Dear AIMBE Fellows,
I am delighted to assume the role of President of AIMBE for the next two years! It was nice to meet our new Fellows recently in Washington DC – congratulations!
AIMBE Fellows represent the top 2% of engineers, scientists and physicians in the field of medical and biological engineering and thus play a central role – and have the responsibility – to educate the public, government, industry and all stakeholders about the lives that can be improved and the jobs that can be created. It is our duty, particularly considering the given political climate, to be proactive in educating and advocating, ensuring that the United States is competitive in the bioengineering field, both in terms of advanced research but also in terms of clinical translation and commercialization.
My goals as President are to:
- enhance visibility of AIMBE as the key honorific and advocacy organization for medical and biological engineering;
- create broader outreach and pathways for the younger generation to be engaged in our mission;
- increase engagement of our Fellows – particularly those at the highest level of recognition in their fields (e.g., NAE members);
- promote diversity in our Fellows and programming; and
- increase philanthropy and sponsorships to ensure AIMBE’s sustained financial strength.
Looking to these goals, we have already re-activated AIMBE on social media as a means to engage and educate the public (follow AIMBE on Twitter at @aimbe!). We encourage you to tag AIMBE on Twitter when you have exciting research or translational activities to report, or if you engage in public education or advocacy for medical and biological engineering.
We are taking major efforts to build stronger partnerships with departments and their students by engagement through the BME Council of Chairs. AIMBE’s Executive Director, Milan Yager, has made 15 visits to departments, and has 9 more planned for the fall. The goal is to energize Fellows, young faculty, and students at institutions to all be proactive in AIMBE’s mission of advocating for the support of research. In my own personal experience, our students at UF have formed the Student Association for the Support of Science (SASS). SASS members have participated in AIMBE’s science policy institute as well as the AAAS CASE workshop where they made congressional visits in DC and have organized a lab tour at UF for our congressional representative highlighting our research and innovation!
Stronger Fellow engagement is critical to AIMBE’s success! Please, stay engaged through attendance at our annual meeting in the spring, nomination of new fellows, and participation in advocacy (congressional visits are easy and fun!).
Diversity is core to excellence, and a topic close to my heart. With our leadership team at AIMBE, I will advocate for higher representation of women and underrepresented minorities in our meeting program and Fellows class. Personally, I strongly encourage you to consider nominating a female or URM candidate in August!
Finally, financial sustainability is critical for any organization. AIMBE is a small, honorific society and typically, the expenses (staff, advocacy programs, annual meeting costs) just balance with our income (Fellows dues, meeting registration). To increase our programming and impact, we need to find ways to increase revenue. Please consider financially donating to AIMBE’s cause. In addition, we plan to offer various naming and sponsorship opportunities in the near future – we look forward to your help!
Again, AIMBE Fellows (YOU!) lay a foundation to advocate for public policy issues related to improving lives through medical and biological engineering. It’s not about each of us individually – it’s about the bigger picture – how we can effectively ensure that research is funded and then able to be translated for impact on our community. If you want to be engaged and are not sure how to start – contact me, Milan Yager or Sarah Mandell!
Thank you for your active engagement, and I look forward to hearing how you are “Standing Up for Science”! And, congratulations again to our new Fellows!
Christine E. Schmidt
Chair, Department of Biomedical Engineering, University of Florida
AIMBE Contact Information:
Christine Schmidt, President, firstname.lastname@example.org
Milan Yager, Executive Director, email@example.com
Sarah Mandell, Director of Public Policy and Strategic Partnerships, firstname.lastname@example.org
Charlie Kim, Director of Member Services, email@example.com