Reilly Puts Biomedical Innovations on FAST Track

Monday, February 28, 2022
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Erinn Reilly, a 2010 biomedical engineering alumna, has worked across the world to help develop and test innovative medical technology for FAST Biomedical after working with the company as a Rose-Hulman Ventures intern.

Alumna Erinn Reilly has applied educational experiences as a biomedical engineering student and Rose-Hulman Ventures intern to become a leader bringing innovative medical technology to improve the treatment of heart failure and related diseases.

The 2010 graduate is director of clinical and biomedical projects with FAST BioMedical, a venture-backed privately held Indianapolis-based company where she has worked since graduation. The company’s first-in-class technology aims to revolutionize sectors of the health care system.

“As my company is small (five full-time employees), I have had the unique ability to participate in almost all aspects of the business. My contributions are necessary and have a significant impact on projects and the company's success,” she states.

Reilly manages and directs the start-up, execution and completion of clinical studies, collaborates on the development and manufacture of medical device prototypes for possible clinical studies, and manages clinical study protocols. She also collaborates on engineering design of commercial medical devices and leads and manages the completion of clinical study reports. She has been a part of six patents for new devices and testing procedures.

Early in her career with FAST BioMedical, Reilly developed a benchtop simulator for blood flowing through a human vein. Later, she performed in-vitro testing of the device and drug components, leading to successful in-vivo animal models and ultimately into human clinical trials. She trained the center’s clinical staff in the operation of FAST’s technology and was present for the first study in a human subject. The technology has now been used in more than 100 patients.

“FAST provided incredible opportunities for someone right out of college. They have trusted me with a lot. I can’t wait to see what we do in the future,” said Reilly, who received the Alumni Association’s Distinguished Young Alumni Award in 2021. “Rose-Hulman provided an incredible education that I’m still using. Rose didn’t just teach me the nuts and bolts of engineering but trained me how to solve and approach problems. That’s something that I use every day.” 

Reilly’s association with FAST BioMedical started as a student intern with Rose-Hulman Ventures, working on company projects. She later returned as a client to mentor interns in the development of technology that provides timely, precise, and convenient plasma volume and kidney function measurements. This first-in-class technology allows physicians to determine plasma volume and kidney function precisely and timely – a substantial game changer for patients with heart failure, undergoing major surgery, and for the critically ill. 

“As I transitioned from working with FAST as an (RHV) intern into a full-time employee, my responsibilities also evolved,” she said. “I continued to work closely with the staff and students at Ventures. I had an office on-site and was present at least three days a week to manage our interns and project. This allowed me to interact with the students and staff beyond just the FAST project. I have formed lasting connections with RHV and am always willing and excited to help.”

Reilly also is fostering a passion for science and technology in young people, especially young women, as a mentor for the FIRST Robotics Competition team at Indianapolis’ Southport High School and Westfield High School in Westfield, Indiana. She is a technical judge for regional and state competitions. The program helps introduce high school students to work together to design, built and compete with robots by using technical and communications skills. Several of the teams’ members have followed in her footsteps by attending Rose-Hulman. 

“I’ve been honored to watch so many students grow and evolve in the few years I get to work with them, ultimately watching many find their ‘niche’ in STEM and graduate ready to pursue an education in a STEM career,” Reilly said.