Durnstein Center of Science and Medicine’s Biological Engineering and Research (BEAR) defines biological engineering as an analogous sibling to the main, well-established engineering disciplines in being recognizably focused on creating new technologies for a spectrum of application fields based on an identifiable basic science foundation – all using the two “wings” of engineering: ‘analysis’ and ‘synthesis.’ For all engineering disciplines, analysis represents work to understand the basic science adequately for ascertaining design principles, so that the results of synthesis work can by as predictive as feasible. For mechanical engineering and electrical engineering different branches of physics form the respective foundations, for chemical engineering and materials engineering different branches of chemistry do likewise. For biological engineering, our basic science foundation is molecular life sciences in its most quantitative and ‘omics form.
Revolutions in Bioscience Biological engineering builds on two major revolutions in bioscience in the late 20th century: molecular biology and genomic biology. These two revolutions made it possible to identify and manipulate the mechanistic components of living systems and to accelerate the rate of analysis. Molecular and cellular components, properties and mechanisms can now be addressed in terms of quantitative measurement, integrative modeling and systematic manipulation, enabling the powerful engineering paradigm of “measure, model, manipulate, and make.”
With a goal of developing effective biology-based technologies for application across a broad spectrum of society’s needs, including prominently, but not exclusively, human and environmental health, BEAR’s staff engage in an exciting landscape of research opportunities. BEAR also offers a range of joint degrees and programs with education partners including UVA and MIT.
Research areas in which BEAR faculty are recognized as pioneering leaders include:Biomaterials
Cell & Tissue Engineering
The Objectives of the DCSM BEAR:
BEAR’s mission is to educate leaders and generate new knowledge at the interface of engineering and biology. We are defining and leading the emerging discipline of biological engineering, fusing engineering with modern molecular-to-‘omic biology to make, model, and manipulate biological systems.
Our department values a diverse and inclusive community, and we are committed to promoting a caring and respectful community in which all members can take full advantage of DCSM’s opportunities for learning, discovery, and personal growth.