Biomolecular and Tissue Engineering

Immunofluorescence staining image showing the cardiomyocytes in green and the fibroblasts interspersed around them in red. Note the alignment of the cells around the central pore.Duke BME research focuses on three broad areas of biotechnology: protein engineering, cellular engineering, and tissue engineering.

Much of the department's efforts are focused through the Center for Biomolecular Tissue Engineering.

Protein engineering concerns the design of proteins and oligopeptides that elicit specific ligand-receptor interactions or that can be used to develop targeted drug therapies. Cellular engineering research focuses on the regulation of the external and internal environment of cells for promoting specific expression of biomolecules, improving drug and gene delivery, or facilitating tissue engineering. The purpose of our tissue engineering work is two fold: the design or modification of matrices that promote or inhibit specific interactions with proteins, cells, and tissues; and the production of ordered ensembles of cells for therapeutic or technical applications.

Biomolecular and Tissue Engineering Faculty

Dr. Barr's research interests include bioelectricity and biomedical computing.
Professor of Biomedical Engineering
Bursac's research interests include embryonic and adult stem cell therapies for heart and muscle disease. Cardiac and skeletal muscle tissue engineering. Cardiac electrophysiology and arrhythmias. Genetic modifications of stem and somatic cells. Micropatterning of proteins and hydrogels.
Theo Pilkington Professor of Biomedical Engineering in the Edmund T. Pratt, Jr. School of Engineering
Chilkoti's research focuses on biomolecular materials and biointerface science and emphasizes the development of applications that span the range from bioseparations, biosensors, patterned biomaterials, and targeted drug delivery.
Associate Professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering
Collier's research interests relate to the design of biomaterials for a range of biomedical applications, with a focus on understanding and controlling adaptive immune responses. Most materials investigated are created from molecular assemblies- proteins, peptides or bioconjugates that self-...
Gustavo S. Montana Professor of Radiation Oncology, in the School of Medicine
Dr. Dewhirst's research interests focus on the tumor microenvironment and how it influences treatment responses. Areas of particular focus are hypoxia, acidosis, angiogenesis and oxidative stress.
Rooney Family Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering
Dr. Gersbach's research interests are in gene therapy, biomolecular and cellular engineering, regenerative medicine, and synthetic biology.
Professor of Medicine
Dr. Geoffrey S. Ginsburg's research interests are in the development of novel paradigms for developing and translating genomic information into medical practice and the integration of personalized medicine into health care.
Lazlo Ormandy Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery
Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering
Dr. Hoffman's research focuses on understanding, on a molecular level, how mechanical and chemical cues from the environment are detected, integrated, and manipulated by cells to dictate physiological and patho-physiological responses important in vascular biology.
Michael J. Fitzpatrick Professor of Engineering in the Edmund T. Pratt, Jr. School of Engineering
Professor Izatt's research interests are in the area of biophotonics and include coherence-based biomedical imaging and microscopy, novel technologies for ophthalmic imaging, and nanoscale studies of cellular morphology and dynamics.
Nello L. Teer, Jr. Professor of Biomedical Engineering, in the Edmund T. Pratt, Jr. School of Engineering
Dr. Katz's research interest include methods for prophylaxis against STD's, emphasizing topical microbicides and contraception; biofluid mechanics; rheology and transport phenomena; biophysical aspects of mammalian sperm motility, sperm transport, and fertilization; and biomechanical functioning of...
Associate Professor of Surgery
The primary basic science research interests of our laboratory are in the area of physiological mechanisms of maintaining substrate transport from blood to tissue. This broad topic covers studies on whole animals, such as rats and mice, as well as studies on whole organ, hemorheological,...
Adjunct Professor of Biomedical Engineering
Leong's research interest focuses on biomaterials design, particularly on synthesis of nanoparticles for DNA-based therapeutics, and nanostructured biomaterials for regenerative medicine.
Professor of Biomedical Engineering
Prof. Lopez's professional interests lie in research and education in biomaterials science and engineering, bioanalytical chemistry and biointerfacial phenomena.
Alan L. Kaganov Professor of Biomedical Engineering
Reichert's research interests include biosensors, protein mediated cell adhesion, and wound healing.
William Bevan Professor of Biomedical Engineering
Research in Setton's laboratory is focused on the role of mechanical factors in the degeneration and repair of soft tissues of the musculoskeletal system, including the intervertebral disc, articular cartilage and meniscus.
Joseph A.C. Wadsworth Professor of Ophthalmology
R. Eugene and Susie E. Goodson Professor of Biomedical Engineering
Dr. Truskey's research interests include cardiovascular tissue engineering, mechanisms of atherogenesis, cell adhesion, and cell biomechanics.
Theodore Kennedy Professor of Biomedical Engineering
Dr. Wax's research interests include optical spectroscopy for early cancer detection, novel microscopy and interferometry techniques.
Fitzpatrick Family University Professor of Engineering
West's research in biomaterials, nanotechnology and tissue engineering involves the synthesis, development, and application of novel biofunctional materials, and the use of biomaterials and engineering approaches to study biological problems.
Paul Ruffin Scarborough Associate Professor of Engineering
Dr. You's research interest focus on computational systems biology & synthetic biology, including mathematical modeling of cellular networks; mechanisms of information processing by gene networks; design, modeling and construction of robust gene networks for applications in engineering and...
Professor of Biomedical Engineering
Dr. Yuan's research interests include drug and gene delivery, mechanisms of molecular transport in cells and tissues, and tumor pathophysiology.
Sternberg Family Professor of Mechanical Engineering & Materials Science
Nano-mechanical and nano-tribological characterization (elasticity, friction, adhesion) of materials including organic thin films; self-assembled monolayers, polymeric gels, and cellulosics; Fabrication of polymeric nanostructures by scanning probe lithography; Colloidal probe and atomic force...