Nicholas Kenyon, a pulmonary and critical care physician at UC Davis Medical Center, has been recognized by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) for building a collaborative training program with the UC Davis College of Engineering known as Capstone Senior Design Course. The program fosters collaboration among medical and engineering students in the development of new devices to advance health. Kenyon created the program with colleague Cristina Davis, a professor in the UC Davis Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering. Other key instructors include professors Angelique Louie and Tony Passerini in the Department of Biomedical Engineering.
Kenyon was named a finalist for the AAMC Award for Innovative Institutional Partnerships in Research and Research-Focused Training. The award, which recognizes creative, collaborative partnerships, will be presented at the AAMC Graduate Research, Education and Training Group's annual professional development meeting on Sept. 20 in Atlanta. The UC Davis School of Medicine will receive a $1,000 cash prize for its role in the award-winning submission.
Under the supervision of Davis and Kenyon, the Capstone Senior Design Course has developed strong interdisciplinary ties between the UC Davis College of Engineering, Clinical and Translational Science Center (CTSC) and School of Medicine. Conceived in 2008 as a means of removing barriers between medicine and other disciplines, the program has encouraged clinicians and engineers to collaborate on medical engineering projects that are selected based on their high likelihood of success. Student teams, mentored by engineering and medicine faculty, prototype instruments or systems from design to fabrication and testing.
Since its inception, the program has involved 40 faculty mentors, more than 100 students and 25 projects. Successful projects include an intensive care unit (ICU) patient self-hydration unit, a mechanical walker for critically ill ICU patients, an endoscopic balloon drug delivery device, a low-cost pediatric treadmill for home use by disabled children and many other ingeniously designed prototypes.
The Capstone Senior Design Course, as well as collaborations among scientists throughout UC Davis, have benefited from support from the UC Davis CTSC. The center is part of a national consortium, led by the National Center for Acelerating Translational Research at the National Institutes of Health, that is improving how biomedical research is conducted across the nation. Its goals are to reduce the time it takes for research discoveries to become treatments for patients, as well as to train the next generation of clinical researchers.
The Association of American Medical Colleges serves and leads the academic medicine community, to improve the health of all patients throughout the world. AAMC bridges education, clinical care and research, with the specific goal of transforming health care.