Drug delivery, cellular processes, metabolic engineering, non-invasive measurements, nucleic acid analysis, bioprocessing
Biomedical Engineering, Center for the Mechanics and Engineering of Cellular Systems (CMECS), Center for Nucleic Acids Science and Technology (CNAST), Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP)
The Biomolecular Engineering group has wide-ranging expertise germane to contemporary problems in medicine, biology and biotechnology. These include metabolic engineering, cell mechanics, drug and gene delivery, upstream and downstream bioprocessing, biosensing, bioanalytical chemistry, and biological transport. Experimental activities in the group are supported by a 4000 sq. ft. shared laboratory with extensive cell culture, fermentation, bioseparations, surface science, spectroscopy, biophysical and synthesis capabilities. Students and faculty in the Biomolecular Engineering group collaborate extensively with each other, and with their colleagues in Biomedical Engineering, Biological Sciences, Chemistry, and other departments across campus. Collaborative activities extend to the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, one of the largest medical centers in the nation, located a few blocks from the CMU campus. Other local collaborators include the West Penn Allegheny Health System and the University of Pittsburgh Department of Bioengineering. These academic units provide a wealth of courses, facilities, and clinical contacts that the Biomolecular Engineering group frequently draws upon.
Major research efforts in the group include the design and synthesis of next-generation drug and gene delivery vehicles, the treatment of disorders related to subcellular mechanics, the large-scale production of DNA vaccines and protein-based pharmaceutics, novel biosensing platforms for the rapid, selective detection of miRNA and other trace biomarkers, and improved delivery of inhaled therapeutics by controlled surface transport.