Systems, Synthetic, and Computational Bioengineering

various photos of biological computation

Full vessel and stained cross-sectional views of the proximal descending thoracic aorta. Source: Prof. Chiara Bellini

We aim to understand the rules governing emergent systems-level behavior and to use these rules to rationally engineer biological systems. We make quantitative measurements, often at the single-cell level, to test different conceptual frameworks and discriminate among different classes of models. Our faculty are leaders in developing and applying both theoretical methods, e.g., control theory, and experimental methods, e.g., single-cell proteomics by mass-spec, to biological systems.  At the organ and tissue levels, 3D scans acquired through medical imaging methods (e.g., US, CT, MRI, etc.) may be used to reconstruct virtual models of targeted systems. Noninvasive measures of the physiological function can then inform numerical simulations to predict the behavior of biological systems over time, with the goal of estimating the progression toward pathological endpoints or to test the efficacy of targeted surgical procedures and pharmaceutical treatments (e.g., drug delivery).