Rames and Cox Named Newest Barr-Spach Medicine and Engineering Scholars

August 17, 2020 | By Alexis Kessenich

Endowed scholarship supports med students as they pursue engineering degree

Click here to read the full story on the MEDx site

Trent Semans Center (left) and Pratt School of Engineering (right)

Trent Semans Center (left) and Pratt School of Engineering (right)

Duke medical students Jess Rames and Daniel Cox have been chosen as the newest recipients of MEDx’s Barr-Spach Medicine and Engineering Scholarship. 

The scholarship will support the pair as they complete a Master of Engineering degree through the Pratt School’s innovative Doctor of Medicine-Master of Engineering (MD-MEng) dual degree program. 

Engineering has rapidly changed the medical field in recent years, from the types of medical interventions offered to the way medicine is practiced. “With formal engineering training through the MD-MEng program, Duke medical students are better equipped to serve as translators between the two disciplines,” says Donna Crenshaw, executive director of MEDx.

“The value of combining these degrees,” says Brad Fox, program director and associate dean for master’s programs at the Pratt School of Engineering, “is that it provides additional knowledge and understanding to help graduates design novel solutions to complex medical problems using engineering solutions.”

The scholarship was created as 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 and pediatric cardiologist Madison S. Spach.

Training Two

Rames and Cox are the second class of scholars to pursue the MD-MEng dual degree option with the Barr-Spach scholarship and the first class to include two students simultaneously. 

“The MD-MEng trainees will not only be well-versed in clinical and population-health challenges, but they will also be integrated into and speak the language of the engineering community, which will work to provide solutions to these challenges,” adds Geoff Ginsburg, MEDx director.

The program is a signature example of the kinds of interdisciplinary training opportunities that MEDx seeks to foster.

“MEDx aims to create innovation at the interface of medicine and engineering, and the MD-MEng program lays the groundwork for developing the next generation of researchers who will be more prepared to carry out cross-disciplinary research and lead programs at this nexus,” Ginsburg says. “We’re excited to support two scholars this year as they embark on this less conventional career path as Barr-Spach Scholars.”

Visit the MEDx website to learn more.