Duke BME Magazine

The Research Issue | Fall 2019

From the Chair

Dear Colleagues and Friends,

Good work is rarely accomplished alone. For me, the 2019 Engineering Biology for Medicine conference served as an energizing reminder that breakthrough discoveries often emerge due to collaborations at the intersection of engineering, biology and medicine.

It was wonderful to welcome colleagues from schools as far-flung as Berkeley, Chicago, Columbia, Cornell, Georgia Tech, Harvard, Hopkins, MIT, UCSF, Yale, and ETH Zurich to Duke BME for the May 2019 conference, which was co-sponsored by Nature Medicine and Nature Biomedical Engineering.

With sessions covering topics that spanned mechanobiology, synthetic and systems biology and immune engineering, this event was a wonderful opportunity for leading researchers to highlight successful research, and discuss how their work could solve long-standing problems within the biomedical field.

I was thrilled to have several Duke BME faculty among the speakers presenting their own work and introducing sessions. In our newest issue of the Duke BME Magazine, we take a deeper look at their impressive research, with stories about researchers using lab-on-a-chip technologies to study diverse diseases, work in the emerging field of mechanobiology, novel approaches to mapping the human brain, and features about work at the intersection of tissue engineering and regenerative medicine.

Our faculty are just one of the reasons Duke BME is consistently ranked among the best biomedical engineering programs in the United States, and I’m thrilled with the opportunity to highlight what is just a small fraction of their excellent research. Duke BME has blazed an exciting trail in the last fifty years, and I know there is more innovative work on the horizon.

Ashutosh ChilkotiAshutosh Chilkoti
Duke Biomedical Engineering

Ravi Bellamkonda addresses the crowd at the Engineering Biology for Medicine conference.

Engineering Biology for Medicine Inaugural Conference Held at Duke

The new conference hosted by Duke Biomedical Engineering, Nature Biomedical Engineering and Nature Medicine created a collaborative environment to share innovative research

 Julia Kuhl)

Zooming in on Neuronal Behavior

With novel approaches to studying neurons, Yiyang Gong and Michael Tadross seek to understand the body’s most complicated organ

Vardhman Kumar examines a microfluidic chip.

Big Ideas on a Small Surface

George Truskey and Shyni Varghese use custom lab-on-a-chip technologies to create novel models of tissues, organs and diseases

 Gersbach Lab)

The Evolution of Genetic Engineering

A Q&A with Charles Gersbach

Additional Stories

Understanding Cells Under Pressure

Brenton Hoffman's lab explores how mechanical forces can shape and control our cells

The Body on Defense

In his lab at Duke, Joel Collier uses synthetic nanomaterials to boost the body’s natural defenses

Programming Cell Behavior

With work spanning gene circuits, antibiotic resistance and the mathematical modeling of cellular networks, Lingchong You explores how to best to harness microbes for medical purposes

Fixing Muscle and the Brain

Nenad Bursac and Tatiana Segura are engineering hydrogel microenvironments to physically and chemically support the growth of skeletal muscle and brain tissue

Past Issues

Spring 2019

Making the Next Wave of Imaging Tools for Cancer Diagnosis

Motivated by her mother’s death from breast cancer, Muyinatu Bell (Duke BME PhD’12) is now advancing medical imaging as a faculty member at Johns Hopkins

Engineering Solutions to Foodborne Illness

Christine Schindler and Dutch Waanders's startup PathSpot aims to make restaurant kitchens cleaner, and safer, for consumers

Oh, the Places Grads Go

Whether their career ladders lead to industry, academia or entrepreneurship, Duke BME gives PhD students a leg up on post-grad life

Personalizing the Master's Degree

Duke BME’s MS and MEng programs enable students to customize their learning experience and chase down opportunities

Fall 2018

A Year of Real-World Design

Centered on collaboration with Duke Medicine clinicians, Duke BME's re-imagined design course challenges students to design solutions to real patients' problems

A Path for Post-Grad Success

An industry-focused BME Design Fellowship prepares students for jobs after graduation

From Cell Cultures to Mass Markets

Mike Lynch's design course adds an entrepreneurial flair to the standard design formula

Design on a Global Scale

From Uganda to Guatemala, Duke BME design projects make an impact that extends beyond the classroom

Spring 2018

An Old Space for New Ideas

The BRiDGE initiative for faculty, alumni and student startups opens in downtown Durham

Innovative Scholars

An overview of faculty startups in Duke BME

A New Class of Entrepreneur

Students and researchers tackle new challenges through their own startups

Fall 2017

Engineering a New Narrative

Duke biomedical engineers are creating unique tools geared toward women's health to address global health disparities

Collaborating Across Continents

Duke BME professors challenge students to design Solutions with global communities in mind

Five Days of Fieldwork

BME students test a diagnostic tool in Liberia