Nam TramNam Tran, an Assistant Adjunct Professor of Pathology, has received the Dean’s Award for Excellence in Education” from the School of Medicine for the BME course, “Clinical Applications for Biomedical Device Design.” In 2009, Dr. Nam Tran developed the course: “Clinical Applications for Biomedical Device Design” in partnership with the Department of Biomedical Engineering (Dr. Anthony Passerini) to provide junior and senior UC Davis Biomedical Engineering students with basic concepts in pathology, biomedical devices, and the biodesign process. The goal of the course was to prepare students for their rigorous senior design capstone project and enhance their understanding of complex clinical settings.

The course relies on traditional lecture-based material and is augmented by YouTube video lectures and clinical case studies to facilitate problem-based learning. Additionally, the course establishes a foundation in pathology and laboratory medicine, and utilizes guest lectures from other disciplines (e.g., Surgery, Biomedical Engineering, and Veterinary Medicine) to highlight applications for the clinical setting. Hands on experiences are also provided in-class to showcase medical devices (i.e., biosensor technologies, point-of-care testing) and conducting “mini-design challenges” to illustrate medical and team science related issues. Today, the course continues to work closely with Dr. Passerini who is the instructor of record for the senior design capstone course (BIM110). Moreover, the course remains one of the most popular Biomedical Engineering undergraduate electives and now includes guest lecturers from translational research experts from the Surgical Bioengineering Laboratory Team (Drs. Aijun Wang and Benjamin Keller).

“The popularity, success, and recent recognition of Clinical Applications for Biomedical Device Design has been a wonderful surprise. Our course serves as a valuable component of the Pathology Department’s effort to reach out to young innovators that represent the future of biomedical research. Teaching these students is one of my main highlights for each academic year. It is truly inspiring to work with such highly motivated students where we learn together as a team,” said Tran. “This Team Science approach is what truly makes this course successful. Without the continued support from my Department (Pathology and Laboratory Medicine), Biomedical Engineering, and more recently the Surgery, we would not be able to provide students with meaningful didactic experiences to prepare them for their capstone projects. Now we look to the future, and as early as Fall 2014, we will be including other specialties from the Veterinary School as well as the Department of Radiology.”