Has your involvement in MCIRCC changed the way you approach your research? If so, how?

Most of my research is interdisciplinary, between engineering and medicine. MCIRCC has the foundations to promote and further strengthen the groups across the aisles. My involvement helps me to better recruit and encourage the capabilities of clinicians, engineers, researchers, etc.

A large issue we encounter in our research is there being a limited amount of resources available to help create the foundations and preliminary results for larger scale collaborative grant projects. MCIRCC provides support such as grant writing which motivates people to become more involved in research.

What about your experience as a member led to your becoming an associate director?

I am constantly Interpreting and communicating the needs of the clinical and medical community to engineers and the methodologies from the engineers to the clinicians. My depth of involvement in the activities and the magnitude of the projects we were doing at MCIRCC naturally progressed, making it mandatory for my role to expand. 

You have been a part of several teams that have received funding in past Massey TBI Grand Challenges. What advice can you give to other MCIRCC members who are considering applying?

It is imperative for those who are considering applying to have preliminary results, be able to show their capabilities, and to have publications to support at least part of their ideas. The Joyce and Don Massey Family Foundation provides sufficient funding to allow researchers to pursue different approaches. 

What do you enjoy most about your work?

Regardless of where I am, the most fun I have is when spending time with my students and postdoctoral fellows. I enjoy interacting with them and appreciate their creativity. I believe they are much smarter than I am and that I greatly benefit from them. I constantly find myself explaining a problem that I encounter and they come up with the solutions…it motivates me to become more involved in the academic aspect so that I can continue to have these interactions. It makes my life less boring.

You are a busy man. How do you unwind when you come across some downtime?

Aside from spending time with my family, I follow tennis closely and watch every important tennis game in the world. I also enjoy drawing with pencil, painting with acrylics, and playing table tennis. I prefer that people don’t challenge me for a game of table tennis though because I really want to stay friends with them.