Faculty members from several departments with expertise in biology and engineering will hold a day of lectures and discussions to celebrate bioengineering at Princeton on October 2, 2015.
Sponsored by the School of Engineering and Applied Science and multiple departments, the event is open to faculty, postdoctoral fellows, students, alumni and interested members of the bioengineering community beyond the University. Advanced registration is required. Details about registration, the schedule of presentations and poster submission are available at http://bioeng.princeton.edu.
Each engineering discipline has arisen from major breakthroughs in scientific understanding, said Stanislav Shvartsman, a co-organizer of Bioengineering Day and professor of chemical and biological engineering. Newton’s discoveries 400 years ago eventually gave rise to mechanical engineering and computer science grew out of solid-state physics and applied math. Bioengineering similarly builds from fundamental advances in biology, and the intersection of biology and engineering has emerged as a deep and important discipline in its own right. The aim of bioengineering is to develop rational approaches to manipulate living systems at multiple scales, from molecules to organisms.
“This is an exciting branch of engineering that promises to transform our lives,” Shvartsman said. In just one example from the field, scientists have engineered fluorescent proteins to glow any color of the rainbow, which allows them to track molecules throughout the body for a better understanding of healthy processes, disease and treatments. In other work, researchers are growing complex tissues in a dish, which can be used to answer fundamental biological questions and is expected to lead to medical treatments for tissue repair.
Although Princeton does not have a degree-granting program in bioengineering, the University has a substantial breadth and depth of work, said Celeste Nelson, associate professor of chemical and biological engineering and co-organizer. Part of the agenda for Bioengineering Day is to initiate an open discussion about the future of bioengineering at Princeton.