Doctor of Philosophy in Interdisciplinary Studies: Specialization in Translational Bioengineering

Major: IS_PHDTBE
Degree Awarded: Ph.D.
Unit: GI
Program Webpage: http://louisville.edu/translational-bioengineering

Program Information

The Interdisciplinary Program in Translational Bioengineering is a Ph.D. program designed to provide multidisciplinary training in translational bioengineering preparing students to lead research and development in academia, industry and governmental agencies and/or to advance bioengineering technologies through start-up companies as entrepreneurs or within establish biomedical companies. This program is a collaborative effort between Speed School, the School of Medicine, the School of Dentistry and the College of Business. In this Ph.D. program, students will have the opportunity to pursue graduate level training in one of three tracks:

  • Traditional Bioengineering Research,
  • Clinical Translational Research, or
  • Advancement of Bioengineering Technologies through Entrepreneurship.

Students must also choose one of the following concentration areas:

  • Bioelectronics and Biomedical Devices
  • Bioimaging and Biocomputational Modeling
  • Biomechanics and Rehabilitation
  • Molecular and Tissue Engineering

Students will initially be assigned an advisor to aid in course selection, to identify a primary research mentor and to choose a laboratory where they will conduct their research. Dissertation committee members will be assembled from participating faculty in the Schools of Engineering, Dentistry or Medicine, or the College of Business, representing opportunities to conduct research within a broad range of bioengineering topics and/or develop technology for a wide variety of clinical applications. Students who successfully complete the program will demonstrate excellence in designing and conducting research leading to an intellectual contribution to the field, demonstrate in-depth knowledge of their concentration area and associated scientific literature, have an understanding of the clinical relevance and ethical implications of their research, have the ability to critically analyze, evaluate and interpret research methods and findings, and have the ability to effectively communicate knowledge of their concentration area.

Curriculum

To earn the Doctor of Philosophy in Interdisciplinary Studies with a specialization in Translational Bioengineering, a student is required to successfully complete the following:

Students must pass the Qualifying Examination, complete 47 credit hours of course work beyond their Bachelor’s Degree (18 Core credit hours, 9 Concentration credit hours, 20 Specialization credit hours), participate in the Bioengineering Seminar Series (75% attendance rate and 1 presentation/term as a Doctoral Candidate), pass the Comprehensive Examination, successfully defend their dissertation (15 credit hours) and submit two or more peer-reviewed journal papers representing their original dissertation research to meet the requirements of the Ph.D. ISSTBE.

Core Courses:

BE 695   Advanced Research Design and Methods (3 credit hours)

Description: Topics include the structure of scientific journal papers and proposals, development of specific aims, formulation of hypotheses, types of study design/research methodologies and their appropriate application, data management, data analysis strategies, interpretation and communication of research findings, critique of the scientific literature, and responsible conduct in research.

BE 601   Bioengineering Seminar (1 credit hour each – 3 required credit hours total)

Description:  Current research topics in the field of translational bioengineering will be presented and discussed. Sessions will include guest speakers, student presentations on research projects with interaction and feedback from students and faculty, and critical discussion of scientific literature.

BE 621   Bioinstrumentation (4 credit hours)

Description: Analysis and design of bioinstrumentation will be covered. Topics include basic circuitry, electronics and laboratory techniques including sensors, transducers, biopotentials, amplifiers, measurement and safety.

BE 654   Advanced Physiology for Engineers (3 credit hours)

Description: An in-depth view of the fundamental principles of how biochemistry and physiology are integrated will be discussed. Emphasis is placed on the physiologic mechanisms for feedback control of physiologic function in humans.

BE 603   Research Ethics in Bioengineering (2 credit hours)

Description: Complex ethical issues facing bioengineers will be addressed, including conflicts of interest, patient rights, protection, beneficence and confidentiality, equitable allocation of scarce health resources, research misconduct, animal experimentation, and clinical trials for new medical devices.

ME 565 Advanced Engineering Mathematics I (3 credit hours)

Description: Topics include the formulation and solution of mathematical models for engineering problems leading to ordinary and partial differential equations. Transform solution methods and linear algebra concepts, including real and complex-domain eigenvalue problem solutions will be addressed.

Example Electives: Customized to each student (Many additional elective courses available. This list is not intended to reflect required number or composition of elective courses.)

Dissertation Committee: By the end of the 1st semester, it is expected that the student has identified their Dissertation Chair.  After the 1st year of study, the student (under the guidance of his or her advisor) must select a Dissertation Committee of five or more persons, for approval by the Program Director. The committee must consist of the student's advisor from the Department of Bioengineering (who will act as the Dissertation Committee Chair), at least two additional faculty members from within the Department of Bioengineering, at least one faculty member from a partnering School or College, and at least one additional faculty member from outside the Department of Bioengineering.

QUALIFYING EXAMINATION:

The Ph.D. Qualifying Examination will be offered once per year and is to be taken by students upon completion of Core courses (with the exception of Bioengineering Seminar credits) and Concentration Area courses. The Qualifying Examination includes written and oral components. The written portion of the exam gauges student competency in fundamental bioengineering topics covered in their courses. ISSTBE affiliated faculty will submit and grade questions in their respective areas of expertise for the written portion of the Qualifying Examination. The oral portion of the examination is a formal presentation comprised of the student’s critique of a peer-reviewed journal paper selected from the student’s area of concentration, delivered to the ISSTBE Program Director and a subset of faculty with expertise in the respective concentration having Graduate Faculty status. Students are allowed no more than two opportunities to take the Qualifying Examination (oral or written components).

COMPREHENSIVE EXAMINATION:

To qualify for candidacy, students must pass the Qualifying Examination, maintain a minimum GPA of 3.0 and pass the Comprehensive Examination. The Comprehensive Examination requires the student to prepare a written dissertation research proposal (following an external funding agency format) that is presented, defended and approved by their Dissertation Committee. The Dissertation Committee approval constitutes passing both the written and oral portions of the Comprehensive Examination. The written portion is comprised of the student’s dissertation document and the oral portion consists of the student’s presentation and defense of their dissertation, including response to questions posed by their Dissertation Committee and public attendees. The Dissertation Committee will grade written and oral performance on the Comprehensive Examination separately as a ‘pass’, ‘conditional pass’, or ‘fail’. Students receiving a ‘conditional pass’ must satisfactorily meet conditions set forth by the Dissertation Committee in order to receive a passing grade. Students receiving a failing grade on either or both portions of the Comprehensive Examination will be permitted to repeat the respective portion(s) once. Students must meet with their Dissertation Committee at least once per year during the remainder of their Ph.D. program, culminating in the Dissertation Defense.

Faculty

Amir Amini

Professor

Eric Berson

Associate Professor

Gina Bertocci
Professor

Director of Graduate Studies

Karen Bertocci

Assistant Professor

Andrea Bherman

Professor

Mary Ellen Buning

Assistant Professor Term

Van Clouse
Associate Professor

Endowed Chair

Bob Cohn

Professor

Doug Darling

Professor

Donald Demuth

Professor

Ayman El-Baz

Associate Professor

Hermann Frieboes

Assistant Professor

Joel Fried
Professor

Chairperson

Sean Fu

Assistant Professor

Guruprasad Giridharan

Associate Professor

Susan Harkema

Professor

Cindy Harnett

Associate Professor

Dena Howland

Associate Professor

Irving Joshua
Professor

Chairperson

James Kang

Professor

Kyung Kang

Professor

Brad Keller

Professor

Robert Keynton
Professor

Director of Graduate Studies

Carolyn Klinge

Professor

Steven Koenig

Professor

David Magnuson
Professor

Endowed Chair

Donald Miller

Director

John Naber

Professor

Martin O'Toole

Assistant Professor

Alex Ovechkin

Associate Professor

George Pantalos

Professor

Tommy Roussel

Assistant Professor

Keith Sharp

Professor

Mark Slaughter

Professor

Kevin Soucy

Assistant Professor

Patricia Soucy

Assistant Professor

Jill Steinbach

Assistant Professor

Michael Voor

Associate Professor

Kevin Walsh
Professor

Associate Dean

Eugena Wang
Professor

Endowed Chair

Scott Whittemore
Professor

Endowed Chair

Stuart J. Williams

Assistant Professor

Jon Wu

Professor