The health and life sciences are in the midst of a profound revolution. The cross-disciplinary application of new technology and quantitative approaches from engineering, computer science, and physics to the life sciences has fueled fundamental advances in molecular and cellular biology. These advances will be crucial to help the aging population, which will need better and more affordable medical devices, techniques, and therapeutic modalities. Health care reform and personalized care is changing the practice of medicine and creating new opportunities for bioengineers to develop more effective and less costly means to both prevent and treat diseases. The unique ability for bioengineers to integrate principles from diverse fields and thereby span the gap between basic science advances and their clinical utilization places individuals trained in this field at a critical point in the advancement of health care.

Bioengineers at UCSF seek to advance diagnostics and therapeutics by engineering novel materials and devices at the cellular and subcellular levels; This includes designing probes for tissue targeting and sensors of biological activity, fabricating advanced drug delivery devices, and developing tissue engineered and bioartificial organs for tissue replacement; Such technologies might ultimately be used to treat cancer, neurodegenerative diseases, diabetes, or immune disorders; Faculty are specifically interested in:

Mechanisms for delivering novel drug and gene therapies that take advantage of specific biological and biochemical properties of the disease with minimal impact upon surrounding normal tissue

Developing biocompatible and biological materials as part of functional implant systems for tissue replacement, including the use of stem cells and gene therapy

Determining the fundamental principles by which cells and extracellular matrix respond to physical loading and how mechanical factors influence tissue development, injury, repair, and remodeling

Developing new probes for tissue characterization, diagnosis, and evaluation of response to therapy using methodologies such as genomics and proteomics

Designing novel instrumentation and computer-aided simulations for optimizing invasive procedures such as robotic surgery, intra-operative monitoring, and delivering focal therapy