How We Advocate

Among AIMBE’s most important roles is the promotion of public policies that foster continued advancement in medical and biological engineering (MBE).  We educate and influence public officials, regulators, the media and general public about the positive impact MBE has on virtually every sector of society – from human health to a vibrant economy. AIMBE advocates for legislative, monetary and regulatory solutions that assistant our engineering community at each stage of the innovation ecosystem – from the research lab to the bedside of a patient.

FDA-Tour-FlyerAIMBE Hosts Congressional Staff Tour of FDA Labs

AIMBE provided Congressional staff with their first look inside the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Nearly 50 legislative aids to Members of Congress toured intramural research labs and met with senior FDA scientists at the Centers for Devices and Radiological Health (CDRH). CDRH Office of Science and Engineering Laboratories (OSEL) Director Edward Margerrison briefed congressional staff about the offices’ mandate to protect and promote the public health by conducting research in order to review cutting-edge medical devices for regulatory approval. CDRH assures that patients and health care providers have timely and continued access to safe, effective, and high-quality medical devices. By organizing a tour of FDA for Congressional staff, AIMBE educates policy makers about the importance of federal funding for medical device research designed to keep Americans safe and healthy. This tour, and AIMBE’s congressional tours of NIH, are part of AIMBE’s expanded advocacy efforts to inform key House and Senate staffers about the role of federal funding for medical device innovation, from the early stages of discovery funded by NIH, to regulatory approval by FDA.

Edward Margerrison, Ph.D., Director of the Office of Science and Engineering Labs within CDRH/FDA (center) briefs Congressional staff about the mission of the agency.

Congressional staff arrive on the FDA White Oak Campus in Silver Spring, MD for a first-hand look inside medical device research labs.

AIMBE Showcases MBE Technology on Capitol Hill

Partnering with the Congressional Research and Development Caucus and the Congressional Robotics Caucus, AIMBE hosted a BioMedical Technology Exhibition for Congressional staff in the U.S. House of Representatives. Researchers from the University of Utah, Johns Hopkins University, the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, the University of California–San Diego, MIT, Harvard University, Vanderbilt University, and Children’s National Health System provided live demonstrations of their federally-funded biomedical engineering devices and technologies that have the potential to revolutionize access to health care. Perhaps most importantly, these researchers participated in 18 congressional hill appointments facilitated by AIMBE–the first step in starting a dialog and becoming a trusted advisor to their lawmakers. Krishna Kandarpa, MD, Ph.d., Director of Research Sciences and Strategic Directions at NIBIB provided brief remarks and emphasized the critical role of NIH in catalyzing medical innovations.

AIMBE Hosts Congressional Lunch Briefings

AIMBE regularly partners with the Congressional Research and Development Caucus to host an annual series of Congressional Lunch briefings for Members of Congress and their staff highlighting the latest, innovative medical and biological engineering advancing health care. The purpose of the briefing series is to demonstrate breakthroughs only possible with federal funding for R&D and to advocate for increased support.

AIMBE University Public Policy Lecture Series

AIMBE has launched a new lecture series on the campuses of colleges and universities across the country to discuss “The Science of Failed Public Policy – Why Congress Doesn’t Fund Medical Innovation,” hosted by AIMBE Executive Director Milan Yager.

Abstract: In the halls of Congress there is widespread agreement about the role of R&D in the success of the America’s most innovative corporations. However, too often lawmakers view government models of discovery, from NASA to public university research labs, as obsolete and costly superstructures in today’s .com marketplace. What happened to the case for public exploration and discovery and why shouldn’t the private sector be trusted to find the cure for Grandma’s dementia or Johnny’s brain tumor? Long-time Washington political insider, former lobbyist, Administration appointee, and AIMBE’s Executive Director, Milan Yager, will reveal the hidden truth about why Congress doesn’t fund needed biomedical research… Learn More.

AIMBE Joins Congressional R&D Caucus Advisory Committee

As a member of the Congressional R&D Caucus Advisory Committee, AIMBE informs Congress and the public on important national and global issues regarding research and development in medical and biological engineering. In this role, AIMBE helps to bring important issues to the attention of Congress by shaping briefings and hearings for Members and their staff. AIMBE increases awareness and advocates for the benefit of federally-funded scientific research to society. Through this work, AIMBE highlights the following issues:

  • The economic, societal, and security benefit derived from federal R&D investment.
  • Technological innovations that have resulted from federal investment in R&D
  • The importance of a balanced R&D portfolio, with appropriate distribution of resources between the physical, engineering, and health sciences.
  • Yearly trends in R&D budget numbers.

Additionally, AIMBE supports:

  • The work of existing congressional Committees and members of Congress with jurisdiction over the National Science Foundation, DOE, EPA, Department of Defense, Department of Commerce, National Institutes of Heath and other agencies supporting research and development efforts.
  • Federal agencies that support research and development efforts.
  • Federal policies that foster and encourage research and development in the private sector of our economy.

AIMBE Fellows Dr. David Mooney and Dr. Nimmi Ramanujam with Congressional R&D Caucus Co-Chairs Congressman Bill Foster (D-IL) and Congresswoman Barbara Comstock (R-VA) at AIMBE Congressional Briefing.

AIMBE partners with the Congressional Research and Development for the AIMBE Congressional Briefing on "Cancer Moonshot Breakthroughs Made Possible by NIH and Bioengineering."

Congressional R&D Caucus Co-Chairs Congressman Bill Foster (D-IL) and Congresswoman Barbara Comstock (R-VA) kick-off AIMBE Congressional Briefing on the Cancer Moonshot in the U.S. House of Representatives

AIMBE Hosts Congressional Staff Tour of NIH

AIMBE, in partnership with the Academy of Radiology Research, provided Congressional staff with their first look inside the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Nearly 50 legislative aids to Members of Congress witnessed cutting-edge bioengineering technologies first-hand at the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB) – the largest Congressional event the NIH has seen to date!

The mission of NIBIB is to improve health by leading the development and accelerating the application of biomedical technologies. The Institute is committed to integrating the physical and engineering sciences with the life sciences to advance basic research and medical care.

By organizing a tour of NIBIB for Congressional staff, AIMBE educates and informs policy makers about the importance of federal funding for biomedical innovation in tackling society’s grand challenges.

AIMBE Voice Paper on Making Case for Public Investments in Medical-Technology

A new AIMBE Voice opinion paper recently published by Science Translational Medicine argues Americans have always embraced innovation but today there is a failure in making the case for public investments in medical-technology. AIMBE Fellow David Williams, and Professor of Biomaterials at Wake Force, led a task force in drafting the AIMBE Voice paper. The Task Force included David Williams, Elazer Edelman, Milica Radisci, Cato Laurencin and Darrel Untereker. The paper concludes Americans are less sure the benefits of medical innovation and suggest it is up to the medical-technology sector to educate society in an unbiased rational way about the success and benefits of biotechnology innovation. Only education, communications, and active outreach to and empowering of the community can address sources of tension and correct misunderstanding.

AIMBE Lends Expertise to the FDA (Network of Experts Agreement)

AIMBE was one of the first organizations to partner with the Center for Devices and Radiological Health (CDRH) at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to sign a Network of Experts Agreement.

The CDRH is responsible for regulating firms who manufacture, repackage, relabel, and/or import medical devices sold in the United States. In order to better meet this responsibility, the CDRH identified a need for additional medical and engineering expertise from the broader scientific and engineering community to enhance the knowledge base of their own staff. Through the Network of Experts Agreement, AIMBE’s College of Fellows—around 1000 innovators and pioneers from the medical and biological engineering community—will be called to provide scientific and engineering knowledge to the CDRH at the FDA’s discretion. This will provide the FDA with access to leading engineers in new and emerging technologies in bioengineering to better fulfill their mission.

By partnering with the CDRH, AIMBE is committing to providing access to the College of Fellows whenever an expert is needed. Through this collaboration, AIMBE continues to demonstrate its role as a major thought-leader in medical and biological engineering.

Jeffrey Shuren, M.D., J.D., director of the Center for Devices and Radiological released this statement: “Rapid access to the expertise of AIMBE’s distinguished College of Fellows will help to broaden CDRH’s scientific viewpoints and assure that we consider the most current information on emerging fields of science and pioneering biomedical technologies related to medical devices.”

AIMBE is proud to be providing access to our College of Fellows, comprised of the most cutting-edge and pioneering leaders of biomedical engineering, to the CDRH at the FDA. Our mission includes building strong relationships with government agencies in order to advance the potential for medical and biological engineering to improve our quality of life, and this Network of Experts Agreement contributes greatly to that goal. We consider this a new opportunity for public service leveraging the considerable scientific and medical knowledge of AIMBE Fellows to benefit all Americans.

AIMBE Storms the Hill to Advocate for Medical and Biological Engineering

Each year during AIMBE’s Annual Event Fellows across the country travel to Washington, DC to meet with their Representatives and Senators to advocate the positive impact medical and biological engineering has on society. Each Fellow relays their personal experience, whether in the lab, classroom or boardroom of how biomedical engineers are not only creating jobs, but a higher quality of life for all Americans.

Bringing with them medical devices and technologies, Fellows illustrated how federal investment in bioengineering research and development translates ideas from the lab bench to the bedside of patients. Even in these fiscally constrained times, there is a direct need for sustained investment in federal R&D, as slashed funding risks forfeiting America’s leadership in the biotechnology industry to Europe or China. In addition, AIMBE Fellows conveyed the reality that erratic and slashed funding impedes the innovation pipeline, as universities and businesses lose the researchers and the brain power vital to the process of product development. At a time when health care costs continue to soar and manufacturing is shipped overseas, biomedical engineers are the entrepreneurs and innovators who are developing the products that lower health costs and are produced right here in the United States.

By visiting one-on-one, AIMBE Fellows make a powerful statement to our policy makers in Washington how medical and biological engineers are fostering healthy lives, a health economy and a healthy world.