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Our Research Areas

Our research areas are numerous and constantly evolving, from biological engineering  where we apply engineering to bacteria, viruses, and small organisms, to biomedical engineering where we apply engineering to human health, to biomaterials engineering where we apply engineering to a therapeutic or diagnostic procedure.

“The opportunities created at the interface of biology and engineering are immense and only beginning to be capitalized on.” 

Our faculty work within and across these specific areas, such as:

close up image of green leaf

Synthetic Biology involves reprogramming biological components and genetic material found in nature to engineer new functionality in and with cells. This paves the way towards better understanding biology and creating new tools from biology.

Protein structure

Protein engineering leverages computational and experimental methods for redesigning the dynamic functional molecules of life. By doing so, researchers can engineer new chemistry and functionality into living systems at the sub cellular level

Gut microbiome

The microbiome consists of hundreds of trillions of bacterial and viral cells that live on and inside the human body. These microorganisms live alongside us symbiotically and produce molecules that can be enormously impactful on the health and functioning of the body.

Colorful rings in a system

Systems biology combines mathematical principles with multi-scale data collection to make holistic models of biological systems that transcend single size scales. This produces an understanding of how different biological systems interact with each other in emergent ways.

image of network

Bioinformatics utilizes methods from computer science and applied mathematics to deal with increasingly large and complex biological datasets to produce new insights from big data. This can range from patient data to niche experimental results and often integrates information across heterogenous data sources.

nerves network

Metabolic engineering utilizes existing biochemical pathways to produce molecular products of interest. Using nature’s biosynthesis machinery allows researchers to create chemical products out of reach for traditional chemical techniques.

image of brain

Neuroengineering uses methods from molecular biology, chemistry, and engineering for building tools to better understand and modulate the brain and nervous system. This exciting interdisciplinary field is producing molecular tools to probe the brain, medical devices to help patients, and new experimental techniques for understanding brain functioning.

Our research areas also include: biomechanics, medical devices, medical imaging, molecular engineering, microscopy, biomaterials, tissue engineering, omics/genomics, gene therapy, microfluidics, agro-bio and planet health, frugal science, and bio-policy.