Boston University and Boston Medical Center partner with CIMIT

New collaboration supports translational research to improve patient care

Boston University (BU) and Boston Medical Center (BMC) today announced their joint membership in the Center for Integration of Medicine & Innovative Technology (CIMIT), the Cambridge, Mass.-based consortium that brings together clinicians, scientists and engineers to solve complex medical problems using novel technologies.

BU and BMC join founding members Massachusetts General Hospital, Brigham and Women's Hospital, MIT, and Draper Laboratory, along with Partners HealthCare, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, and Boston Children's Hospital. Founded in 1998, CIMIT is a Center at Harvard Medical School.

The BU/BMC collaboration forms a highly integrated academic medical center that combines the highest standards of patient care, medical training, and biomedical engineering and research. BU's biomedical engineering program was the sole winner of a recent leadership award from the Whitaker Foundation.

Dr. John Parrish, director of CIMIT said: "Boston University and Boston Medical Center bring additional excellence in biomedical engineering and a fifth, fully-integrated academic medical center into the consortium. In the past, individual BU scientists have received translational research grants from CIMIT. In the years ahead, we look forward to working with more BU scientists, clinicians and engineers as we pursue our shared goal of finding novel solutions to improve patient care."

Dr. Thomas Moore, interim chief of Medicine at Boston Medical Center said: "We are excited about the opportunities this new partnership presents that hasten the translation of research ideas into enhanced care for patients."

Dr. Kenneth Lutchen, chairman of BU's Department of Biomedical Engineering added: "BU is very pleased to join CIMIT as a full member and we look forward to working with clinicians and engineers at the outstanding institutions that comprise CIMIT to accelerate the development and implementation of advances that will improve patient care. CIMIT's objectives parallel our increased focus on translational research, as evidenced by our recent selection as one of only nine institutions to receive a biomedical engineering translational research grant from the Wallace H. Coulter Foundation."

BU/BMC recently announced that Drs. Mark Grinstaff and George O'Connor will serve as its liaisons or "site miners" who will work closely with CIMIT and its member institutions to establish collaborations between engineers and clinicians.

CIMIT assembles teams of experts to help overcome barriers to the implementation of innovative technologies. CIMIT provides a process for increasing awareness of technological solutions to clinical problems, which are translated into "products" that are then delivered into the hands of practicing clinicians.

As examples, CIMIT teams are solving some of medicine's most challenging problems, including:

  • Medical simulation By bringing innovative simulators and realistic medical training under one roof, physicians learn to use new technology for medical/surgical procedures and healthcare professionals learn valuable skills in leadership, communication and teamwork.
  • Detecting cancer earlier The Image Guided Therapy program is developing powerful new tools to non-invasively detect cancer and to examine tissue and organs without the need for biopsy.
  • Donor organ shortage The Tissue Engineering program is developing a wearable kidney system as a step toward a fully implantable kidney.
  • Epileptic seizures Senior systems and software engineer researchers have developed techniques for detection and prevention of epileptic seizures.
  • Heart attacks Advanced imaging techniques are helping to identify the atherosclerotic plaques that cause heart attacks.
  • Hypertension and congestive heart failure A Connected Health initiative is working to remotely monitor patients with cardiovascular disease.


    Founded in 1839, Boston University is an internationally recognized institution of higher education and research. With more than 30,000 students, it is the fourth largest independent university in the United States. BU contains 17 colleges and schools along with a number of multi-disciplinary centers and institutes which are central to the school's research and teaching mission.

    Founded in 1998, the Center for Integration of Medicine and Innovative Technology (CIMIT) is a non-profit consortium of the Harvard-teaching hospitals, MIT, and the Charles Stark Draper Laboratory. The CIMIT consortium ( was established to build collaborations between the clinical community and the engineering and science centers working to improve patient care through the development of innovative medical devices and technologies. Each year CIMIT funds collaborative programs including medical simulation, tissue engineering, minimally invasive surgery, image guided therapies, cardiovascular disease and trauma and casualty care. CIMIT also works closely with the Department of Defense to improve the medical treatment of injured soldiers.

    Last updated: 30 Apr 2016
    Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 30 Apr 2016
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