Prospective Graduate Students

We are always looking for outstanding new graduate students and postdocs to join the MED Lab! 

If you are interested in exploring this possibility, please (1) Email Dr. Webster with your CV and what most interests you about the lab, and (2) Prospective graduate students should apply to the Vanderbilt Mechanical Engineering Department. In your statement of purpose, note that you are interested in the MED Lab, and describe what interests you about MED Lab research.  

Note that you will be joining an elite team if you join the MED Lab:

  • 14 MED Lab students have won NSF fellowships (11 PhD students, 3 undergraduates).
  • 6 MED Lab alumni (3 PhD students and 3 Postdocs) are now in faculty positions: Caleb Rucker - University of Tennessee, Jenna Gorlewicz - St. Lous University, Jessica Burgner - Hannover University, Hunter Gilbert - Louisana State Univeristy, Isuru Godage - DePaul University, and Loris Fichera - Worcester Polytechnic Institute.
  • 3 MED Lab alumni (2 PhD graduates and one BS graduate) work at the lab's first startup company, Virtuoso Surgical.  Byron Smith, MS graduate from the MED Lab, also works at a local Nashville medical device startup.
  • 2 MED Lab PhD alumni work in industry: Louis Kratchman at Draper Labs, and Ray Lathrop at Eli Lilly. PhD graduate Phil Swaney now works as a licensing officer at Vanderbilt's Center for Technology Transfer and Commercialization.

As you can see above, the MED Lab can prepare you well for any career path you desire in medical device research.  While we excel at traditional academic metrics, your education will be broader in the MED Lab. When you graduate, you will be an expert at all aspects of the process, starting with initial idea conception in the operating room with surgeon collaborators, taking your idea through the various stages of R&D process, obtaining funding for it, filing patents, doing market analysis, and ultimately either licensing your ideas to a major medical device company or forming a startup on the topic of your doctoral research.