Wednesday, November 30, 2011

NIH Undergraduate Design Challenge Focuses on Healthcare Tech Solutions

A competition for undergraduate students to foster the design and development of innovative diagnostic and therapeutic devices, and technologies to aid underserved populations and the disabled is being sponsored by the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB), part of the National Institutes of Health. The Design by Biomedical Undergraduate Teams (DEBUT) Challenge is part of NIBIB's efforts to build, strengthen, and prepare the future workforce of biomedical engineers.

One winning student team will be selected for each of three challenge categories: diagnostic devices/methods; therapeutic devices/methods; and technology to aid underserved populations and individuals with disabilities. Eligible team candidates must be full time undergraduate students and U.S. citizens or permanent residents. Each winning team will receive a $10,000 prize, to be distributed among the team members. Winners will be honored at an award ceremony during the 2012 Annual Meeting of the Biomedical Engineering Society (BMES) in Atlanta, Ga. Each winning team will also receive up to $2,000 towards travel and registration costs to attend the awards ceremony.

Dr. Zeynep Erim, the architect of the NIBIB challenge, said "At NIBIB, we aim to prepare the next generation of engineers working at the intersection of the biological and physical sciences to improve human health. This program challenges up-and-coming biomedical engineers to force the boundaries of their design skills and knowledge to develop innovative biomedical technology for health care."

"As a nation, we have reached a crossroads where there is a tremendous opportunity to harness the science, engineering, and mathematics talent within our universities to address challenges in health care," stated Dr. Roderic Pettigrew, NIBIB director. "NIBIB's DEBUT Challenge, authorized under the America Competes Act, seeks to promote competitiveness in these disciplines and to put American ingenuity to work to address some of the unmet medical needs that are most prevalent in our country. I look forward to seeing what technological innovations our best and brightest students can offer to improve health care in our nation."

Details on how to enter, requirements and general information about the challenge can be found at

For updates and additional information, visit

Source: NIH News Release

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