Frontiers of health: Advances in medicine emerge at intersection of engineering and biology

Revolutionary cancer treatments. Potent HIV drugs. Diabetes-fighting stem cells. Princeton engineers are bringing new and often unexpected perspectives to bear in developing these and an array of other medical breakthroughs, while advancing the basic understanding of biology. They are the vanguard of an emerging discipline that links engineering and biology -- with human health as the beneficiary.

Frontiers of health: Programming cells

Engineer Ron Weiss' knowledge of circuits and biologist Ihor Lemischka's expertise in stem cells are a potent combination -- one that may lead to medical breakthroughs for diabetes and spinal cord injuries.

Frontiers of health: Durable drugs

Fundamental approach targets practical problem Designing effective drugs and vaccines to combat and prevent disease is only half the battle—they also have to be formulated effectively for shipping and storage, which is where Pablo Debenedetti and Athanassios Panagiotopoulos come in. The chemical engineering professors use a combination of theoretical, computational and experimental techniques to explore how proteins behave in the presence of certain sugars that are often used as stabiliz

Frontiers of health: Developing understanding

The vials of fruit flies that line the shelves of Stas Shvartsman's lab would be expected in a biology lab, but Shvartsman is a chemical engineer. His approach to developmental biology -- as unconventional as his lab -- has promising implications for the prevention and treatment of birth defects and cancer.

Invest in education, people and the future, say Xerox and Amazon execs

A failure to invest in science and engineering education could have dire consequences in today's global economy, said corporate leaders from Xerox Corp. and in separate April addresses at Princeton.

Frontiers of health: Following the map

Mona Singh doesn't use the maps in her office to get from point A to point B -- she uses them to find meaning hidden in biological data, which may help advance the understanding of disease at the genetic level.

Frontiers of health: New spin on heart valves

In a roundabout way, propellers advanced Julie Young's latest project—a new and improved heart valve replacement. "The blades of a propeller look very much like the leaflets in a mechanical heart valve," said Young, an assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering, who studied propellers for her Ph.D. dissertation at the University of Texas at Austin. "The same principles apply on a much smaller scale."

Smits returns as mechanical and aerospace chair

Alexander Smits will become chair of the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering as of July 1, returning to the position he held from 1998 to 2004.

Frontiers of health: Bugs for drugs

Bacteria have to work to earn their keep in the lab of David Wood, assistant professor of chemical engineering. Designed to respond to human hormones, the busy bugs may help identify new compounds to treat endocrine problems, including Graves' disease and estrogen-related disorders.

Frontiers of health: Sight for sore eyes

Szymon Suckewer needs eye surgery, but he's not going under the knife just yet -- he'd rather wait until no knife is necessary. Having recently developed an incision-free eye surgery technique, he's confident that will soon be an option.