The Third AUB Biomedical Engineering Winter School was held over two days in a joint effort by the Biomedical Engineering Program and the Center for Advanced Mathematical Sciences (CAMS). Bringing together research experts from prominent universities worldwide, the event was a mixture of lectures covering fundamentals as well as state-of-the-art research findings, with an emphasis on active interaction with students for possible future collaboration.
The annual event started with the initiation of the Biomedical Engineering Program at AUB with an emphasis to allow for an exchange of information and expertise between experts in the field and postgraduate students interested in feedback on their research as well as undergraduate students seeking advice, inspiration, and networking in the field.
“The central goal of this event was to provide a platform for knowledge-sharing, learning, and engagement related to emerging topics from the field of biomedical engineering,” Dr. Zaher Dawy, Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Member of the Biomedical Engineering Winter School Organizing Committee, told us.
Five lectures were presented that highlighted the importance of mathematical and computational modeling in biomedical research at the molecular and physiological levels with medical and clinical applications.
“We at KAUST are interested in active collaboration with AUB, known for its strong and established biomedical engineering research and facilities,” said Professor of Bioscience at the Lab for Nanomedicine of the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, Dr. Charlotte Hauser. “It was very good to look together into synergies and convergences as two academic institutions working in this field.”
From the Institute of Neuroinformatics at the University of Zurich, Professor of Systems Neuroscience, Dr. Richard Hahnloser, spoke about the “Dynamics of Observational Learning and of Song Learning.” Dr. Henry D. I. Abarbanel, Professor of Physics at the Department of Physics and Marine Physical Laboratory of the University of California, San Diego, lectured on “Statistical Data Assimilation as a Critical Tool for Models of Complex Behavior.” Dr. Todd Troyer, Associate Professor of Neuroscience at the Department of Biology of the University of Texas at San Antonio, offered insight in his lecture titled “Timing, Decisions, and Sequencing of Natural Behavior: Models, Behavior, and Brain Circuits.”
“It was very easy for me to accept an invitation by a venerable institution like AUB; we always have good applicants to MIT from AUB,” said Dr. Thomas Heldt, Professor in Biomedical Engineering at the Institute for Medical Engineering and Science, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). “We have known the work that is being done here at AUB for a while and the biomedical engineering program here is very much in line with the research I am doing and with the mission of my lab. This event has offered a huge range of presentations, from peptides, to neuroscience, to clinical applications, to engagement with the students, which is very important.”Youstina Daoud is a fifth-year Biomedical Engineering student at Université Saint-Joseph (USJ) who was notified by her university of this lecture event. To her, this event was an opportunity to network with students in the field, as well as explore possible research opportunities with the affiliated international institutions.
“This is a wonderful opportunity for me,” she told us. “They are talking about new topics that I am now learning about. I met with students from several other Lebanese universities here. This exposure will help us immensely in the future.” The Biomedical Engineering Program at AUB
Officially launched last year, the Biomedical Engineering Program is a joint interdisciplinary graduate-level program between the Faculty of Engineering and Architecture (FEA) and the Faculty of Medicine (FM). Currently 11 graduate students with diverse undergraduate backgrounds from the sciences and engineering are enrolled in the Biomedical Engineering master’s and doctoral programs.
“The Program aims to build sustainable interdisciplinary research bridges between engineering and medicine by enabling our students to apply knowledge from the biomedical and clinical sciences in conjunction with design principles and tools of the engineering disciplines,” said Dean of FEA, Dr. Alan Shihadeh. “This program is well aligned with the notion of human wellbeing as the central driving mission of FEA towards 2030.”
“We have an advantageous situation at AUB whereby all the needed expertise is on one campus and two very well established faculties, FM and FEA, are in close proximity from each other,” said Dr. Dawy. “There is great potential here for a smooth and impactful exchange between clinical, biomedical, and engineering research for interdisciplinary and human-centered applications.”