Ten students, who are enrolled in the BSc Applied Medical Sciences degree at Swansea University Medical School in Wales, UK, are participating in a six-week Summer Innovation Program run by the Department of Surgery Incubator (DoSI) at Baylor College of Medicine from June 17 to July 29. The program is led by Stuart J. Corr, Ph.D., M.Eng., assistant professor and director of technology development for the Department of Surgery at Baylor. Swansea University has a strategic partnership with Baylor as part of its flourishing Texas collaborations, which are bringing benefits to students and researchers.

"The DoSI is absolutely delighted to have representatives of Swansea University take part in our Summer Innovation Program,” said Dr. Corr. “Their primary task is to come up with unique and innovative solutions in the field of pressure ulcers, a challenge that is also available for open participation through DoSI’s Innovation Challenge. We are very excited in anticipation of what the students will come up with and look forward to working with them over the next six weeks.”

Swansea University Students with Dr. Stuart Corr (320x240)
Swansea University Students with Dr. Matt Ware and Dr. Stuart Corr (center)

The Summer Innovation Program is the brainchild of Dr. Corr and a member of his research team, Matt Ware, M.D., Ph.D., who is a Swansea graduate and was the first graduate of the joint Ph.D. between Swansea University and Houston Methodist Research Institute. Dr. Corr’s research focuses on the development of medical devices and prototypes, as well as nano-assisted electric field interactions with biological systems. He collaborates closely with a number of academics at Swansea University, including Alvin Orbaek White in the Energy Safety Research Institute, and Huw Summers and Paul Rees in the Centre for NanoHealth.

Dr. Lisa Wallace, program director of BSc Applied Medical Sciences at Swansea, said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for our students which will allow them to spend an extended period working at the cutting-edge of modern medicine alongside world-leading experts in Texas. We have selected some of our brightest and best students to participate in this six-week program which will, I believe, prove to be an extremely rewarding and potentially life changing experience for them.”

Dr. Caroline Coleman-Davies, administrative head of International Strategic Partnerships, added: “We are delighted to be working with Baylor College of Medicine on this exciting program. Through our Texas Strategic Partnership we have had strong research relationships with the College for a number of years, and we are extremely grateful to them for offering our students the opportunity to work on innovative projects in state-of-the-art facilities in the world’s largest medical center.” 

During their six weeks in the program, the Swansea students will be undertaking a group task and individual task:

Group task: Students will work in teams on DoSI’s Innovation Challenge, which focuses on pressure ulcers such as bed sores and diabetic foot ulcers. The students will need to come up with innovative solutions to this problem and will submit their idea into the competition. As this is part of the annual challenge, they will have the opportunity to win up to $25,000 in research funding.

Individual task: Students will focus on a current problem in medicine and the clinic and be asked to come up with an innovative solution. The Swansea students will be guided and supported by leading researchers in the Department of Surgery and have access to state-of-the-art facilities at Baylor and the Texas Medical Center.