MIT Reports to the President 1997-98


The mission of the Center for Biomedical Engineering (CBE) is to intimately combine engineering with molecular and cell biology, for the purpose of developing innovative approaches to biomedical technology. In the past year, it continued initiating new multi-disciplinary, multi-investigator research projects.

In one mode of new project initiation, CBE established the Engineering/Biology Catalytic Research Seed Grant Fund, founded in conjunction with the CBE Industrial Advisory Board, to provide small starting grant awards for teams combining investigators from engineering and the biological sciences. This Fund resulted in 3 Seed Grant awards, to: (1) Linda Griffith (Chemical Engineering/Bioengineering & Environmental Health) and Frank Gertler (Biology), on synthetic extracellular matrices for tissue engineering; (2) Ram Sasisekharan (Bioengineering & Environmental Health) and Peter Seeberger (Chemistry), on a new technology for designing and synthesizing oligosaccharide-based drugs and materials; and (3) Peter So (Mechanical Engineering) and Richard Lee (Harvard Medical School), on a new methodology for studying gene expression responses to mechanical stresses on cells. In another mode of new project initiation, under CBE auspices a number of MIT/Industry research collaborations were organized. These include collaborations with Johnson & Johnson Professional on bone tissue engineering, with 3M on diagnosis and monitoring of bacterial infection, and with Amgen on innovative strategies for therapeutic protein formulation and delivery.

Multi-user core laboratory facilities continued to be maintained and developed, emphasizing instrumentation for quantitative measurement of molecular and cellular properties. These facilities are used by undergraduate students, graduate students, and postdoctoral research associates from various Departments and Divisions in the Schools of Engineering and Science, as well as by investigators from other academic institutions and industrial companies. Finally, Professor Alan Grodzinsky has succeeded Professor Douglas Lauffenburger as CBE Director.

Douglas Lauffenberger

MIT Reports to the President 1997-98