INTERNATIONAL DUAL MASTER DEGREE: COMPUTING, ROBOTICS AND IMAGING FOR SURGERY PLATFORM

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1 INTERNATIONAL DUAL MASTER DEGREE: COMPUTING, ROBOTICS AND IMAGING FOR SURGERY PLATFORM The project aims at producing a new breed of engineers and scientists who can work with physicians and surgeons to develop innovative medical practice. The students will work in a multicultural-multidisciplinary environment provided by a consortium of educational institutions closely cooperating with medical centers that have a unique experience and network of resources. The dual Master degree curriculum will take students with a solid theoretical background in mathematics, computer science and engineering, to lead them in innovative medical technologies. The topics covered by the curriculum include modeling and simulation methods in medicine and surgery, bioengineering, medical image analysis and medical robotics. This offer corresponds to the urgent need expressed by the medical industry of high skilled collaborators able to facilitate the rapid evolution toward computer assisted medicine and surgery. It also corresponds to the economic challenge of the medical budget that is the fastest growing economic sector in advanced countries. So, the proposed cooperation program is finally directly aimed to strengthen the technological leadership of the US and European countries in this field. The potential contribution to educational excellence and innovation comes first from the quality of the institutional partners. The consortium consists of four institutions which have developped strategic plans in the field of healthcare technologies. It includes two US institutions, the University of Houston (UH) and the University of Florida (UF) in Gainesville, and two European institutions, the Ecole Nationale Supérieure de Physique de Strasbourg (ENSPS, University of Strasbourg), France, and the Politecnico di Milano, Italy. This consortium operates in synergy with local medical research centers and hospital: the Methodist hospital in Houston, Shands Hospital and the Malcom Randall VA Medical Center in Gainesville, the University Hospital and the IRCAD (Institute of Research against Digestive Cancer) in Strasbourg, the cluster of the main hospitals in Milano, along with a network of industrial partners. All these partners are natural hosts for the Master thesis project of the students, and add value to the curriculum thanks to the quality of the application study. The students following the proposed curriculum will spent the first year of their master (M1) in their home institution and the second year (M2) abroad. All along the two years, exchanges with interdisciplinary instructors, medical doctors and local students will be encouraged. Exchanges between the students participating to the program will also be facilitated. For

2 instance, before the European students going to the US leave, they will spend a period in the European partner institution where they will meet the American students coming to their institution. During their period abroad, the students will be hosted in an international context able to open them to the cultural and social background of the country. To facilitate the integration of US students, though the courses will be given in the local language as much as possible, they will always come with English materials to help the understanding. Concerning the education offer, the US and European partners have complementary and compatible skills. This has already been proved through a past successful collaboration of the European and American leading institutions (UH and ENSPS), which have experimented a partnership through the Partner University Fund ( ). This experience will serve as a strong base for the organisation of this new and extended partnership. In particular, this early cooperation has led to several student and academic exchanges through the participation to medical robotics courses for UH students and through more than fifteen successful training periods of French students in UH, two workshops on Computational Surgery and Dual Training (Strasbourg, Dec 2008) and on Cancer: Interdisciplinary Research in Modeling, Simulation and Surgery of tumors (Houston, Dec 2009), one Springer-Verlag coedited book (2010). Following this experience, the dual degree proposal is a way to deepen this partnership and extend it to other leading institutions on both sides of the Atlantic. The Atlantis program gives a strategic advantage for developing this cross discipline curriculum that would be very difficult to be accomplished by one single institution, and is a key step in establishing a dual international master sustainable project with long term industrial support. The project will start in September 2010, with the recruitment of EU/US students in their M1. Those students will begin their M2 in August The project will end in September 2014, after four years of student exchange. At the end of the project a total number of 48 students will then have taken part to the program, 24 from each side. Every year, two meetings will be held between the participating institutions, one in Europe, one in the US. At this occasion, educationnal and research projects will be discussed. Every year, a scientific meeting between the participating institutions will draw the picture of the ongoing collaborations and research programs in relation with the Master program themes. The web site will serve as a hub for the project, with class material, video, scientific events, and link to our hospital/industry partners. The success of the program will be measured by listing the job positions of our alumini, the patent applications and the top rank scientific publications related to their Master thesis. Another measure of success will be the cross fertilization of the research laboratories involved with an exchange of faculty and, in particular, the joint PhD that may follow up for the students involved in the program. Last but not least, a core of top quality students enrolled in the Atlantis program will stimulate our other students enrolled in our regular program to perform better and benefit from sponsored internships from our network.

3 ! EU-US ATLANTIS Masters degree INTERNATIONAL DUAL MASTER DEGREE COMPUTING, ROBOTICS and IMAGING FOR SURGERY PLATEFORM (CRISP) 1. OBJECTIVES OF THE PROJECT - POTENTIAL CONTRIBUTION TO EDUCATIONAL EXCELLENCE AND INNOVATION The dual master CRISP aims at producing a new breed of computational scientist and bioengineers who can work with surgeons to develop a new generation of high tech medical practice. This curriculum will take students with a solid theoretical background in mathematics, engineering, and computer science and master them to information technology in medicine, image analysis linked to medical diagnostic, robotics, and modeling/simulation methods of surgery problems. The students will work in a multicultural-multidisciplinary environment provided by a consortium of educational institutions closely cooperating with medical centers that have a unique experience and network of resources to address these objectives. The medical industry and surgery profession is expressing an urgent need for this transformative curriculum. The Atlantis program gives us a strategic advantage to develop this cross discipline curriculum that would be very difficult for one single institution to accomplish. It will also serve as a second step to our successful PUF project toward a sustainable international Master of Science (MSc) program in computational surgery attractive to the medical industry. To offer that unique international dual master program requires a strong consortium like ours:! University of Houston, Houston, Texas, USA (UH)! University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida, USA (UF)! University of Strasbourg, Ecole Nationale Supérieure de Physique de Strasbourg - France (UdS)! University Politecnico di Milano, Milan, Italy (PM) which operate in synergy with local medical research centers and hospitals:! The Methodist Hospital and the Methodist Institute for Technology, Innovation and Education (MITIE),! Shands Hospital and the Malcom Randall VA Medical Center in Gainesville! Ircad (European Institute of Telesurgery and UMR CNRS 7005 (Image Sciences, Computer Sciences and Remote Sensing Laboratory in Strasbourg! Mias Foundation Niguarda Ca Granda Hospital in Milano, along with a network of industrial partners such as SIEMENS who have expressed interest in this program (see Annex 1). These partners are natural host for the thesis project of our students and add value to the curriculum. Innovation: this project is, to our knowledge, the first international degree that provides a curriculum in computing, robotics and imaging focussed on surgery. The curriculum will continuously be improved with the addition of cutting edge technologies, new materials into the curriculum, and feedback from surgeons. Strategy: we have undertaken a systematic and long term strategy to develop a curriculum in computational surgery, see We collaborate with surgeons that are at the front end of their art, such as Professor Barbara Bass, John F. and Carolyn Bookout Distinguished Endowed Chair - The Methodist Hospital - Department of Surgery, Executive Director of MITIE, or Professor Jacques Marescaux (President and founder of the IRCAD). Beside we have developed an international network of highly qualified collaborators in surgery, computer science,

4 electrical engineering, bioengineering, applied mathematics, etc. who work in the new field of computational surgery. This group is commited to share teaching materials, organize workshops, establish joint projects with doctors, and build a community that gathers students and professionals to improve medical practice in surgery for the benefit of our society. Today, operation rooms are filed with computer systems, medical imaging devices and medical robots. However, we do not know of any existing integrated master program that has been designed to link the world of engineering with surgery, and teach the serment of hypocrates to those scientists who develop that complex machinery. This is no surprise considering the fast evolution of the technology in surgery, and the challenge of getting so many disciplines to work together. However it seems mandatory to train our future students who are designing medical systems and surgical devices to interact with and understand the need of medical students who are learning surgery. CRISP will undertake this challenge. The potential contribution to educational excellence and innovation comes first from the quality of the institutional partners and their coherent strategic plans: EU partner : University of Strasbourg UdS - ENSPS Strasbourg is the home of some of the most advanced research on surgical robotics and medical imaging for more than twenty years. Strasbourg disposes of a host of research institutions such as its Innovative Cluster Alsace Biovalley and is a leader in the healthcare industry giving job opportunities to students trained through the Master IRIV (Master of Sciences in Imaging, Robotics and Biomedical Engineering) at ENSPS (Engineering school affiliated to Institut Télécom since 2008). On the research side, Ircad (European Institute of Telesurgery) is a worldwide leader for surgical education with 3500 surgeons coming for training every year for theoretical and hands-on sessions including in-vivo experiments, whereas CNRS-University of Strasbourg laboratories offer access to several top-notch research platforms, such as a biomechanical platform, a medical robotics platform, two MRI imaging platforms, and a comprehensive medical image processing platform. Each year, UdS educates more than 42,000 students : the University of Strasbourg is the first University in France according to the number of students, since the fusion of the three previous Universities in EU partner : Politecnico di Milano Politecnico di Milano is the largest technical university in Italy. The Laurea Magistrale Degree Program in Biomedical Engineering, in the School of Engineering, provides a concrete qualification in the methodologies and technologies of Engineering applied to the medical and biological fields. The training program is multidisciplinary starting from the study of basic engineering subjects and moving into the fundamentals of bioengineering emphasing the methodological and application aspects. In the bioengineering area, Politecnico di Milano features strong cooperations with the main research and clinical institutions in the Lombardia region as the San Raffaele hospital, Ca Granda Niguarda hospital, Policlinico di Milano hospital, Orthopaedic Department of C.T.O. hospital, and the European Institute of Oncology in the areas of diagnostic and therapy methodologies and technologies. US partner : University of Houston The Texas medical center in Houston is considered to be the largest medical center in the world with 24 not-for-profit institutions and employees in 2009, including physicians, scientists, researchers and other advanced degree professionals in the life sciences. This center is dedicated to the highest standards of patient care, research, and education. These institutions include 13 renowned hospitals such as the Methodist. The Methodist Hospital and the University of Houston System (UHS) along with the Weill Cornell medical college established a 30-year alliance between these two highly respected institutions to share resources, educational opportunities and participate jointly in research efforts and technology transfer in the health sciences. The Methodist hospital is highly ranked in 14 among 16 medical specialties according to the US news. Founded in 1927, the University of Houston (UH) is the leading public research university in the vibrant international city of Houston. Each year, UH educates more than 36,000 students in nearly 300 undergraduate and graduate academic programs, on campus and online. UH awards more than 6,500 degrees annually, with nearly 200,000 alumni. US partner : University of Florida - Gainesville The University of Florida is Florida's largest university and the nation's fourth-largest university. With an enrollment of more than 50,000 students annually, UF is home to 16 colleges and more than 150

5 research centers and institutes. UF ranked 15th in the U.S. News and World Report "Top Public Universities" (2009); UF consistently ranks among the top-10 universities in licensing. Royalty and licensing income includes the glaucoma drug Trusopt, the sports drink Gatorade, and the Sentricon termite elimination system. Some 50 biotechnology companies have resulted from faculty research programs. In addition, UF is one of the world s largest research institutions devoted to the challenges resulting from brain and nervous system disorders. The Malcom Randall VA Medical Center in Gainesville is a care facility that is also an active teaching hospital, with an extensive array of specialty services and state-of-the-art technology that is enhanced and supported through education and research. In addition, there are already multiple collaborations between the faculty of these schools involved in CRISP sponsord by one of the main research agency such as NSF, NIH, CNRS, ANR, the EC, and the Partnership University Fund (PUF) obtained between UdS, UH and the Methodist Hospital in 2008 for three years. CRISP will build on that research effort and faculty network, beyond our PUF contract, to deliver a unique international dual master.!

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