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David Bricker
Phone: 832.667.5811
dmbricker@tmhs.org
 

NASA rover at The Methodist Hospital, part of this year's Pumps & Pipes

Houston, TX - 12/3/2012

The sixth annual Pumps & Pipes conference at The Methodist Hospital Research Institute on Monday, Dec. 3, featured NASA Johnson Space Center's Lunar Electric Rover, a live feed from U.S. Antarctic Program's Palmer Station, and a live heart case from Methodist’s hybrid operating room.

The conference series joins Houston's two largest industries -- energy and medicine -- with academia. Pumps & Pipes' purpose is to explore opportunities for collaboration, and to work to solve problems in one field by using knowledge from "the other guy's toolkit," a Pumps & Pipes mantra. This year, researchers from NASA Johnson Space Center and the area's aerospace industry were a stronger presence.

The conference is organized by the Methodist DeBakey Heart & Vascular Center (MDHVC), ExxonMobil, and the University of Houston.

Among the dozens of topics discussed were subsea engineering and transcatheter interventions.

"Subsea engineering, a high technology in the oil and gas sector, is much like working on the Moon or Mars -- hostile environments that rely heavily on robotic systems," said MDHVC medical engineer Stephen Igo, a conference organizer and cofounder. "And transcatheter interventions are much like the navigation and docking of spacecraft. Devices need to be precisely positioned before deployment."

Michael Mack, M.D., director of cardiovascular research at The Heart Hospital Baylor Plano, an expert and pioneer in transcatheter stent valves, gave the keynote presentation. Other speakers were Mathew Franchek, Ph.D., professor of mechanical engineering at the University of Houston ("Artificial Heart Approach To Ultra Deepwater Oil And Gas Production") and Robert Ambrose, Ph.D., chief of software, robotics and simulation at Johnson Space Center ("Space Cowboys: Roping An Asteroid").

Pumps & Pipes 6 program directors are Methodist DeBakey Heart & Vascular Center (MDHVC) Medical Director Alan Lumsden, M.D., ExxonMobil Drilling & Subsurface Function Manager William Kline, Ph.D., University of Houston Professor of Computer Science Ioannis Kakadiaris, Ph.D., and MDHVC Entrepreneurial Institute Director Stephen Igo and MDHVC Research & Education Director Mark G. Davies, M.D., Ph.D.

More information about Pumps & Pipes can be found online at http://www.pumpsandpipes.com.

For more information about the conference, please contact David Bricker, The Methodist Hospital System, at 832-667-5811 or dmbricker@tmhs.org.