Texas A&M University President M. Katherine Banks has announced approval to establish the Intercollegiate School of Engineering Medicine effective Sept. 1, 2021. The new school will be the organizational home of the EnMed initiative, which launched in 2018 as a partnership between the College of Engineering and College of Medicine in collaboration with the state’s top-ranked Houston Methodist Hospital.
Established in the globally recognized Texas Medical Center, through the integration of engineering and medicine, EnMed aims to transform health care for all by training invention-minded, problem-solving doctors known as physicianeers. Faculty and students will also conduct broad translational medicine, interdisciplinary translational research and develop medical technologies. In the school, EnMed will continue to be led by its executive dean, world-renowned physician-scientist, Dr. Roderic I. Pettigrew.
“We are excited to provide a home for our faculty, staff and physicianeers-in-training through this new school that allows us to intensively focus and collaborate with others in developing the future of health care — 22nd century medicine,” Pettigrew said. “Our faculty and students will work to address some of the greatest challenges in medicine through convergence-born innovations that have the potential to extend the human health span globally.”
With more than 100 students already enrolled, EnMed is the only school in the world to offer its students a curriculum resulting in a simultaneous doctorate of medicine and master’s degree in engineering focused on the design and implementation of medical technologies in four years. In addition, as part of their training, EnMed students are uniquely required to invent a solution to an identified health care problem. While just beginning its third year, multiple invention disclosures have already been filed by students in EnMed.
“Having a school dedicated to discipline blending to create effective scientific bilinguals, is critical to our success in expeditiously stimulating health care breakthroughs and accelerating their practical translation to use,” Pettigrew said while addressing the core concept that underpins creation of the new school.
The EnMed Building, a recently renovated 17-story facility at 1020 Holcombe Boulevard, features a design and prototyping center that offers its students access to tools, equipment and expertise needed to bring their ideas from concept to reality. This includes machine and electronics shops, a cell culture and bioprinting lab, and a virtual reality robotics room that is currently in development.
EnMed is the first actualization of Texas A&M’s broader EnHealth concept that serves as the nation’s first comprehensive educational program to fully integrate engineering into all health-related disciplines.