Dr. VanEpps is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Emergency Medicine and the Department of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Michigan. He is also faculty in the Biointerfaces Institute and the Michigan Center for Integrative Research in Critical Care. He received bachelor’s degrees from the University of Pittsburgh in Molecular Biology and Chemical Engineering in 2001. He then entered the Medical Scientist Training Program at the University of Pittsburgh and obtained his MD as well as his PhD in Bioengineering in 2009. He completed his residency in Emergency Medicine at the University of Michigan/St. Joseph Mercy Hospital in 2013 and joined the faculty at the University of Michigan. He is board certified in Emergency Medicine and sees patients in the Adult Emergency Department and the Emergency Critical Care Center at Michigan Medicine.
During his doctoral training, Dr. VanEpps’ research focused on the relationship between cardiovascular biomechanics and the development of coronary artery disease. He has developed custom designed ex vivo perfusion systems to recreate realistic in vivo cardiovascular fluid and solid mechanics in the laboratory. In addition, he has extensive experience in computational modeling including finite element analysis and computational fluid dynamics. His research is currently focused on life threatening infections, and in particular those related to implantable medical devices. That work is divided into both rapid diagnostics for bloodstream infection as well as novel treatment strategies. With respect to diagnostics his lab is developing a novel ultrasensitive nanorod based PCR assay to detect bacteria in whole blood without culture. With respect to treating medical device related infection, his lab focus on fundamental understanding of bacterial adhesion to abiotic surfaces, the development of novel nanomaterials to prevent adhesion and colonization of surfaces, and new strategies to treat implanted medical device infection in situ. Technologies under development include, novel antimicrobial/antibiofilm nanomaterials, physical augmentation of antibiotic killing, and biofilm dispersal agents.