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Research overview

We accelerate medical device development from concept to patient by linking engineering innovations with basic science discoveries for clinical use.

The Biodesign Laboratory at UC San Francisco plays a vital role in medical device development. The lab is led by Shuvo Roy, PhD, an engineer specializing in microelectromechanical systems (MEMS). This technology was originally applied to electronics and automotive industries to create smaller, faster, more cost-effective parts for improved overall function.

In the Roy Lab, researchers are applying MEMS technology to the medical device field, attracting clinicians, scientists, and engineers as collaborators. They have broadened their scope beyond MEMS-based devices without compromising key attributes of MEMS design: devices that are produced more efficiently and function more effectively. They apply the best practices and design principles of nanotechnology, biomaterials research, wireless technology, electronics, tissue engineering, and computer science to pressing medical problems. Through regular collaboration with clinicians, engineers, scientists, regulatory and reimbursement experts, patient advocacy groups, and the investor community, the lab is perfectly positioned to play a key role in translating scientific breakthroughs for clinical needs.

Why now

When considering the time span from the moment of scientific breakthrough to clinical benefit in patients, the design cycle of medical devices is incredibly long. But thanks to basic science research, we have more tools than ever before for rapid prototyping of devices. And we know there is an intense national interest in fostering cost-controlling measures in health care. By working at the interfaces of research disciplines and health care sectors we can facilitate the production of medical devices more quickly and cost-effectively, for a greater impact on human health.

Why here

With access to world-renowned basic science research at UCSF, and close ties to the expert engineering community at UC Berkeley, the Roy Lab team can link these two fields, applying MEMS technology to produce medical devices more quickly and at a lower cost. This translates into wider clinical access and improved health care for patients.

UCSF is the ideal home for the Biodesign Laboratory for several reasons:

  • An emphasis on results-driven basic science research, with a singular focus on health
  • A strong tradition in clinical research and application, and a direct understanding of urgent patient needs
  • An entrepreneurial and exploratory spirit, formalized in partnerships with Genentech and the Quantitative Institute for Biosciences (QB3)
  • Top-quality academic and professional degree programs that attract the most talented graduate students and industry professionals
  • A thriving research community in the Mission Bay neighborhood of San Francisco, a hub of bioscience and biotechnology research and practice

Lab team

The lab is directed by Shuvo Roy, PhD, a bioengineer whose background in engineering, physics, and computer science is a natural foundation for the multidisciplinary research the lab pioneers. Prior to moving to UCSF in 2008, he directed the BioMEMS Laboratory at Cleveland Clinic. At UCSF, he and his lab members have been focusing on applying MEMS technology to medical devices. Having developed best practices in the medical device design process, Dr. Roy now leads researchers in seeking new and promising basic science breakthroughs for clinical application.

The Biodesign Laboratory attracts graduate students, postdoctoral scholars, and research specialists from diverse backgrounds including science (chemistry and physics), engineering (electrical, computer, chemical, mechanical, and biomedical), and clinical (nephrology, surgery, obstetrics, endocrinology).

The lab actively seeks members and collaborators with a wide range of backgrounds in order to develop the next generation of translational researchers, who will be prepared to disrupt the status quo in health care through a pedagogy focused on:

  • Identifying unmet needs.
  • Inventing viable solutions.
  • Implementing feasibility studies.

Find out how to work with us.