By Kathrin Havrilla
The College of Engineering’s Dean Kenneth R. Lutchen was featured on an American Association for the Advancement of Science podcast last week for Science Translational Medicine magazine. During the interview, Dean Lutchen discussed biomedical engineering innovations and technology transfer, the process by which inventions made via university research transition into the private sector as new products.
Dean Lutchen was selected for the podcast because of his status as president of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering. Senior Editor for Science Translational Medicine Kelly LaMarco spoke with the Dean about his involvement as the chair of a recent workshop for leaders in the biomedical engineering field from the academic realm as well as corporate medical device and pharmaceutical companies to discuss ways to drive technology innovation.
“The workshop was spawned by a variety of perceptions of obstacles to technology transfer. They dealt mostly with differences in the missions of the technology transfer offices throughout universities and how technology transfer offices understand the ways that companies and the private sector take ideas and make them into products,” said Lutchen. “One of the first—and I think one of the most important—results of this workshop was this idea of creating a more systems approach to how industry interacts with academia—whether it be a comprehensive research agreement to help in early stage research that’s co-funded with industry or whether it be to navigate the transfer of ideas to a particular company—to lower the barriers to entry for industry to build relationships with universities.”
Dean Lutchen also had the opportunity to discuss the role of biomedical engineering innovations in the health care industry and how they can cut the cost of medical care.
“Technology is the solution to reducing the eventual impact of diseases and medical conditions on society. If you look at, for example, the potential capacity to monitor various physiological and biological signals—from blood pressure and heart rate to glucose and sugar levels in the blood—extremely efficiently in the home, we can dramatically reduce health care costs in this country by intervening much earlier, before a major problem that requires hospitalization occurs.”
To learn more, listen to the entire podcast or download a transcript on Science Translational Medicine’s website.