Tech firm gives $10 million to new UI med school

Tech firm gives $10 million to new UI med school

URBANA — The new College of Medicine at the University of Illinois has received its first major gift, a $10 million donation from the financial technology firm Jump Trading.

The money will support a new center where medical and engineering students will work together designing and learning to use new medical devices, simulation tools and bio-fabrication techniques, according to UI officials.

"This is the first gift of this size to the new College of Medicine, and it defines what we will accomplish with a new engineering-based medical school," Chancellor Phyllis Wise said in a release.

"When the first class of students enters the medical school in 2018, they are going to be immersed in experiences that merge clinical education and engineering. We're thrilled that the Jump Simulation Center will do exactly that from Day One."

Last year, Jump Trading gave $25 million for the Applied Research for Community Health through Engineering and Simulation, a partnership between the Jump Trading Simulation & Education Center at OSF HealthCare in Peoria and the Healthcare Engineering Systems Center in Illinois' College of Engineering.

The donation to the College of Medicine — a partnership with Carle Health System — will help train a new type of doctor, officials said.

The new center will be located in Everitt Laboratory, which will soon be renovated and become home to Illinois' bioengineering department. Medical and engineering students will design and learn how to use new medical devices; mobile, low-cost technologies for rural and developing areas; new medical simulation tools; and new bio-printing and bio-fabrication techniques.

"Too often on university campuses, we talk about different disciplines working in silos, barriers separating us from valuable collaborations," said Rashid Bashir, head of the bioengineering department and a key member of the team that developed the plans for the new engineering-based medical school. "But we'll have immediate proximity and constant interaction, thanks to the Jump Simulation Center. The engineers and medical students will be literally side-by-side, learning about and solving medical problems every day."

Among the tools that might be developed at the new center: robotic arms that simulate abnormal muscle tone, safer IV lines, muscle-powered "biobots" and 3-D avatars for distance medicine. All are currently in development by UI researchers.

Work on Everitt Lab and the Jump Simulation Center is expected to begin in early 2016 and be complete in 2018. Everitt's $55 million renovation will include collaboration spaces, flexible modern classrooms and labs.

Dr. James Leonard, chief executive officer at Carle, said the new center will complement a planned simulation center at Parkland College to support the community. Combined with the Jump center in Peoria, it will make central Illinois "a destination for simulation work at all levels," he said in the release.

"Locating the Jump Simulation Center in Everitt Lab emphasizes a close connection to the College of Engineering's bioengineering department and Healthcare Engineering Systems Center — not to mention opportunities to collaborate with teachers and researchers in every imaginable field," said Dr. John Vozenilek, the chief medical officer of Jump ARCHES in Peoria.

Vozenilek will co-direct the new Jump Simulation Center in Urbana with Kesh Kesavadas, the director of Illinois' Healthcare Engineering Systems Center.

Jump Trading, which is based in Chicago, also supports Jump Labs in the Illinois Research Park, where student interns work with Jump on high-performance trading, venture capitalism and ARCHES projects.

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Rand Hartsell wrote on June 30, 2015 at 12:06 pm
Rand Hartsell wrote on June 30, 2015 at 12:06 pm

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