Pushing the boundaries of bioengineering

Spring 2020 | EQuad News Volume 31, Issue 2

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Dean's note

[Note: This issue of EQuad News was produced prior to the Covid-19 pandemic. Please see engineering.princeton.edu and follow on Twitter for the latest news about research related to tracking and stemming the pandemic.]

Portrait of H. Vincent PoorFew fields of research hold such sweeping promise for improving lives as bioengineering. The ability to understand and manipulate the processes of life is producing new treatments and diagnostics of disease, renewable and efficient sources of energy, new materials, and overall new paradigms for organizing and controlling complex systems. 

That is why bioengineering — along with data science, another foundational tool with vast potential — has become a deep strength at Princeton and is one of our highest priorities for growth going forward. Faculty and students across the engineering school are pushing the boundaries of bioengineering and health in close collaborations with biologists, chemists, neuroscientists, data scientists, physicists, and clinicians. 

Here is how one of our leading bioengineers and the recipient of a MacArthur “Genius Grant,” Cliff Brangwynne, put it recently: 

“What evolution has given us in biological systems are the most complex forms in the universe. So by studying biological systems in general, or unbelievably organized ones like the brain in particular, you can learn a lot about what is possible in terms of engineering and controlling systems with totally new kinds of properties.” 

In this magazine we look at just a slice of bio- engineering research at Princeton, with a particular focus on work at the level of cells and cell systems, which is one of our core areas of excellence. 

Are you working in bioengineering or health, or fields affected by them? Follow us on social media and tell us the stories of your work.

H. Vincent Poor
Interim Dean
Michael Henry Strater University Professor of Electrical Engineering