UCLA Bioengineering hosted the annual meeting for the UCLA/Caltech Integrated Cardiometabolic Medicine for Bioengineers (iCMB) training program on Monday September 12th in Mong Auditorium. The meeting featured invited speakers from engineering, medicine, and computer science, a poster session highlighting trainee research contributions, and a networking lunch for fostering collaborations.
The iCMB was funded in 2020 with the goal of providing a 2-year, structured curriculum for training post-doctoral engineers and biophysical or biomedical scientists to prepare them for leadership roles in academia and industry. The goal of this T32 program is to strengthen individualized training in 1) advanced sensing or 2) imaging coupled with machine learning usually in the context of addressing metabolic disease with an understanding of how to improve access to quality of care. The UCLA/Caltech iCMB program employs a co-mentorship model, and each post-doctoral scholar will have a primary mentor from cardiometabolic disease and a co-mentor from enabling technologies and/or industry.
The guest speakers covered pertinent topics to engineering and cardiovascular health including Precision Nutrition (Zhaoping Li, MD, PhD, Professor of Medicine Director, Center for Human Nutrition and Obesity, Chief, Clinical Nutrition), the Amazon Science Hub for collaboration (Jens Palsberg, PhD, Professor of Computer Science, Director of UCLA-Amazon Science Hub on AI and humanism), the integration of Cryo-EM imaging and bioinformatics for understanding metabolism (Hong Zhou, PhD, Professor of Microbiology, Immunology, & Molecular Genetics, Director, Electron Imaging Center for NanoMachines (EICN)), and the integration of wearables in clinical trials (Michael Ong, MD, PhD, Professor of Medicine, Health Services Research). The schedule also featured outstanding researchers from UCLA Bioengineering including Dr. Jaimie Stewart (in-coming faculty in 2023, building programmable RNA structures), and Dr. Jun Chen (Assistant Professor, head of the Wearable Electronics Lab).
This year’s annual meeting featured 7 postdoctoral scholars with co-mentorships across multiple subject areas:
  1. Elham Davoodi, MSc, PhD
    Mentor: Wei Gao, PhD, Division of Engineering and Applied Science, Caltech
    Co-Mentor: Zhaoping Li, Division of Human Nutrition, Department of Medicine, UCLA
  2. Ryan McGuan, PhD
    Primary Mentor: Chang-Jin Kim, PhD, Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering and Bioengineering, UCLA
    Co-mentor: R. Michael van Dam, PhD, Department of Molecular and Medical Pharmacology
  3. Behnam Sadri, PhD
    Mentor: Wei Gao, PhD, Division of Engineering and Applied Science, Caltech
    Co-Mentor: Tzung Hsiai, Division of Cardiology, Department of Medicine, UCLA
  4. Adrian Arrieta, MS, PhD
    Mentor: Thomas M. Vondriska, PhD, Department of Anesthesiology, Medicine and Physiology, UCLA
  5. Ellen O’Connor, PhD
    Primary Mentor: Srinivasa Reddy, PhD, Department of Medicine, UCLA
    Co-Mentor: Jennifer Wilson, PhD, Department of Bioengineering, UCLA
  6. Yujun Liu, PhD
    Mentor: Z. Hong Zhou, PhD, Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Molecular Genetics, UCLA
    Co-Mentor: Tzung Hsiai, Division of Cardiology, Department of Medicine, UCLA
  7. Danial Shahraki, PhD
    Mentor: Chiara Daraio, PhD, Department of Mechanical and Civil Engineering and Applied Physics, Caltech