Medical Education

Concentration Co-Directors

Geoff Capraro, MD, MPH
Assistant Professor, Emergency Medicine
Pediatric Emergency Medicine Division
Email: [email protected]
55 Claverick St. , 2nd Floor
Providence, RI 02903

Sun Ho Ahn, MD, FSIR
Associate Professor of Diagnostic Imaging
Interventional Radiologist
Director, IR Residency and Fellowship
Co-Director, Radiology Medical Student Education
Email: [email protected]
Phone: (401) 444-5184
Rhode Island Hospital
593 Eddy Street
Providence, RI 02903


Innovation in science and engineering has been the dominant source of productivity gains and new enterprises in the United States economy over the last 50 years, accounting for as much as 50% of U.S. economic growth.  In our increasingly complex, technologically oriented economy, technology and science savvy professionals with the expertise to manage human and financial, in addition to technological, resources are in great demand.  No one person has all of the solutions in situations where the state of the art is a moving target, change is relentless, technology is pervasive, and global competition is fierce.

Whether it is in the fields of biotechnology, neuroscience, microelectronics, information technology, or others, it is widely agreed that science, engineering, and medical education must undergo significant changes in order to properly train students. Many science, engineering, and medical school graduates will find themselves in job environments demanding additional skills beyond those offered by traditional programs.  With aspirations of wanting to chair or lead a department within a hospital setting, medical school students need to be trained in a new way.  With many hospitals having not-for-profit models for each individual department, entrepreneurial skills are of the utmost importance.  In addition, high technology infrastructure and equipment will need to be procured and the hospital will have to make a business case for the investment.  In addition, some physicians will recognize a need for a new technology and will ultimately want to create a business out of it so others can benefit.  We must therefore educate medical students to meet the challenges they will face in the future where innovation, technology management and entrepreneurship will play a key role.  Innovation has generated astonishing, tangible benefits to society, including improved healthcare. Today’s challenges center on managing innovation in a rapidly changing global economy and high technology health care setting.

This scholarly concentration is an educational solution designed to address the many issues a medical professional will encounter.  By committing to this scholarly concentration during their medical studies, students will receive a set of unique core competencies to lead them in the high technology, innovation, and entrepreneurship workplace.

The proposed program has many educational objectives:

  • To train medical students who understand both the technical and business aspects of technology as well as the intimate and intricate interrelationship between the two;
  • To combine the study of the development of embryonic idea generation and emerging technologies (fuzzy front end) with contemporary principles of innovation and management to bring medical students to the forefront of high technology leadership and entrepreneurship;
  • To develop an innovative learning environment where students discover the value of cutting across disciplinary boundaries to solve complex problems in the medical environment;
  • To prepare medical students to lead within and across interdisciplinary organizations, such as hospitals;
  • To train medical students to be actively engaged in organizations where understanding and exploiting rapidly changing technology is a key to success;
  • To converge the core expertise of enthusiastic engineering faculty with the experience of other professionals, serving as adjunct faculty, who will bring to students strategic innovation and technology management perspectives with regard to the challenge of emerging technology;
  • To leverage Brown University’s research infrastructure to seed student project ideas and satisfy their innovation and entrepreneurship experience;
  • To develop medical leaders who will be successful in a world of accelerating technology change.

Year I

In collaboration with concentration area Directors, students will identify a project mentor and outline a proposal for their concentration area work and the summer project that will serve as the foundation for their scholarly concentration.

Summer between Years I & II

Students will undertake a concentration-related summer project of 8-10 weeks duration. 

Year II

In addition to continuing with their scholarly project work, students will participate in the quarterly meetings with the co-directors.  This meeting will cover topics relevant to the scholarly concentration and may have a guest lecturer.  Sample topics will include research and development, entrepreneurship, cooperative work with industry, and examples of successful endeavors.

Students will also participate in regular meetings with faculty and peers.

Years III & IV

Students will continue to work on their concentration project, culminating in a final scholarly product to be submitted to concentration area faculty for review in Year IV.


These are examples of medical related projects in the past – of course, students are not limited to such projects, they only serve as examples:

  • Electronic medical records;
  • Novel device to facilitate oxygen delivery for COPD patients;
  • Novel vest to monitor post-cardiac patients during rehabilitative exercise;
  • Devices for Neuro-implants;
  • Devices for non-invasive medical diagnostics;
  • Nanoscience in drug delivery and toxicity.
  • Biomedical Optics and Photonics;
  • Biomedical Imaging;
  • Bedside Diagnostic Devices;
  • Microfluidics for infectious disease;
  • Mechanics of Lubricin;
Student From Across the Table: A Guide for Academic EntrepreneursProject Title Mentor
Guenette, Jeffrey Use of Percutaneous, Image-Guided Therapies in Cancer Treatment Dr. Damian Dupuy
Laiwalla, Farah Development and translation of a wearable neural recording system for seizure-focus localization in patients with medically refractory epilepsy Dr. Arto Nurmikko
Luo, John From Across the Table: A Guide for Academic Entrepreneurs Dr. Selim Suner
Brideau, Holly Motion-Specific Toy Controllers for Upper Extremity Rehabilitation in Children Dr. Crisco
Wieler, M Turning Every Smartphone into a Pulse Oximeter Dr. Thomas Murphy


The concentration will accept up to 5 students per year.

There are a number of faculty members who are able to provide mentorship in this area.

Faculty members may be able to write summer internships into their grants.