Program Description

Bioengineering as a broad discipline will likely attract a diverse group of students with varied background, experience and levels or areas of interest. Some may choose to obtain a broad overview of the field in an effort to understand the tremendous advances likely to be seen as their careers in medicine develop. Other students may want more in depth exposure to the methods of engineering research.  This may lead to greater training in engineering with the ultimate goal of a combined Masters in Engineering and Medical Degree.

Attempting to fashion one curriculum or course sequence that will accommodate all of these students would provide a watered-down experience for some and an overly technical one for others. We therefore propose that the courses taken by each student in the concentration vary, to some degree, based on their experience to date, future goals, and area(s) of interest.

As the Department of Bioengineering grows, additional courses are expected to be developed. Within the Bioengineering scholarly (foundation) area, it is anticipated that, over time, and concurrent with the development of the bioengineering program, the development of course sequences and “specialization” within the foundation could be expected in areas such as biodesign, biomechanics, molecular and cellular engineering, imaging and regenerative medicine (tissue engineering).

Each student choosing the Bioengineering scholarly area will meet formally with the co-directors shortly after their decision is made. During this meeting, the student’s short and long term plans and goals and the specifics of their level of interest in bioengineering will be assessed. At the conclusion of this meeting the co-directors will suggest possible faculty advisors/mentors and additional resources for the students to use in choosing a final faculty research/project advisor with whom to work.

In an effort to ensure a successful and productive relationship, students will not simply be assigned an advisor or mentor; instead, the student and potential faculty advisor will meet, discuss their expectations and determine whether their collaboration is mutually beneficial. Advisors will most likely be chosen from the school of engineering or medicine though this is not a requirement, provided the area of focus falls within the general domain of bioengineering. One source of additional advisors may include the Stanford program in biodesign, which consists of approximately 200 faculty from various departments throughout the medical, engineering and other schools. These faculty members are united by their desire to promote the development of new health technologies through research and education.

Other expectations and opportunities in the Bioengineering area are:

Seminar Series/journal club
Students will also be required to attend journal clubs and laboratory meetings in addition to participating in the Bioengineering Scholarly Concentration Visiting Professorship and Bioengineering Scholarly Concentration Research Dinners.

Bioengineering Scholarly Concentration Visiting Professorship
A Bioengineering student and their mentor will nominate nationally/internationally renowned scientists in their field of study to the concentration oversight board. Twice a year, the scientists will be invited as visiting professors for a 1½- to 2-day visit to lecture, participate in laboratory meetings, meet with the concentration student and, meet with collaborators throughout the schools of medicine and engineering. These visits will be coordinated with the bioengineering scholarly concentration research dinners.

Bioengineering Scholarly Concentration Research Dinners
Students who have completed research will present their research at an informal dinner meeting which will be attended by their colleagues, peers, and invited faculty members. This event will occur on a quarterly basis.