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Nanotech research

Discussion in 'Physician Scientists' started by revaldo29, May 2, 2007.

  1. revaldo29

    revaldo29 New Member
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    Has anyone considered pursuing a research project in medical nanotechnology?
    I've been having a very hard time finding information about this field and getting an idea of the major schools involved in it.
     
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  3. meowkat444

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    i know ucla is opening a new nanotech center--that might be worth googling.
     
  4. Gfunk6

    Gfunk6 And to think . . . I hesitated
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  5. ThatOne

    ThatOne New Member
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    Georgia Tech comes to mind. MSTP available by applying through Emory; they have a joint biomedical engineering program.

    http://www.nano.gatech.edu/
     
  6. MSTPbound

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    A friend of mind is trying to sell me on his nanotube lab at Columbia's engineering school... keeps emphasizing their impending "molecular biology" work. Sounds interesting enough:

    http://hone.mech.columbia.edu/
     
  7. revaldo29

    revaldo29 New Member
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    Does getting involved in a nanotech project mean getting a PhD in biomedical engineering? Are there other avenues maybe through Molecular Biology or Biophysics?
     
  8. BluePhoenix

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    I'd definitely make sure that the school has some sort of biomedical engineering department or strong collaborations. I'm working on a medical application of nanotechnology for my thesis and it's been extremely difficult without the strong support network between the various disciplines. Unless you want to have to start up a collaboration or the bio work from scratch, be wary of what any non-bio person tells you that they're "about" to do. I imagine that you can get a PhD in any related area for projects that are pretty interdisciplinary...it matters more what you're doing than what exactly your degree is in....mine is solid state physics...not at all related.
     
  9. flaquita69us

    flaquita69us New Member
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    I think Northwestern has some very cool nanotech stuff going on. A couple of years ago I worked on a molecular bio related application of nanotech, without being directly involved with developing the nanotechnology, but I bet you could do some really cool stuff by working on both aspects at once. And they are also incredibly interdisciplinary - oriented.
     
  10. Sinfekl

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    I'm a little surprised that no one's asked, but - what do you mean by nanotech?

    Just cause something's small doesn't mean it has anything to do with other small things.

    I agree that it falls under the general umbrella of BME, but like all things biomedical engineering, it can be subdivided into having a more chemical engineering, electrical engineering, or mechanical engineering bent. Depending on which route you choose, you can have a vastly different research experience in terms of the biology/engineering balance, wet/dry lab, computer/pipetting time, etc.

    It seems to me that the only thing that different types of technology have in common is they're small and get ridiculous funding. It's one of those buzzwords people use to get paid.
     
  11. revaldo29

    revaldo29 New Member
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    I think the reason nanotechnologhy always gets grouped together is that particles at the nano scale start to exhibit some quantum mechanical effects. I am certainly no expert (thats why I want to go to grad school) so maybe Phoenix can give us a little more info. Also, the reason I'm asking about BME programs is that BME programs focus on the medical aspect of nanotech. Its true that I can approach it from Material Science Engineering or even physics, but the fear there is whether I'll be trained in medical applications.

    My question is, could you approach nanotech from a non engineering or physical sciences discipline? Could a PhD in pharmacology give you sufficient training in say developing nano scale particles for drug delivery?
     
  12. bottles999

    bottles999 Senior Member
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    http://nihroadmap.nih.gov/nanomedicine/index.asp

    Here is a link to NIHs definition of their nanotech programs, which I am sure are woefully underfunded... but that aside.. I personally view nanotech as anything that is non-organic at the submicron (nano) size scale. In the context of Medical applications would be their applications to the human body in particular.

    I would look at schools with Bioengineering specifically, before Biomed engineering. Theres a fine nuance here that BMEs focus often on the design of medical devices rather that direct treatments. That is changing fortunately. One if the initial applications might be in the field of Tissue engineering and artifical Extracellular matrixes, just for example.

    I have to agree with one of the posters above that said these programs generally are interdisciplinary. While a MD-PhDers can certainly be a key team member, if not lead of the project. portions of the project will certainly require expertese from Engineers, notably chem and or electrical engineers. In the same vain, engineers alone do not have the medical training or bio background. So the MD-PhDs individuals getting engineering PhDs or BME/Bioengineering degrees will be in very unique poisitions for these projects. I dont think any one person can do it alone.

    IMHO
     
  13. SpeakLittleB

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    if you do baylor, you can do graduate school at Rice. Rice has a really well developed nanotech program because of Richard Smalley (nobel laureate for nanoshells)
     
  14. Sinfekl

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    I work in Drug Delivery, so I know a little bit about this stuff. And what I was getting at was whether the OP meant non-organic...i.e. the electronic devices (biosensing, etc.) or more along the scaffold/colloidal particles stuff. Essentially, my point is that by saying nanotech you could get a wide variety of research experiences.

    It's interesting that you mention Tissue Engineering, a lot of the approaches are chemical/organic (natural materials, biocompatible polymers, etc.), so again I'm not quite sure what you're getting at, as you seem to suggest the OP meant electronic devices stuff.

    Anyway, BME's definitely a good choice no matter what aspect you want to get into, and you're right, its very interdisciplinary. Either way you're going to get a spectrum of approaches, it's just the emphasis will vary from lab to lab, field to field, and saying nanotech is very broad.

    Also, let me just say IMHO its a big bonus to be an MD/PhD in this field, lots of engineers don't know their physiology/anatomy as well as they should and it helps keep your research more clinically relevant. Lots of good ideas, not enough translation, it seems. And you're close enough to the clinic to make the clinical expertise worthwhile.

    To the OP, let me give you a list of schools that are known for dealing with this stuff. This is only my personal experience from my time in field (relatively limited), and its certainly not comprehensive and may be very biased/colored by my own experiences:

    Tissue Engineering: Harvard/MIT (liver project, Jay Vacanti), Pittsburgh (big transplant center too)
    Devices/Implants: Hopkins (though they're best known for computational/modelling stuff, I think), CalTech, Berkeley (lots of BioMEMs stuff at these last two), UCSD
    Drug Delivery: MIT (Bob Langer), Penn, Yale, Duke, Georgia Tech
     
  15. Sinfekl

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    Certainly. Based on my experience, your expertise would be much appreciated, a lot of the most interesting questions in delivery involve trafficking and metabolism, and pharmacology is obviously a great background for that. I think your main weaknesses would be in some of the chemistry, take a few courses on biomaterials, colloidal systems, emulsion stuff etc. and you'll be fine for a postdoc in a drug delivery field.
     
  16. BluePhoenix

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    Definitely. One of the challenges of biomedical technology is that it requires knowledge in a wide range of areas. Generally, there are people with very different backgrounds working on a project. During the course of working on such a project, you gain a lot of knowledge about the other areas but you're not really required to be an expert in all areas. So, you can get as involved with the materials part as you want. Often the materials scientists need people with biological backgrounds to help them understand how things will interact in vivo...something that's very important and kinda lacking in the field right now (with a few exceptions of course).
     
  17. the_one_smiley

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    Look up Rohit Pappu, Karen Wooley, Samuel Wickline, and Nathan Baker at WashU. There must be others I don't know about as well. They are working on quite different things using completely different methods, but all might be said to be involved with nanotechnology.

    I agree with Sinfekl that nanotechnology is quickly becoming an overloaded buzzword, and you may need to be more specific about your research interests. Are monoclonal antibodies "nanotechnology"? How about viral vectors? How about etanercept? Why not?
     
  18. revaldo29

    revaldo29 New Member
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    Wouldn't a device have to be synthetic or non-organic?
     
  19. invt

    invt Junior Member

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  20. BlackSails

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    Sorry for the thread ressurection, but the NYU chemistry dept does work in nanotech, espically as pertaining to DNA manipulation.
     

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