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UMB and UMCP to Offer Joint Degrees in Medicine and Bioengineering

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SOURCE University of Maryland

M.D./Ph.D. program designed to promote human health through engineering principles and medical science

COLLEGE PARK, Md., May 8, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The University of Maryland School of Medicine and the University of Maryland Clark School of Engineering have initiated a combined Doctor of Medicine/Doctor of Philosophy in Bioengineering degree program to meet the demand for both medical sciences and bioengineering expertise among health professionals early in their careers.

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This new offering is part of the University of Maryland: MPowering the State initiative, designed to enhance collaboration between UMB and UMCP by focusing their collective expertise on critical statewide issues of public health, law, biomedical informatics, and bioengineering.

The goal of the dual degree program is to educate physician scientists in engineering principles and scientific methods to develop knowledge and products to promote human health.

"This program will enable us to work together to educate the next generation of leaders in medical research," says Jay A. Perman, M.D., president of the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB). "Graduates will be well-positioned to help translate scientific discoveries into clinical research and practice."

"The intersection of bioengineering and medical science holds special promise for developing powerful new health care treatments," says University of Maryland, College Park President Wallace D. Loh. "By combining forces, UMB and UMCP will help make Maryland a major center for advanced medical devices and techniques."

Students enrolled in the M.D./Ph.D. program will begin the Ph.D. program after two years of medical school at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and part one of the national licensure exam. During the summers before and after their second year of medical school, students will explore opportunities in laboratories affiliated with the Fischell Department of Bioengineering at the Clark School of Engineering.  In their third year, students will matriculate to the Clark School where they will complete two to three laboratory rotations, required coursework, dissertation research and defense, and a semester-long teaching assistantship.

Upon successful completion of the doctoral defense, students will return to the School of Medicine to complete clinical rotations and part two of the licensure exam. UMB and UMCP will confer the M.D. and Ph.D. degrees, respectively.

The M.D./Ph.D. in Bioengineering program is part of the University of Maryland School of Medicine's Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP), which is funded by the National Institutes of Health to train the next generation of leaders in academic medicine and biomedical research.  

"This joint effort will help transform the workforce in the region by connecting the most populous engineering talent in the U.S. with the most expansive biomedical research enterprise in the world," said Darryll Pines, Farvardin Professor and Dean of the A. James Clark School of Engineering.  "Our partnership with UMB is absolutely essential."

Tuition and fees of all MSTP students are covered by the MSTP training grant, individual training grants secured by the student, or the School of Medicine during the medical school portion of program. The Ph.D. in Bioengineering tuition and fees will be covered by the Fischell Department of Bioengineering, research grants obtained by the student's mentor, or training grants secured by the student.

"With the intersection of biomedical research and engineering becoming increasingly important to discovery and innovation in solving the world's critical health problems, this new program offers tremendous potential for future physician-scientists," said E. Albert Reece, Vice President, Medical Affairs, University of Maryland and the John Z. and Akiko K. Bowers Distinguished Professor and Dean, University of Maryland School of Medicine.  "In addition to our established joint M.D./Ph.D. programs in Neurosciences, Microbiology and Immunology, Molecular Medicine, Epidemiology, Biochemistry and Toxicology, this multi-disciplinary program enables us to further strengthen the University of Maryland's leadership in the growing field of medical technology and bioengineering."

About MPowering the State
The University of Maryland: MPowering the State brings together two universities of distinction to form a new collaborative partnership.  Harnessing the resources of each, the University of Maryland, College Park and the University of Maryland, Baltimore will focus the collective expertise on critical state-wide issues of public health, biomedical informatics, and bioengineering. This collaboration will drive an even greater impact on the state, its economy, the job market, and the next generation of innovators.  The joint initiatives will have a profound effect on productivity, the economy, and the very fabric of higher education.

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