My First Biomedical Engineering Conference

steve Uncategorized 1 Comment

This weekend, I had the fantastic opportunity to visit Atlanta, Georgia for the Biomedical Engineering Society’s 2012 meeting. The Biomedical Engineering Society (BMES) is the national parent organization that the Associated Students of Biomedical Engineering (ASBME) is part of. Over three days, I learned about the current state of the Biomedical Engineering field from research, diversity, industry, and legislative perspectives and got to see Atlanta for the first time.

The main convention floor: exhibits from dozens of companies and schools, as well as thousands of research posters!

Twelve undergraduate BMEs attended the conference. Three presented their research, and the other ASBME members and I went to chapter development sessions and networked with companies and other clubs. Of course, we went to dozens of poster sessions and presentations and as many keynote addresses as we could soak up! There were also a lot of USC Grad Students presenting their research, so we made sure to visit and support them.

To give you an idea of what I did, here is a summary of my schedule from Friday:

If you want more details, search my twitter feed (@iamwolfman) with the hashtag #BMES2012

Viterbi, ASBME, and I definitely had a strong web-presence at the conference! We took over the twitter stream multiple times!

7:00 – 7:30 Breakfast

8:00 – 9:00 Student Chapter Development Session

9:15 – 10:15 BMES Transitioning Students to Industry Panel

10:15-10:30 Is My Mind Mine? With AEMB

10:30 – 11:45 It’s a Small World: ‘Tiny Technologies’ and Regenerative Medicine

The speaker was the impressive Sangeeta Bhatia, PhD – MIT. She talked about her work on simulated human livers for research on hepatitis and cancer!

12:00 – 12:45 Lunch

1:00 – 2:00 Students: How Legislation and Presidential Decisions Affect You

This panel, featuring a congressional staffer, a BME lobbyist, and several prominent researchers and an NIH representative, was incredibly popular – standing room only!

2:00 -2:30 Student Leadership Session

2:45 Living Clocks: Emergence of Periodic Rotation During Collective Cell Migration

3:15 Optopatch: All-Optical Electrophysiology

3:30 Evaluating Receptor-Ligand bond strength

4:45-6:00 – Translational Biomedical Engineering Symposium

7:00-10:00 BMES Bash, Georgia Aquarium

The BMES Bash was held at the Georgia Aquarium, and it was amazing! There was great food, and pretty much every speaker from the conference was there and willing to talk to students! The entire aquarium was open and running too, so we got to visit otters and dolphins

On Saturday, we went to a speaker on diversity in research labs and visited even more posters including our grad students and the Viterbi Undergrads who had research chosen for this conference!

I also got to check out a really cool series of presentations as part of a healthcare robotics series:

Feedback System for Gait Rehabilitation

Music-Based Device for Hand Rehabilitation

Robots for Humanity: Developing Assistive Mobile Manipulation

Tactile Feedback to Characterize Hardness

Gaze-Contingent Human-Robot Interaction for Independent Living

Partnered Human-Robot Stepping Based on Interactive Forces

There were tons of sessions going on at any given time (the hardest part of the weekend was choosing which to attend!), so most of my fellow students went to different presentations and learned totally different things. We’ll even be having a special ASBME meeting to discuss what we learned with each other and other students who weren’t able to attend.

We may or may not invite Lil’ Sinchai, our unofficial conference mascot named after the president of the Graduate Students of Biomedical Engineering

Of course, as long as we were in Atlanta, we had to check out the World of Coca-Cola, which I had wanted to visit since I was 8 years old and my parents went! It’s basically a museum of Coca-Cola, and you can see cool collectibles from their long history and taste different products they make around the world!

Everyone loves the Coca-Cola Polar Bears!

This was a fantastic weekend and I can’t believe how much I learned! My fellow board members and I can’t wait to apply all the lessons we learned to improving our already great ASBME chapter.

I’d also like to officially thank the USC Undergraduate Student Government, the Viterbi School of Engineering, and the Biomedical Engineering Department for sponsoring almost the entirety of this trip. The lessons we learned were invaluable.

Viterbi, ASBME, and I definitely had a strong web-presence at the conference! We took over the twitter stream multiple times!

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