Seeking physicians to assist students developing diagnostic tests

June 7, 2016  //  FOUND IN: News

The University of Michigan Department of Biomedical Engineering is looking for physicians to act as clients for the Eng 100.500 course, Biotechnology and Human Values, during the Fall 2016 term.  Physicians will work with one or two student teams to develop a novel diagnostic test. The goal is to have the student team develop a presymptomatic sequencing or expression test that will improve the physician’s clinical practice. The diagnostic tests can be multi-stage or single-stage and apply current methods (e.g. western blots, PCR, MRI) or emerging technologies (e.g. nanosystems, camera pills, lab-on-a-chip).  Additionally, teams consider the legal, ethical, and societal issues involved with the technology and conduct a cost benefit analysis of their proposed test.  

Our course is predicated on the assumptions that a meaningful introduction to biomedical engineering and biotechnology includes:

1.  Solving problems for a real client;

2.  exploring the leading edges of the field; and  

3.  learning strategies to solve novel problems.   

Our challenge has been to turn teenagers straight out of high school into individuals with a real appreciation, based on experience, of what it takes to be an biomedical engineer. 

Commitment: (~10 hours over Fall Term)

  • 3 Meetings (~1 hr/meeting,  maximum of 4 hrs total) – First meeting(s) should take place in mid-September, second meeting at the beginning of October, and the final meeting by the end of October
  • Research an idea (or two) for a diagnostic test (1-2 hours) – In case your team has not developed an idea for a diagnostic test by the third meeting, research a feasible idea for them to use.
  • Email questions (2 hours) – After the 3 meetings, the teams may have additional questions that can be triaged via a couple of 1 hour email sessions.

For more information and to see examples of past Eng 100 projects, please visit our website:


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