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On April 18, Elazer Edelman, MD, PhD, BWH Cardiovascular Division, will own the stage at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., during the annual TEDMED 2013 event April 16 to 19. Edelman is among many experts from medicine, technology and entertainment who will be sharing their views and ideas with an audience of leaders and innovators seeking to create a brighter future in health and medicine.
TEDMED is an annual conference that brings together a multidisciplinary community of innovators and leaders to share creative ways to change the world of health and medicine. Edelman’s talk titled “The Big Bang in Medicine and Engineering: Will the Knowledge Explosion Actually Hurt Innovation Across Disciplines?” will focus on the paradox of how science is conducted today. According to Edelman, the sciences have greatly expanded and become more energetic, in their own right, especially as more bench-to-bedside research is being conducted.
He explains that just at the time scientists and clinicians are forced to become multidisciplinary to deal with complex diseases and emerging converging technologies, mastery of multiple disciplines is becoming ever more difficult. According to Edelman, exciting disciplines grow by increasing in mass and velocity, which raises their energy but also moves them further from each other.
How then should we enable multidisciplinary thinking? Edelman believes the solution lies in not just asking people to master several disciplines, or pooling individual experts from various disciplines together; but rather by focusing on integration, and not only teaching engineering and medicine, but teaching approaches to integrating disciplines.
“Integration is as or perhaps more important than mastery,” said Edelman. “This has been the enabling mechanism behind many recent advances in medicine, but will be increasingly required as we consider how to translate basic science findings rapidly into the clinic and community.”
Edelman himself successfully balances clinical work with research at BWH, serving as a senior attending physician, as well as a bioengineer leading a research lab that examines the mechanisms behind how tissues repair themselves. Edelman’s lab has been credited for helping develop and enhance drug-eluting stents (devices used to treat blocked arteries) and advance the understanding of vascular biology and diseases.
He also serves as chief scientific advisor of the science journal Science: Translational Medicine, is a fellow of both the Institute of Medicine and National Academy of Engineering, and member of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration Science Board.
To learn more about TEDMED 2013, visit www.tedmed.com.