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Science Trust hosts lecture on digital revolution in medicine

Visiting lecturer Dr. Vijay Chandru discussed the integration of current digital tools.

The Puerto Rico Science, Technology and Research Trust recently organized a lecture by Vijay Chandru, an academic, entrepreneur and translational research adviser from Bangalore, India, who traveled to Puerto Rico exclusively for the event.

A select group of researchers, experts in innovative medical therapies, and leaders of research and educational organizations had the opportunity to hear Chandru explain how the recombination of 21st-century digital tools facilitates significant advances in research and medicine in his lecture titled “Recombinant Innovation with Intelligent and Living Machines.”

“Facilitating and fostering conversations around research and innovation is part of the Trust’s mission, and providing the opportunity to listen to an expert in this field aligns with our vision for Puerto Rico to become a globally recognized center of innovation,” said Lucy Crespo, the trust’s CEO.

“In this era, computational and programming technologies have advanced tremendously and have become highly accessible to the population. This master lecture is a unique opportunity to learn from one of the brightest minds in the field of technology and health,” she said.

Chandru is also an executive consultant for Smartweave, a medical device design platform that uses artificial intelligence and visual technology to produce personalized, biocompatible implants for soft tissue repair.

Smartweave is reimagining how implants should function by combining advanced technologies such as generative AI, 3D printing and synthetic biology. The company, selected from more than 1,000 startups worldwide to be supported by Dassault Systèmes, is dedicated to developing personalized surgical implants that significantly improve outcomes for patients worldwide, the news release explained.

Smartweave will soon begin operations from the Forward Center, a newly inaugurated building by the trust.

“We are living through a once-in-a-lifetime shift in bioscience, enabled by the groundbreaking advancements in biotechnology. Our vision is to harness these advancements to invent platforms and companies that create lifelong change. By focusing on the technological aspects of devices and building a cluster of innovative companies, our goal is to help millions of patients and transform other industries,” said Smartweave CEO Raj Malhotra, who stressed the importance of global collaboration in advancing medical technology and personalizing patient treatments.

Chandru, who holds a doctorate in science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, is an influential figure in technological and health innovation. He has been a tenured professor of computational mathematics at Purdue University and the Indian Institute of Science (IISc).

He is a visiting professor at the National Centre for Biological Sciences, a visiting scientist in global health and population at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, and executive health adviser for the ARTPark innovation technology park at IISc. 

In recognition of his academic research, he was elected a fellow of the Indian Academy of Sciences in 1996 and the Indian National Academy of Engineering in 2010. Most recently, he was honored as a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 2023.

During his visit to Puerto Rico, Chandru shared his experiences and vision on integrating advanced technologies such as generative AI, next-generation genomics and quantum computing, and how these can be applied to address global challenges such as climate change, health and food security.

In his current role, Chandru works with a broad team at ARTPark and IISc to develop public digital infrastructure in clinical health, integral health and climate, as well as technological development in Indian languages, in collaboration with public health entities and local governments. He also co-chairs the technology working group of The Lancet Citizens’ Commission to redesign health systems in India.

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This story was written by our staff based on a press release.

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