The BME School at IU today

The BME School at International University of Vietnam National Universities Today

In the following we report the state of the School from the creation (March 2009) up to October 2015.

1.  Personnel

When the School has just established in 2009, the faculty consisted of 2 Ph.D and 2 Master of Engineering (ME) degree holders who were all men. By October 2015, the School has 10 faculty members including 1 full professor and 9 lecturers. Among them, 9 are Ph.D. graduated from universities abroad and 1 is a Medical Doctor with a Master of Science degree (graduated from University of Medicine and Pharmacy, HCMC, Vietnam) and with more than 15 years of clinical practice. Among the 9 Ph.D. faculty members, 2 are Doctors in Pharmacy (both graduated from College of Pharmacy, Kangwon National University, South Korea), 1 is Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering (graduated from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL), Switzerland, Post-Doctoral Fellow at Harvard-MIT (USA), 1 is Ph.D. in Medical Science (graduated from Soon Chun Hyang University, South Korea), 1 is Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering (graduated from National Cheng Kung University, Taiwan), 1 is Ph.D. in Computer Engineering (graduated from Kyung Hee University, South Korea, Post-Doctoral Fellow at the same institution), 1 is Ph.D. in Biology (graduated from University of Dusseldorf, Germany, Post-Doctoral Fellow at the same institution), 1 is Ph.D. in Industrial Engineering and Management (graduated from Oklahoma State University, USA, Post-Doctoral Fellow at Texas A&M University, USA), and 1 is a Medical Doctor (graduated from Pham Ngọc Thạch Medical University, Vietnam) and Ph.D. in Public Health (graduated from University of Illinois, USA). All their theses and research works were in Biomedical Engineering. Among these 10 faculty members, 5 are women.

In addition, the School has 5 staff including 2 Heads of Laboratories (holding ME degrees), 1 technical staff (holding ME degree) and 2 secretaries (holding Bachelor of Science (BS) and Bachelor of Arts (BA) degrees, respectively). The School has, previously, sent 2 faculty and 2 staff to study abroad for the Ph.D. degrees.

Table 1. Numbers of members with the Ph.D, Master’s and Bachelor degrees in BME School.

Year

Faculty

Staff

Ph.D.

Master’s

Master’s

Bachelor

2009

2

2

0

0

2010

2

2

1

1

2011

4

1

3

3

2012

7

1

2

3

2013

6

0

3

3 (all Master’s candidates)

2014

6

0

3

3 (all Master’s candidates)

2015

9

1 (M.D.)

3

2 (one is a Master’s degree candidate)

Figure 1.Numbers of members in the BME School over the years with Ph.D., Master’s and Bachelor degrees (*Master’s candidates, #MS-MD).

Table 2. List of current faculty of the BME School.

No

Name, Date of Birth, Current Position

Title, year of joining the School

Degree, institutions, Country and year of earned degree

Specialty and Number of publications/patents/books

1

Mr. Võ Văn Tới, 27/7/1949, Chair of the School

Professor,

Feb 2009

Ph.D., Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL), Switzerland,1982 (Post-Doc at Harvard and MIT, USA)

Medical Devices

34 Journal, 62 Conference, 3 Books, 3 Patents

2

Ms. Trần Hà Liên Phương, 6/1/1981

Lecturer,

May 2011

Ph.D., College of Pharmacy, Kangwon National University, Korea, 2011

Pharmaceutical Engineering

23 Journal, 27 Conference, 1 Book

3

Mr. Trần Trương Đình Thảo, 26/7/1982, Deputy Chair of the School

Lecturer,

Jan 2012

Ph.D., College of Pharmacy, Kangwon National University, Korea, 2011

Pharmaceutical Engineering

21 Journal, 26 Conference

4

Mr. Nguyễn Đức Thắng, 30/12/1982

Lecturer,

Feb 2012

Ph.D., Kyung Hee University, Korea, 2011, Post-Doctoral Fellow at the same institution.

Medical Signal and Image Processing,

7 Journal, 8 Conference, 1 Book

5

Ms. Nguyễn Thị Hiệp, 27/11/1981

Lecturer

Feb 2014 (as a Post-Doctoral fellow in the School from Sept 2012)

Ph.D, Soon Chun Hyang University, South, Korea, 2012

Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine,

28 Journal, 38 Conference, 4 Patent

6

Ms. Phạm Thị Thu Hiền, 10/04/1980

Lecturer

Jul 2014

Ph.D., National Cheng Kung University, Taiwan, 2012

Medical Devices

7 Journal, 11 Conference, 2 Patent

7

Mr. Huỳnh ChấnKhôn, 13/12/1984

Lecturer

Dec 2014

Ph.D., Germany, 2012, Post-Doctoral Fellow at the same institution.

Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine,

4 Journal, 10 Conference

8

Ms. Lê Thị Anh Thơ, 19/08/1967

Lecturer

Feb 2015 (as a Teaching Assistant in the School from July 2014)

MD, 1990, MSc., 2007, Vietnam

Medical Signal and Image Processing,

9

Mr. Lê Quốc Trung, 29/09/1983

Lecturer

Jul 2015

PhD., Oklahoma State University, USA, 2013 (Postdoc at Texas A&M University, USA)

Medical Devices

5 Journal, 8 Conference, 2 Pending patent

10

Ms. Nguyễn Lê Thanh An, 20/7/1983

Lecturer

Sep 2015

MD, 2007, Vietnam,  MPH, 2010 and PhD. 2015 both at University of Illinois at Chicago, USA

Public Health, Health Economics

1 Journal, 1 Conference

Table 3.The ratio of BME students by faculty.

2009

2010

2011

2012

2013

2014

2015

Full-time faculty

4

5

6

8

6

8

10

Visiting faculty

NA

NA

4

8

6

5

4

Students

30

58

91

118

180

223

269

Students/Full-time faculty

7.5

11.6

15.2

14.7

30

27.9

26.9

Students/All faculty

NA

NA

9.1

7.4

15

17

19.2

Table 4. List of current staff.

No. Full Name

Date of birth

Year of joining BME School Education Background Present Position
1 Mr. Nguyễn Phương Nam, 21/11/1977 Feb 2010 Computer Science, University of Technology in Ho Chi Minh City, ME Lab Chief
2 Mr. Nguyễn Thanh Tâm, 11/6/1979 Oct 2010 Electronics and Telecommunication Engineering, University of Technology in Ho Chi Minh City, ME Lab Chief
3 Ms. Từ Thị Tuyết Nga, 1/3/1986 Mar 2011 Biotechnology, International University of VNU-HCM, BS Secretary
4 Mr. Đỗ Minh Thái, 31/5/1988 Oct 2013 Electronics Engineering, University of Technology in Ho Chi Minh City, ME Lab Technician
5 Ms. Trương Thị MỹTiên, 12/1/1993 Mar 2015 Library and Information Science, University of Humanity and Social Science of VNU-HCM,BA Secretary

Faculty on leave of absence:

  1. Mr. Ngô Thanh Hoàn, Ph.D. candidate at Duke University, North Carolina, USA from August 2011
  2. Mr. Nguyễn Huỳnh Minh Tâm, Ph.D. candidate at Saskatchewan University, Canada, from September 2013

Staff on leave of absence:

  1. Mr. Nguyễn Bảo Toàn, Ph.D. candidate at Houston University, USA from August 2012.
  2. Mr. Lưu Gia Lộc, Ms. and Ph.D. candidate at Saskatchewan University, Canada, from September 2014.

School Orientations

The School activities span over 5 orientations:

  1. Medical Instrumentation focusing on the telemedicine, and the design of homecare devices for outpatients and advanced medical equipment providing rapid, automated and reliable diagnostics for healthcare professionals to satisfy the great and urgent needs of the country, and to bring synergy between traditional engineering technologies, the life sciences and medicine.
  2. Biomedical Signal and Image Processing focusing on the applications of medical devices and developments of new research methodologies and algorithms to investigate human biological processes and provide an early detection of diseases.
  3. Pharmaceutical Engineering focusing on the investigations of the mechanism of drug delivery using nanotechnology to enhance the efficacy of the treatment of tumors and the imaging diagnostics as well as the development of new drug delivery devices.
  4. Tissue Engineering and Regenerative in Medicine focusing on the development of new biological and bioinductive materials, and the use of stem cells, genes to repair or replace damaged tissues and organs and to use in biological implants.
  5. Entrepreneurship in Biomedical Engineering focusing on the developments of clinical engineering and practice of effective methods to bring into the market medical devices newly developed in academic laboratories, to build a medical device industry appropriate for Vietnam and developing countries, and to manage healthcare settings.

The establishment of these orientations has been carefully planned, based on different factors and the existing workforce in the School. The order of the establishment and the relationship among these orientations is illustrated in the following figure and described below.

 

Figure 2.Orientations of the BME School.

The Medical Instrumentation orientation is the foundation of the School activities. It is the first activity established at the School. The team of this orientation consists of 5 people. They have mainly developed a series of commercially viable point-of-care and homecare devices for telemedicine to measure blood pressures and heart rate, glucose in the blood, lung capacity, electrocardiogram, breathing rhythm, and amount of oxygen in the blood, and also wireless emergency button to call the nurses. They also assist the teams of other orientations in the development of original devices to support their advancement. The Medical Signal and Image Processing orientation provides support regarding the theoretical aspects such as mathematical modeling and data handling of other activities. It is the 2nd orientation established in the School. The team of this orientation consists of 2 people. They have been working on research topics related to the applications of medical devices and Brain Computer Interface, and have published several articles in scientific journals. The Pharmaceutical Engineering and TERM orientations address the modern aspect of the medical instrumentation and help explore the new directions for the School. The former is the 3rd orientation established in the School and the latter has been established recently. The team of each orientation consists of 2 persons and has published many articles in scientific journals. One member of the Pharmaceutical Engineering team has just received the l’Oreal UNESCO award and became the first Vietnamese woman recipient of this prestigious international award. The BME Entrepreneurship orientation helps to bring the results of other orientations in the business. This orientation is still under construction. A task force has been established to spearhead this effort and different models have been tried out.

The curriculum of the program is designed in such a way that students are prepared to engage in either orientation after the second year. Besides common core courses, sets of 5 elective courses proper of each orientation allow students to get involved deeper into their preferred orientation.

 Table 5. Distribution of faculty members in different orientations.

Orientation Full name, Title/ Degree Courses in charge

Medical Instrumentation

Võ Văn Tới Prof/PhD, Chair Principles of EE1, Introduction to Biomedical Engineering, BME Capstone Design, Research 1A
Phạm Thị Thu Hiền, PhD Biomedical Photonics, Digital Systems, Micro-electronics Devices, Research 2A
Lê Quốc Trung, PhD Research 2A, Biosignal Processing, Principle of EE1

Biomedical Signal and Image Processing

Nguyễn Đức Thắng, PhD Biosignal Processing, Applied Informatics, Information Technology in the HealthCare System, Biomedical Image Processing, Research 2B
Lê Thị Anh Thơ, MD, MS Statistics for Health Science, Engineering Challenges in Medicine I, Engineering Challenges in Medicine II, Computer Aided Diagnosis, Research 1B

Regenerative Medicine

Nguyễn Thị Hiệp, PhD Human and Animal Physiology, Applications of Biomaterials in Regenerative Medicine, Biocompatibility and Biodegradation of Biomaterials
Huỳnh ChấnKhôn, PhD Biology, Characterization and Properties of Biomaterials, Methods and Process in Fabrication of Scaffold

Pharmaceutical Engineering

Trần Hà Liên Phương, PhD in Pharmacy Bioethics, Chemistry for BME, Pharmaceutical Engineering 1, Pharmaceutical Engineering 2
Trần Trương Đình Thảo, PhD in Pharmacy, Deputy Chair Principle of Pharmacokinetics, Nanotechnology for Drug Delivery Systems.

Entrepreneurship

Nguyễn Lê Thanh, An MD, PhD Statistics for Health Science, Entrepreneurship

3.  Facility

The School possesses 6 rooms at IU for a total of about 319m2 of area to set up its laboratories and 2 rooms for a total of 80m2 for faculty and staff offices. It has received VND 17 billion (about US$ 1 million at that time) from VNU-HCM to purchase research equipment and VND 900 million (about US$ 50,000) from IU to purchase teaching equipment. In addition, the School receives an annual budget of about VND 100 million (about US$ 5,000) from IU for its operations excluding the faculty and staff salaries. For the period of 2015-2018, the School has received VND 30 billion (about US$ 1.5 million) from VNU-HCM to purchase research equipment to enhance its research capacity.

The above 6 rooms were organized into following laboratories:

A.        Medical Photonics Lab (Room A1.108, 58m2)

This lab is in the process to be equipped with instruments allowing determining optic characteristics of biological materials and their interactions with light. It is used for teaching students to know how to operate and maintain a CT-Scanner.

 Figure 27. Students investigate medical equipment (CT-scanner, slit lamp and refractometer) in the Reverse Engineering Course

which belongs to the Research Cluster of the program.

B.        R&D Medical Start-up Lab (Room A1.404, 58m2)

This lab is equipped with used pieces of medical equipment donated by hospitals or companies. They are mainly used to teach 1st year student Reverse Engineering course. Students explore those equipment by learning their functioning principle and take them apart before putting them back. Students are also encouraged to brain storm for new ideas and test their initiatives.

C.        Brain and Computer Interface Lab (Room A1.412, 28m2)

This lab is equipped with advanced equipment, some of them are unique in the country such as the Near Infrared Spectroscopy (FOIRE 3000, Shimadzu) to measure in-vivo and non-invasively fluctuations of the oxy-hemoglobin in the brain of a subject. Other equipment allow obtaining: Electroencephalogram, Electromyogram, Electrocardiogram, visual field, ultra-sound images. Those data processed by computers allow patients to control assistive devices such as electric wheelchairs, and allow investigators to study human biological system in an in vivo and non-invasive way and to detect diseases at early stage. It is also used for teaching BME students to conduct experiments in this field.

Figure 6. The fNIRS device in the background is using to detect the variation of the concentrations of oxy-hemoglobin, deoxy-hemoglobin and total hemoglobin of different regions of the brain during one of our investigations of the brain and computer interface.

  

Figure 7.Ceremony of inauguration of the first BME Research lab in 2010.

Participants included (from left to right) Professor Phan Thanh Bình, President of VNU-HCM; Professor Nguyễn Đình Hối, Director of the hospital of the University of Medicine and Pharmacy of HCM City and Dr. Phan Thanh Hải, Director of the hospital MEDIC HCM city. (Right fig.)Professor Võ Văn Tới and Dr. Phan Thanh Hải in front of the Acknowledgement plaque recognizing his donations to the lab of the School.

D.       Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine (Room A1.406, 58m2)

This lab is in the process to be equipped with advanced instruments to investigate new biological materials aim to heal external wounds and replace damage organs. It is also used for teaching BME students to conduct experiments in this field.

E.        Pharmaceutical Engineering Lab (Room A1.407, 58m2)

This lab is equipped with devices to investigate drug delivery systems using nanotechnology to the efficacy and reduce side effects of medicaments. It is also used for teaching BME students to conduct experiments in this field.

F.        Medical Design Lab (Room A1.408, 58m2)

This lab is equipped with electronic, mechanical, optic equipment to allow us to design new medical devices. We have developed a series of point-of-care devices for telemedicine useful for new family medicine care appropriate for Vietnam and developing countries. It is also used for teaching BME students to conduct electronic experiments and design.

G.       Sleep Apnea Lab (CHAC, 28m2)     

With the collaboration of Community Health Care Center (CHAC – Trung Tâm ChămSócSứcKhỏeCộngĐồng), the School created its Sleep apnea study lab there. The faculty and students of the School have the opportunity to work alongside with physicians and patients (see figure below).

    image024_bmetoday.jpgimage026_bmetoday.jpg 

Figure 30. (Left) Inauguration of the School Sleep Study Lab located in a private hospital. (Right) Signing ceremony between the officers of the University and the Hospital for research collaborations between both institutions.

5. Education activities

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6. Research activities

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7. Entreprneurship activities 

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