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Biomedical Engineering

           Biomedical Engineering is Uniquely Positioned for                                                     Graduate Education and Research         

Biomedical Engineering

The Wake Forest University School of Medicine Department of Biomedical Engineering (BME) is a basic science program within the School of Medicine.  BME is also a prominent track within the graduate school, with 45 students, nearly one fourth of the graduate school in the School of Medicine.  BME has 11 primary faculty, 27 core faculty, and 14 affiliate faculty at WFU with about $20 million in research funding per year at WFUBMC. Biomedical Engineers use engineering principles to improve human health, and speak the language of medicine and engineering.  They work hand-in-hand with physicians, government agencies such as the NIH, CDC, FDA, and others, and companies in health related fields.  They develop devices, therapies, techniques and applications to benefit human health.

The Department is also a member of the Virginia Tech-Wake Forest University School of Biomedical Engineering and Sciences, a unique collaboration which draws from faculty, staff and students at both schools in areas such as tissue engineering, biomedical imaging, nanomedicine and nanobioengineering, biomechanics, neuroengineering, cardiovascular engineering and translational cancer research. Overall, the program has 78 faculty and 93 students, with 14 partner centers and institutes. Many of the core faculty of BME are involved with the Comprehensive Cancer Center, the Institute for Regenerative Medicine, radiation oncology, radiology, neurosurgery, and orthopedic surgery, among others.  

 As the new undergraduate engineering department develops at Wake Forest University, the Department of Biomedical Engineering is excited to become a part of the undergraduate education and liberal arts focus of Wake Forest University and to help students and research bridge connections between the School of Medicine and Wake Forest University, by participating in instruction and providing research and educational opportunities for undergraduate students. The BME department is the recipient of a National Science Foundation supported Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) on imaging and biomechanics related applications, the IMPACT REU.

 Prominent research efforts include:

 ·     Brain Tumor Therapy - Nanotheranostics and image-guided drug delivery to treat brain tumors.

 ·     Cancer Nanotechnology - Micro- and nanotechnologies for biomedical diagnostics with a focus on cancer.

 ·     Cardiovascular MRI - Advanced MR image acquisition and image analysis, with application to cardiovascular structure and function.

 ·     Concussion and Head Impact research research - Biomechanical head impact exposure and concussion in sports. 

 ·     Global Human Body Models Consortium - A multi-center, global effort to develop state of the art virtual human models for improving safety in transportation in automotive, aerospace and military applications and addressing the emerging challenges of the autonomous vehicle paradigm shift.

 ·    Imaging analysis - for investigators in aging, addiction, mild traumatic brain injury and cardiovascular disease

 ·    Medical Device Design - advanced 3D printing, material testing, and robotic surgical biomechanics.

 ·     Solid organs -- such as the liver, kidney, heart and pancreas – scientists are working on a variety of strategies to engineer solid organs. 

 ·     Tissue Engineering -  A major of part of regenerative medicine is Tissue Engineering - the science of growing replacement organs and tissue in the lab to replace damaged or diseased tissue.  BME scientists in WFIRM are working to grow tissues and organs and develop healing cell therapies for more than 30 different areas of the body, from bladder and trachea to cartilage and heart. Skin, blood vessels, bladders, trachea, esophagus, muscle and other types of tissue have been successfully engineered; and some of these tissues have already been used in treating human disease.

 ·     Trauma Research - with a large focus on identifying key biomarkers and molecular signatures that are associated with microvascular damage and specific injury phenotypes.

 ·     Virtual Human Models - Human body model customization to account for aging, osteopenia, sarcopenia, and anthropometry to improve spaceflight and automotive injury risk prediction.

 ·    Head impact in sports - The groundbreaking Imaging, Telemetry and Kinematics Modeling (iTAKL) study that provides ongoing information to track exposure of youth football players for head impacts and concussion.

 ·    Injury Biomechanics for soldiers - with one goal to lay the long-term foundation for the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan with blast-exposure injuries.

 ·    Regenerative Medicine for soldiers - The wounded warrior tissue engineering/regenerative medicine program.

Quick Reference

Chair of BME / VT WFU SBES Associate Head
Joel Stitzel, PhD

SBES Graduate Program Director on WF Campus
Emmanuel C. Opara, PhD

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Last Updated: 02-06-2017
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