Health, Technology, and Engineering

HTE@USC: An interdisciplinary program in Engineering and Medicine

People

Terry SangerTerry Sanger, M.D., Ph.D.
Academic Director, HTE@USC

Responsibilities

Overall program concept and design, curriculum development, cross-faculty networking, inter-institutional relations, research symposia planning, clinical and research mentor recruitment.

Background

I am very excited to be able to create this program at USC. I personally feel very strongly about the richness of the combination of Engineering and Medicine. My background includes an MD from the Harvard-MIT Health Sciences and Technology program, PhD from the MIT department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, postdoctoral research at the NASA Jet propulsion laboratory and MIT, and clinical fellowships at Los Angeles County Medical Center Department of Pediatrics, Boston Children’s Hospital Department of Child Neurology, and the Toronto Western Hospital Division of Movement Disorders. In my research, I use engineering methods every day in the study and treatment of children with movement disorders.
Medicine and Engineering have two very different and unique methods of reasoning. Medicine is based on close observation and pattern-matching, and doctors use the concept of differential diagnosis to guide decision-making with multiple possible plans of action. Engineering is based on finding detailed solutions to carefully-specified problems, and engineers use quantitative methods to help break problems down into components that can be solved efficiently and reliably.
When we bring together expertise in Engineering and Medicine, we unite two languages, two ways of thinking and two types of skills that, together, provide great force to improve healthcare and the lives of patients.
I look forward to working with you and learning from the new ideas you will bring.

George TolomiczenkoGeorge Tolomiczenko, Ph.D., M.P.H., M.B.A.
Administrative Director, HTE@USC

Responsibilities

Program and curriculum development, coordination of student and faculty recruitment, setting and monitoring program priorities and performance standards, marketing and communications, financial management and fundraising.

Background

Experience as a clinician, researcher, teacher and administrator informs the multifaceted role I have with HTE@USC. After earning an undergraduate degree at Caltech, I left LA, for graduate study in the Boston area where I earned a doctorate in clinical psychology at Boston University and a master’s in public health at Harvard. As both a scientist and clinician working at medical institutions, my focus shifted to public health and policy issues involving homelessness and mental illness. I am now returning to LA from Toronto where I worked on technology-enabled approaches to healthcare management.
In Canada my work building research capacity was broadened to include directorships in technology-based regional economic development, medical research funding and non-profit organizations. I have always been devoted to creating and funding programs and partnerships enabling research, knowledge translation and chronic disease management. I have done this through energizing interactions with students, faculty, staff and clinical personnel in a variety of settings. I am thrilled to be part of HTE@USC’s leadership team re-designing medical and graduate engineering education to train front-line innovators. We’ll make sure that HTE@USC graduates will be leaders among interdisciplinary thinkers and inventors in healthcare.
You can reach me through HTE@USC.edu.

Michael KhooMichael Khoo, Ph.D.
HTE Academic Liaison
USC Viterbi School of Engineering

Dr. Khoo is an active researcher whose interests include the modeling of cardiorespiratory control during sleep, autonomic-metabolic interactions in obesity, and non-invasive physiological monitoring. As a Professor of Biomedical Engineering and Pediatrics and former Chair of the Biomedical Engineering Department, he has helped build the bridges that will allow HTE@USC to connect with the diverse engineering and science labs across a growing number of USC graduate programs. As a mentor and a leader of engineers embedded in a variety of settings, Dr. Khoo draws on his extensive experience to shape the curriculum from the engineering side. His continued involvement with the program will assure that the bridges linking labs and people between these disciplines will facilitate exciting new developments to improve health and healthcare services.

Nadine Afari, MS
Project Specialist, HTE@USC

Responsibilities: Graduate program curriculum support, clinician and hospital liaison, workshop, project and special event coordination, medical and engineering research, medical device project support, project management.

Background: Masters Degree from The University of Toronto where my graduate work focused on pathology and patterns, history of medicine and history of biology. My graduate thesis concentrated on systems thinking with a focus on complexity in the immune system.

I am part time faculty with the USC Viterbi School of Engineering; teaching engineering ethics in Viterbi Freshman Academy and Ethics and Project Management in Viterbi Capstone Senior Design. I also work as a clinical research manager at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA).

I am passionate about connecting experiences, clinicians, engineers and technology to impact how we experience healthcare and wellness. I focus on creating innovation in health and medicine, health behavior, preventive medicine, medical devices and consumer health/wellness devices. I am interested in meaningful and impactful projects that can been exemplars of excellence in strategy, purpose, implementation and impact.  I am driven by the desire to translate basic research into new diagnostic and therapeutic technologies that directly and positively impact people’s lives.