The Chemical Engineers at Carnegie Mellon are leading the development of new therapies and technologies that are revolutionizing the field of health and medicine—using innovative processes such as metabolic engineering, cell mechanics, upstream and downstream bioprocessing, biological transport, and more. The group’s research efforts are supported by a 4000 sq. ft. shared laboratory with extensive cell culture, fermentation, bioseparations, surface science, spectroscopy, biophysical and synthesis capabilities.
Recent major research efforts in health and medicine are focused in three key areas:
- Protein and drug delivery – research includes the oral delivery of protein drugs such as insulin for diabetes treatment, infant disease treatment through breastmilk-cell augmentation, and aerosol carriers for pulmonary drug delivery.
- Gene therapies – research applications include treatment for diseases of the nuclear lamina such as Progeria Syndrome, Muscular Dystrophy, and Dilated Cardiomyopathy, as well as stem cell differentiation, cancer progression, and more.
- Medical devices and biosensing – focuses on a number of research projects, including the selective detection of miRNA and other trace biomarkers, and the development of hand-held tissue reflectance spectrometers for detection of incipient pressure ulcers regardless of skin pigmentation.
Students and faculty collaborate extensively with each other, and with their colleagues in the Department of Biomedical Engineering, as well as 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 just a few blocks from the Carnegie Mellon 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 Carnegie Mellon’s Chemical Engineering health and medicine researchers are able to frequently draw upon.
Students and faculty collaborate extensively with each other across departments at Carnegie Mellon University, as well as with outside universities and institutions.