The mission of the Center for Biomedical Engineering (CBE) is to bring engineering into intimate contact with molecular and cell biology, for the purpose of developing innovative approaches to biomedical technology. It brings together efforts of more than 20 investigators at MIT and Boston-area medical institutions in three major thrust areas: Molecular Engineering, Cell & Tissue Engineering, and Physiological Systems Engineering. The first thrust area primarily deals with characterization of physical and chemical properties of individual biomolecules, mainly proteins and DNA, via high throughput assays. The second aims at creating methodologies for delivering biotechnology-based molecular-, cell-, and tissue-based therapies. The third emphasizes minimally-invasive techniques for quantitative assessment of how these biotechnology-based interventions affect physiological function. CBE supports Core Facilities in Biomolecular Interactions & Cellular Responses, Histology & Immunochemistry, and Quantitative Microscopy & Image Analysis. It also administers the undergraduate Minor degree program in Biomedical Engineering. In June 1997 it sponsored, along with the School of Engineering and the Departments of Chemical Engineering and Biology and the Whitehead Institute the 2nd Annual Summer Course in Molecular & Cell Biology for Engineering Faculty. On the research front, it has organized a number of funding initiatives at the interface of engineering and biology aimed at federal, industrial, and foundational agencies.
Douglas A. Lauffenburger
MIT Reports to the President 1996-97