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The Department of Biological Engineering was founded in 1998 as a new MIT academic unit, with the mission of defining and establishing a new discipline fusing molecular life sciences with engineering.  The goal of this biological engineering discipline is to advance fundamental understanding of how biological systems operate and to develop effective biology-based technologies for applications across a wide spectrum of societal needs including breakthroughs in diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disease, in design of novel materials, devices, and processes, and in enhancing environmental health.  Our departmental epigram is 'Creating Biological Technologies, from Discovery to Design', designating our intertwined emphases on advances in basic bioscience and in applied biotechnology. The innovative educational programs created by BE reflect this emphasis on integrating molecular and cellular biosciences with a quantitative, systems-oriented engineering analysis and synthesis approach, offering opportunities at the undergraduate level for the SB in Biological Engineering and at the graduate level for the PhD in either Applied Biosciences or Bioengineering. BE also partners with the departments of Biology and Electrical Engineering & Computer Science to jointly offer a PhD in Computational & Systems Biology, and with the departments of Biology and Civil & Environmental Engineering to jointly offer a PhD in Microbiology. Research opportunities for BE undergraduate students, graduate students, and postdoctoral associates abound across an exciting landscape of interdisciplinary laboratories, centers, and initiatives, including the Center for Biomedical Engineering, the Center for Environmental Health Sciences, the Center for Emergent Behavior of Integrative Cellular Systems, the Center for Gynepathology Research, the Center for Neurobiological Engineering, the Synthetic Biology Center, and the Division of Comparative Medicine. Graduate students in the BE PhD programs can participate in the NIGMS Biotechnology Training Program, the NIEHS Toxicology Training Program, and the NIBIB Biomechanics Training Program.

More than one-third of the MIT BE faculty hold membership in one or more of the major US academies, including 6 in the National Academy of Engineering, 5 in the National Academy of Science, 7 in the Institute of Medicine, and 6 in the American Academy of Arts & Sciences. BE is one of four bioengineering programs (along with UCSD, Berkeley/UCSF, and Caltech) assigned #1 rankings in the current National Research Council report, and ranks #1 among bioengineering departments in citations per publication in a recent Academic Analytics study. Numerous biotechnology companies have been generated by BE faculty and students, in the Cambridge/Boston area and further nationwide.

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Department of Biological Engineering
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
77 Massachusetts Avenue
Rm. 16-267
Cambridge, MA 02139
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Faculty position in Biological Engineering; »more

Prof Jacquin Niles laboratory develops parasite gene editing technology for Malaria drug discovery; »more

Prof John Essigmann laboratory identifies novel anti-HIV drug mechanism; »more

Prof Eric Alm laboratory links gut microbiome fluctuations to diet; »more

Prof Ram Sasisekharan (et al) on integration of basic and applied research; »more

Prof Ed Boyden laboratory creates 3D imaging system to study neuronal networks; »more

Prof Alan Jasanoff laboratory develops method for tracking neural molecular communication; »more

Prof Ram Sasisekharan biotech start-up successes highlighted; »more

Prof Leona Samson laboratory develops new test for cell damage repair; »more

Prof Feng Zhang wins NSF Waterman Award; »more

Prof Alan Jasanoff laboratory develops non-invasive method for observing gene expression in the brain; »more

Prof Tim Lu laboratory designs 'living materials'; »more

Prof Darrell Irvine laboratory creates new vaccine delivery method; »more

Prof Feng Zhang laboratory helps ascertain structure of gene targeting complex; »more

Prof Linda Griffith laboratory elucidates immune system dysregulation in endometriosis; »more

Prof Linda Griffith leads multi-disciplinary biomedical research programs; »more

Prof Scott Manalis laboratory invents technique for nano-scale biological particle mass measurement; »more

Prof Feng Zhang named one of "10 Who Mattered" for 2013 by Nature; »more

Prof Feng Zhang laboratory advances genome-wide gene function technology; »more

Prof Katharina Ribbeck laboratory pioneers mucus barrier research; »more

Prof Angela Belcher laboratory advances battery capabilities via virus-based technology; »more

MIT Center for Integrative Synthetic Biology receives NIH P50 Center grant; »more

Prof Darrell Irvine laboratory creates new nanoparticle vaccine delivery; »more

Prof Roger Kamm laboratory studies tumor cell metastasis in microfluidic vasculature device; »more

Prof Tim Lu laboratory develops faster method for generating complex genetic circuits; »more

Center for Neurobiological Engineering established; »more

Prof Doug Lauffenburger laboratory identifies cancer drug resistance mechanism; »more

Prof Fatih Yanik profiled on neuroengineering research; »more

Prof Feng Zhang laboratory develops new optical method for rapid gene control; »more

Prof Katharina Ribbeck receives EMBL Kendrew Award; »more

Prof Scott Manalis laboratory demonstrates single-cell biophysical assessment of cancer metastasis potential; »more

Prof Leona Samson laboratory identifies potential new tumor necrosis target; »more

Prof Ram Sasisekharan laboratory identifies new flu strains of concern; »more

Prof Leona Samson laboratory finds surprising enzyme effects on cancer chemotherapeutics; »more

Prof Ed Boyden receives 2013 Brain Prize for role in development of optogenetics; »more

Prof Tim Lu laboratory designs microbial gene logic circuits with memory; »more

Profs Darrell Irvine and Paula Hammond laboratories develop skin patch for vaccinating with DNA; »more

Prof Steve Tannenbaum receives American Chemical Society Division of Toxicology Founders Award.

Profs Ernest Fraenkel and David Housman identify mechanism for Huntington's Disease gene effects; »more

Prof Feng Zhang laboratory develops new approach for high-precision genome manipulation; »more

Prof Katharina Ribbeck laboratory discovers protective role of mucus biopolymers against bacterial colonization; »more

Prof Chris Voigt laboratory creates multi-input cell sensor circuit; »more

Prof Scott Manalis profiled in Nature Methods; »more

Prof Jay Han and BioSyM collaborators discover key protein role in malaria effects; »more

Prof Darrell Irvine selected BMES Fellow; »more

Major 'human body on a chip' program awarded by DARPA and NIH Translational Science Center to MIT team (Profs Linda Griffith, Eric Alm, Paula Hammond, Darrell Irvine, Doug Lauffenburger, Steve Tannenbaum) and collaborators; »more

Prof Scott Manalis laboratory discovers growth rate control of mammalian cell division; »more

Prof Pete Dedon laboratory discovers new cell damage response control mechanism; »more

Prof Leona Samson laboratory identifies key enzymes relating inflammation to colon cancer; »more

Dedon/Tannenbaum/Fox/Wogan laboratories collaboration finds major role for neutrophils in inflammation-associated colon cancer; »more

Prof Krystyn Van Vliet laboratory develops method for generating physiological stem cell-derived matrix; »more

Prof Bevin Engelward laboratory advances understanding of radiation risk thresholds; »more

Prof Michael Yaffe laboratory determines improved approach for breast cancer treatment; »more

Prof Ed Boyden laboratory develops new robotic approach for recording brain activity; »more

Profs Ed Boyden and Feng Zhang win Perl-UNC Neuroscience Prize; »more

Prof Katharina Ribbeck laboratory finds anti-viral properties of mucin matrices; »more

Prof Angela Belcher elected to American Academy of Arts & Sciences; »more

Prof Angela Belcher company, Siluria, named in Tech Review 'Top 50 Innovators'; »more

Prof Dane Wittrup elected to National Academy of Engineering; »more

Prof Pete Dedon laboratory finds genetic defects in DNA-related metabolic enzymes; »more

Prof Eric Alm laboratory identifies bacterial gene exchange on large-scale; »more

Prof Jay Han laboratory develops new technology for stimulation of damaged nerves; »more

Dr Natalie Kuldell creates BioBuilder to bring biological engineering to K-12 teachers; »more

Professor Fatih Yanik receives NIH PIoneer Award; »more

Professor Alan Jasanoff receives NIH Transformational Research Award; »more

Synthetic Biology Center established; »more

Professor Ron Weiss laboratory develops genetic circuit method for killing tumor cells; »more

Professor Alan Grodzinsky laboratory identifies approach for preventing osteoarthritis; »more

Professor Scott Manalis laboratory invents new single-cell measurement technique; »more

Professor Linda Griffith Laboratory develops new bimolecular cancer therapeutics approach; »more

Professor Mark Bathe Laboratory enables design of DNA nanotechnology structures; »more

Professor Angela Belcher laboratory improves solar cell efficiency via viral nano-assembly; »more

Professor Ed Boyden laboratory uses optogenetics to restore vision in mice; »more

Professor Krystyn Van Vliet laboratory discovers novel biomaterials properties; »more

Professor Douglas Lauffenburger and collaborators bring signaling network systems analysis into animal models; »more

Professor Darrell Irvine laboratory creates new vaccine delivery nanoparticles; »more

Professor Linda Griffith elected to National Academy of Engineering; »more

Professor Eric Alm laboratory identifies microbial genome evolution match with geological record; »more

Professor Pete Dedon laboratory discovers new cell stress response mechanism; »more

Course 20 senior Jennifer Lai wins Rhodes Scholarship; »more

Professor Jacquin Niles laboratory develops new approach to identifying anti-malaria therapeutic targets; ; »more

Professor Roger Kamm elected to Institute of Medicine; »more

Professor Jacquin Niles receives NIH New Innovator Award; »more

Biotech company Adimab founded by Professor Dane Wittrup selected as Technology Pioneer 2011 by World Economic Forum; »more

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New MIT BE textbook published:
'Fields, Forces & Flows'
by Alan Grodzinsky
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