Jennifer West with grad student


Duke offers various educational programs at the intersection of engineering and medicine. MEDx has provided a sampling of these courses for students at varying points in their education:

For Medical Students, Residents, Fellows, or Faculty

Medical Scientists Training Program (MSTP)

The Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP) prepares highly qualified medical students as physician-scientists. The program is offered through Duke's School of Medicine and Graduate School, and doctoral training may be pursued in biomedical engineering or another engineering discipline through the Pratt School of Engineering. Learn more

MD-MEng Joint Degree Program

Designed to train, "physician-inventors," this program enables MD candidates within the Duke University School of Medicine who have strong interests in health care, engineering, and innovation and entrepreneurship to earn a Master of Engineering degree from the Pratt School of Engineering. Medical students may contact Dr. Bruce Klitzman ( to explore this opportunity. Learn more

Barr-Spach Scholarship Recipients of the Barr-Spach Scholarship. From left, Jess Rames, Daniel Cox and Josh D'ArcyThe Barr-Spach Scholarship was created by a gift from Maynard Ramsey III, M’69, G’75, who established an endowment to honor his Duke mentors, biomedical engineering professor and associate professor of pediatrics Roger C. Barr, BS’64, PhD’68, and pediatric cardiologist Madison S. Spach, T’50, MD’54, HS’54-59.

This competitive scholarship is awarded annually to a third-year Duke medical student who has been accepted to the MD-MEng dual degree program to provide support towards tuition and fees.

Jess Rames and Daniel Cox are the newest recipients of the Barr-Spach Medicine and Engineering Scholarship. The first Barr-Spach Medical-Engineering Fellow, named in 2017, was Joshua D’Arcy. 


The InnovateMD program provides Duke residents and fellows with the opportunity to collaborate with engineering students and faculty in medical device innovation. The program combines project-centered experience with supplemental learning activities. Learn more

Top of page






For Medical and Engineering Students

Medicine and Engineering Interest Group (MEIG)

The Medicine and Engineering Interest Group (MEIG) stimulates interest and collaboration in medical design and technology among Duke University School of Medicine and Biomedical Engineering students. MEIG members come from across the two schools with diverse educational and training backgrounds. They frequently attend lunchtime talks with engaging speakers and experience interactive sessions with various technologies. Learn more

Top of page


For Ph.D. and Master's Engineering Students

Advanced Biomedical Design 1 BME 773L

First semester of a 2-semester design course sequence (BME 774L) for graduate students. Students will expand on their formal engineering design principles knowledge by applying it to identify and research a need drawn from the Duke Hospital and medical personnel, local companies, and organizations around Duke University. Students will develop and determine design feasibility for a device, system, material, or process subject to real world constraints.

Design in Healthcare 1: I&E 720 

Part one of Design Health, also cross listed as STRATEGY 898-012. The course guides students through the process of human-centered design with the goal of developing a solution to a real-world, unmet need in healthcare. Students will learn to: 1) identify unmet, underserved and unarticulated needs using human-centered qualitative contextual primary research methods such as ethnographoc research; 2) apply commercial business criteria in order to select viable business opportunities; 3) use creative and research-based processes to generate and/or identify potential solutions; and 4) document their design process in accordance with regulations. This course blends taught content with practical field application and team-based project execution.

Top of page


For Undergraduate and Graduate Students

Data+ Summer Opportunity MicroRNA graphic

Data + is a 10-week summer opportunity for Duke undergraduate students interested in exploring new data-driven approaches to interdisciplinary challenges in the health and life sciences. Students join small project teams, working alongside other teams in a communal environment. Initiative in Duke's Data+ program, students will learn how to marshal, analyze, and visualize data, while gaining broad exposure to the modern world of data science and make meaningful contributions to a research project related to health or 'omics data. MEDx co-sponsors teams that pursue challenges in biomedical healthcare research. Learn more

Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science Senior Design Class 

The Mechanical Engineering Senior Design program constiutes of two classes, ME 421L (141L): Mechanical Design and ME 424L (160L): Mechanical System Design. Students are guided through the various stages of a professional engineering design project, including the design, fabrication and experimental testing of a complex component or system. The Duke Mechanical Engineering Senior Design Experience is intended to help students prepare for the workplace. Learn more

BME Design Fellows

The Biomedical Engineering Fellows is an intensive design program for BME juniors interested in pursuing internships that will provide them with practical design experience. This program  spans three semesters and a summer session. Learn more

BME 590: Fundamentals of Design Health Warren Grill (left) and Marcus Coleman (right). After spending a summer conducting neural prosthetics research in Grill's laboratory, Coleman joined the biomedical device innovation course to see neurosurguries in action.

The BME 590 course offers undergraduate and graduate engineering students the opportunity to shadow Duke Medicine physician mentors in the clinical setting in order to develop solutions to real-world challenges. Teams of at least four students are paired with a physician mentor at Duke Health, whom they shadow for many hours over the course of several weeks. The students brainstorm how they could use their engineering know-how to solve complex problems. Each class results in submitting invention disclosure forms to Duke's Office of Licensing and Ventures. Learn more

BME 464L: Medical Device Design

General principles of signal acquisition, amplification processing, recording and display in medical instruments. System design, construction and evaluation techniques will be emphasized. Methods of real-time signal processing will be reviewed and implemented in the laboratory. Each student will design, construct and demonstrate a functional medical instrument and collect and analyze data with that instrument. 

Top of page


Of Broad Interest

Design Health

The Design Health Program is a patient-focused program that discovers the pressing needs in healthcare and assembles teams from across engineering, business, medicine and other disciplines to create real-world solutions. The program provides an immersive learning experience where teams don't solve pre-defined problems, but actively identify, validate and prioritize problems that will impact human health. During this nine-month extracurricular, members of each team will gather data and insight into the clinical environment and use structured ethnography tools to identify unmet, underserved and unarticulated needs. MEDx is actively involved in the Design Health program, from assisting mentors in identifying potential fellows to providing funding. Learn more

Top of page