Dr. Richard D. Komistek is the University of Tennessee College of Engineering’s Fred M. Roddy Professor in the Department of Mechanical, Aerospace and Biomedical Engineering (MABE) and is also the co-director of the Center for Musculoskeletal Research (CMR). He joined the MABE faculty in 2003 after serving as President and Executive Director of the Rocky Mountain Musculoskeletal Research Laboratory in Denver, Colorado. From 2003 – 2006 he also served as Director of Biomedical Engineering at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). He received his B.S., M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Memphis.
Komistek, an internationally respected researcher in the field of biomedical engineering, more specifically orthopedics as it pertains to total joint arthroplasty, is currently working on a number of biomedical research projects. These projects include mobile fluoroscopy, which uses a mobile fluoroscopy unit to conduct in vivo kinematic studies of both normal and implanted knees and hips; mathematical models to determine the in vivo forces, contact area and contact stress of the knee and hip along with forward solution models used to predict the longevity and success of future knee and hip implants; and sound analysis research, utilizing a sound sensor to determine real time sounds in the human body to find complications and/or to be used to clinically diagnose problems.
Komistek is looking forward to the opportunities presented by the new Institute for Biomedical Engineering (iBME), headed by MABE colleague and fellow biomedical engineering professor Dr. Mohamed Mahfouz.
“I think iBME will bring proper attention and exposure to the excellent biomedical engineering program at the University of Tennessee,” Komistek said. “It will allow the program to expand throughout many disciplines of science and create more opportunities for students and faculty to work together. The further development of interaction of professors from many disciplines will lead to greater success securing research funding from government agencies, further leading to cutting edge technological advances in medicine.”
Komistek and his research group, the Center for Musculoskeletal Research, will continue working on the center’s present research interests, but also plan to broaden the scope of projects to propose multi-disciplinary research in order to work with other UT research groups.
Komistek sees many changes ahead for the rapidly expanding field of biomedical engineering.
“With the changes in healthcare, it is hard to say right now exactly what will happen. The new taxation levied on medical device industry, along with other fields of medicine, may impact their ability to sponsor cutting edge research,” he said. “In looking at government-funded research, I believe these agencies will begin asking questions, such as ‘How does this research proposal impact heath care?’ ‘Does this study reduce the cost of health care in the US?’ Future biomedical research must be focused to bring benefits to the health care industry and reduce either procedural cost or future long term follow up care.”