immunoengineering illustration from Collier lab

Immune Engineering

The immune system presents both complex hurdles and profound opportunities for biomedical engineers. It must be dealt with when designing any new biomedical device, biomaterial, or technology intended to be used within the human body, and yet at the same time it is also a tremendous resource to engage and exploit in developing new treatments for diseases ranging from cancer to infectious diseases to tissue regeneration.

Duke BME is actively engaged in research aimed at understanding, controlling, and exploiting the immune system to treat a range of diseases and conditions.

Work includes the design of novel vaccines and technologies for treating wounds, chronic inflammation, cancer, and for tissue engineering. This research is facilitated by a network of collaborators spanning Duke University Medical Center clinical departments and the Duke University School of Medicine's Department of Immunology

Primary Faculty

Emma Chory

Emma Chory

Assistant Professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering, starting August 2023

Research Interests: Directed Evolution, therapeutic discovery, epigenetics and genomics, High-throughput automation, synthetic biology, protein engineering

Joel Collier

Theodore Kennedy Professor of Biomedical Engineering

Research Interests: 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-organize into useful…

Charles Gersbach

John W. Strohbehn Distinguished Professor of Biomedical Engineering

Research Interests: Gene therapy, genomics and epigenomics, biomolecular and cellular engineering, regenerative medicine, and synthetic biology.

John Wirthlin Hickey

Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering

Tuan Vo-Dinh

R. Eugene and Susie E. Goodson Distinguished Professor of Biomedical Engineering

Research Interests: Biophotonics, laser-excited luminescence spectroscopy, room temperature phosphorimetry, synchronous luminescence spectroscopy, surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy, field environmental instrumentation, fiberoptics sensors, nanosensors, biosensors and biochips for the protection…