations. Since then we have been experimenting with many ways to analyze resulting data and attempt to monitor cardiovascular events in an increasing number of settings.
What about your experience as a member led to your becoming an associate director?
The readiness of MCIRCC to connect non-clinical researchers with clinical problems has been very exciting, and I was very impressed with what MCIRCC had been able to do to initiate new collaborations between the medical school and other colleges within the university.
Your team received funding in this year’s Massey TBI Grand Challenge for “Intracranial pressure monitor enhancement for cerebral hemodynamic monitoring.” What strides have you made or do you foresee making in your research since receiving funding?
This funding will allow us to do some of our first invasive testing, in swine, of cardiovascular monitoring instrumentation that my collaborators and I have been working on. Without this support, we might have been able to build a simple prototype in the lab, but through the Grand Challenge we are able to bring a more mature device into an ICU like setting to collect data from a living animal. There are very few places, I believe, where this development and testing could have proceeded so directly.
In addition to funding, in what areas do you think MCIRCC provides the most benefit to its members?
As mentioned above, facilitating interaction between clinicians interested in new research, technology experiments, engineers, or other non-clinical researchers is a huge contribution. The size of the medical school and hospital can make it very difficult for non-clinical researchers to know where to look if they think they have potential ideas for discussion, testing, and/or translation.
Tell us a little about yourself – especially the parts that are not related to microsystems.
I became interested in academia due to a program the final year of my PhD in which I split time between my research and science project/education development in a local middle school. I remain interested in how we might maintain students’ interest in math, science, and engineering as they progress from early education to high school and on to college, even for students that may not choose to specialize in any of those areas.