SIF121 Engineering in Medicine EIM

Project Manager: Mark Sochor

The purpose of this project is to facilitate collaboration between engineering and medicine disciplines to attract talent, increase volume and impact of research, and improve innovation and patient care.

BoV Approved: June 2017

Project Dates: 8/30/2017 – 8/29/2022

Funding Awarded: $5,000,000

Executive Summary

Many of the most innovative, high-impact approaches to complex medical problems facing our society are now emerging at the interface between Engineering and Medicine. UVA has critical strategic advantages in this area, including the physical proximity of the Schools of Engineering, Medicine, and Nursing and our endowed Coulter Translational Partners Program. This EIM effort will have widespread impact not just in SEAS and SOM, but across the entire University. This project proposes to vault UVA to national and international leadership in this emerging area by creating the nation’s best ecosystem for generating, developing, and translating innovative ideas at the engineering-medicine interface to improve prevention, diagnosis, monitoring, and treatment of disease. Successful execution of the proposed plan will have dramatic, sustained benefits for the university, including: drawing top students, postdoctoral researchers and faculty to UVA to work at the Engineering-Medicine interface; increasing the volume and real-world impact of externally funded research; enhancing healthcare-related innovation and technology transfer; and improving patient care.

Current Status: Active


This award has been formally reviewed by the PAC twice, with the most recent review having been conducted in September 2020. The project team has made exceptional progress, meeting and exceeding their benchmarks. The project has issued seed funding and built collaborations among SEAS, SOM, SON and CLAS utilizing three complimentary sets of activities to find partners. The Engineering in Medicine team connects interested faculty for interdisciplinary research, holds workshops for research collaborators, and hosts the EIM faculty fellows program which embeds SEAS faculty in clinical environments with the goal of discovering shared research ideas and fostering collaborations. The EIM faculty fellows program has so far created new faculty connections, resulting in 39 seed grants involving 98 faculty from 34 departments. The project also has a mentoring component wherein faculty receive guidance in writing stronger grant proposals. Since 2017, $6.3M in extramural grant funding has been awarded  from applications based on preliminary data derived from the work funded by the EIM seed awards. Additionally, a number of engineers have been funded to take an “internal sabbatical” through this SIF award, spending the equivalent of one summer month in a clinical department. Embedding engineers in clinical settings is proving to be an effective means of generating new research ideas.