Blog

Papin describes how biomedical engineers can combat superbugs

Steps can be taken to empower biomedical engineers to find innovative ways to combat superbugs that are resistant to drugs currently available to fight infections, writes BMES Fellow Jason Papin on the website The Hill.
Every year, 700,000 people die from incurable drug-resistant infections, a rate that some project will hit 10 million individuals per year in 30 years, Papin writes in the column.

Artificial intelligence and machine learning makes it possible to predict when bacteria will develop resistance to certain medicines, Papin writes.

Engineers and scientists can mine datasets from health records, utilize data to optimize patient-specific therapies, and use innovative modeling techniques to explore the basic biochemistry of antibiotic resistant diseases, he says.
However, universities' biomedical engineering departments are not fully empowering the next generation of students to realize that potential, Papin says.

“To build a future crop of engineers who can conquer antibiotic resistant bacteria, along with other public health epidemics that our world may face, our universities' biomedical engineering departments must embrace the opportunity to expand access to multi-disciplinary, hands-on, and data-driven learning experiences,” Papin writes in the article.

Papin is a professor in the Biomedical Engineering Department of the University of Virginia School of Engineering and School of Medicine and a faculty affiliate at the UVA Global Infectious Diseases Institute, which is targeting superbugs.

Read the full article HERE.