Medical professionals, engineers collaborating to solve cardiovascular challenges

Human Heart And Circulatory SystemA workshop this month will pair some of the most brilliant minds in cardiovascular health with some of the brightest minds in engineering, and the end result could make waves throughout the medical community and the world.

The Workshop on Cardiovascular Science, Engineering and Medicine is set to take place March 14-16 at the Texas A&M Health Science Center in Houston.

Dr. Kumbakonam Rajagopal, the J.M. Forsyth Chair, Regents Professor and Distinguished Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Texas A&M University, is spearheading the event, assisted by an organizing committee consisting of faculty from Texas A&M and the Texas Medical Center.

“The collaboration with the scientists and doctors at the Texas Medical Center will allow the engineering faculty to work on problems that will have more societal relevance and impact than any other class of problems one can think of,” Rajagopal said. “They will be able to work on projects that can enhance the quality as well as save lives and alleviate human suffering. What more meaningful research could one ask for?”

Dwight Look College of Engineering professors and students will travel to the conference where they will learn about some of the biggest challenges facing doctors and surgeons in cardiovascular health. 

Medical professionals will be explaining the science behind pathophysiology and cardiovascular diseases, filling a knowledge gap in which engineers are not knowledgeable. Among the cardiovascular diseases to be discussed are: Ischemia, a coronary and peripheral arterial occlusive disease; Valvular, an aortic and mitral valve disease; and congenital and cardiac malformations and cardiac failure.

Engineers will also learn about diagnostic imaging, state-of-the-art pharmacotherapies, cell-based therapies and various device-based therapies.

Rajagopal has a longstanding interest in cardiovascular health challenges.

“Two of my former students, Dr. Jim Antaki at Carnegie-Mellon University and Dr. David York at the University of Pittsburgh, have distinguished themselves in the area of cardiovascular medicine, and I have interacted closely with doctors in the field,” Rajagopal said. “Also, recently in 2014, I was instrumental in organizing  an international workshop in mechanical circulatory support and thoracic organ transplantation that was jointly sponsored by the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras and Fortis Hospital Group (the largest hospital group in India), which drew speakers from several top medical institutions in the United States and  India.”

That event was very successful, and Rajagopal hopes to see similar success during this workshop.

“Some of the most eminent persons in the field of cardiovascular medicine and science, people who have changed the course of the field, will be giving lectures at the workshop,” he said. “I cannot think of a better learning experience than that which will be provided by the workshop for engineers interested in cardiovascular science, engineering and medicine.”

The Department of Mechanical Engineering, the Dwight Look College of Engineering and the Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station (TEES) helped sponsor this event.


For more information about the workshop, visit here