Selected engineering courses

CHE 337: Biochemical Engineering

Introduction to prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells, cell metabolism, and genetic engineering. Mathematical modeling of enzyme kinetics and its importance in reactor design. Large-scale fermentation, such as bioreactor design and scale-up, cellular and membrane transport processes, growth media development, sterilization procedures, and protein purification. Lecture/recitation/laboratory. This is a technical elective.
Prerequisite: Chem 221, or permission of instructor.

CHE 360: Drug Delivery

The objective of this course is to introduce the engineering principles related to the interdisciplinary field of drug delivery.  Mathematical models of steady- and non-steady state mass transport in biological systems will be developed to solve problems related to pharmacokinetic compartment modeling, molecular diffusion, and receptor binding kinetics.  The design and application of current drug delivery systems, including controlled-release polymers, lipid-shelled particles, and cell-based strategies will be explored through the evaluation of peer-reviewed literature and experimental analysis. This is a technical elective.
Prerequisite: Math 161 or permission of the instructor.


The goal of this course is to introduce the field of biomolecular engineering. The first part of the course emphasizes the biology behind tissue growth, as well as the engineering design principles that can be applied to regenerate or create new tissues. Once understanding these concepts, we will delve into how tissues can be repaired through the targeted delivery of therapeutic molecules. The second part of the course will provide a quantitative understanding of the principles that govern drug delivery, including drug diffusion, transport, and kinetics.

ECE 205: Human Machine & Advances in Medical Technology

From smart algorithms analyzing wearable data to the development of brain-machine interface, significant advances have been made in the development of medical devices for treating and assisting patients. In this team-taught course we will explore the physiological changes (i.e. chemical and electrical signals) associated with voluntary and involuntary physiological activities, such as brain and heart function. We will develop an understanding of current technology and discuss the ethical issues surrounding the development of future medical instrumentation.
Prerequisite: None


ECE 437: Biomedical System Modeling and Analysis

This course introduces the use of engineering techniques to simulate and analyze biomedical systems and applications in medicine. Major physiologic functions, such as nerve action potentials, skeletal muscle contraction, human vision system, cardiovascular system, respiratory system, endocrine system, kidney, and prosthetic devices, are modeled by electrical circuits or differential equations and simulated using computer software.
Prerequisite: Math 264; Physics 131, ECE 331 or permission of instructor. Not open to students who have taken ME 489

ES 232: Biomaterials Science

Classes of biomaterials used in medical applications, including ceramics, metals, and polymers (both synthetic and natural), will be discussed in terms of physical, chemical, and mechanical properties. Structure, properties, and processing of biomaterials will be examined to predict biocompatibility and to appropriately select biomaterials for specific applications.
Prerequisite: Chem 121 and Math 125 or Math 161 or Math 165 or permission of the instructor.
Note: This course counts as an engineering elective.

ME 380: Bioengineering Design Clinic

This course provides an introduction to Bioengineering Design. Engineering designs are developed through processes that have a number of stages, beginning with conceptual design and culminating in detailed design. At the heart of this course is the completion of a major conceptual and embodiment design project for a specific client from clinical medicine or the bioengineering industry. Student teams will produce a prototype of their design and document their process with a written report and presentation.
Prerequisite: None.

ME 489: Introduction to Biomedical Engineering

Introduces fundamentals and applications of the transport processes— thermodynamics, fluid mechanics, heat transfer, and mass transfer—in the human body and in other biomedical systems. Students study the modeling of normal and abnormal human physiology and the devices for medical therapy. Students develop the tools necessary to obtain quantitative information on biomedical problems involving transport processes. This is a technical elective.
Prerequisite: ME 362 or permission of instructor.

ME 492: Biomechanics

A one-semester course involving the application of solid and fluid mechanics to biological systems. Students will learn the fundamental cell biology and physiology necessary to understand these systems; understand how researchers in biomechanics address biological problems using engineering principles; advance their knowledge of mechanics; and develop the necessary skills to apply the concepts of engineering mechanics to biological systems. Likely topics include musculoskeletal (bone and muscle) mechanics, neuromuscular mechanics and control, and the physics of blood and air flow in the circulatory and respiratory systems. This is a technical elective.
Prerequisite: Physics 131 or 151 and junior/senior standing or instructor approval.

ME 493 Biomechanics: Analysis of Fundamental Human Motions

This course will study the methods of kinematic and kinetic analysis of fundamental human motions such as walking, jumping, throwing, and batting. Basic skeletal-muscular anatomical structures, kinesiology, and biomechanical conventions are introduced. Motion capture methods are utilized to record basic human motions for subsequent analyses. Methods of analytical and computer modeling are taught as means for analyzing the fundamental kinematic and kinetic behaviors. Human performance and limitations, sports implements, and muscle modeling are included.
Prerequisite: Mechanical Engineering major with senior status or permission of instructor.


Selected science courses

BIOL 225: Microbiology

Microbiology is the biology of microorganisms, emphasizing prokaryotic structure, growth and cultivation, metabolism, genetics and gene regulation. Lecture topics include bacteria-to-bacteria signaling, biofilms, secretion, microbial diversity, and bacteriophage biology. Lectures are supplemented with readings from the primary literature. Laboratory exercises demonstrate principles covered in lecture and instruct students on research techniques.
Prerequisite: BIOL 101-102 or permission of instructor.

BIOL 251: Human Physiology

This course uses a systems approach to human physiology. The functions of the major human organ systems and the physiological mechanisms by which these functions are controlled are considered. Lecture/Lab
Prerequisite: BIOL 111-112 or permission of instructor.

BIOL 255: Molecular Genetics

This course focuses on the study of the hereditary principles that govern cellular processes, organismal development, biological diversity, and the evolutionary changes in populations. The goal of this course is to provide an in-depth understanding of these principles from both Mendelian and molecular perspectives. Emphasis will be placed on the analysis of the experimental work that over the years has led to the current status of the discipline of Genetics. By identifying and discussing the most important aspects of a particular experiment (why it was conducted; which results were obtained), students are expected to establish the link between a concept and the scientific research supporting it. In the laboratory component of this course, model organisms will be utilized to help students become familiar with current methods of genetic analysis.
Prerequisite: BIOL 112; Chem 121, Chem 122 or permission of the instructor.

BIOL 256: Neurobiology

This course examines the field of neuroscience from a cellular and molecular perspective, with the neuron and neural networks as the focus of discussion and experimentation. After an intensive look at neuronal cell biology and signaling, the course examines the cellular basis of higher-order functions, such as sensation, behavior, and memory. Lecture/discussion/laboratory.
Prerequisite: BIOL 112 and Neuroscience 201

BIOL 274: Introduction to Bioinformatics

The integration of genomic and information technologies makes once thought unattainable scientific pursuits possible, such as the Human Genome Project. The era of bioinformatics has arrived. Fusing experimental and computational methods in studying complex biological questions becomes a routine process for today’s biologists. This course provides a comprehensive overview of bioinformatics-the application of computational and information sciences in studying biology. The focus is to learn prevalent computational approaches used by research biologists.

Prerequisite: BIOL 111 or 112 or permission of instructor

BIOL 277: Cell Biology

This course covers structure, function, and chemistry of cells, organelles, and membranes. Specific topics include cellular energetics, information flow in cells, cytoskeletal structure and functions, signal transduction mechanisms and cellular aspects of the immune response, and cancer. Students read selected topics of current importance in cell biology and present oral and written reports. Lecture/seminar/discussion/computer simulation.
Prerequisite: BIOL 111-112 and permission of instructor.

BIOL 278 Precision Medicine

The Human Genome Project revolutionized biomedical research through the discovery and integration of Big Data. Post-HGP endeavors, such as ClinVar and the All of Us Research Program, have been designed to accelerate our research progress into clinical practice. Prevention and treatment strategies that take individual variability into account are not new concepts. However, precision medicine advances the field by leveraging technological progresses and ‘omics’ data to improve prediction, diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment for individual patients.
Prerequisite: BIOL 111-112 or permission of instructor.

BIOL 350: Genomics

This course focuses on particular aspects of the structure and function of genomes. Topics covered in Genomics include approaches to studying genomes, anatomies of eukaryotic nuclear and prokaryotic genomes, synthesis of the transcriptome and proemome, regulation of genome activity, how genomes replicate and evolve, and the evolutionary relationships between genomes as determined by molecular phylogenetics. Using primary research literature, students analyze a specific topic in depth and present their findings in oral and written reports.
Prerequisite: BIOL 255 or permission of instructor.

BIOL 356: BIOMEDICAL informatics

This course focuses on using genomic information, statistics and computational methods to study the relation between genomic variations and diseases. With the advance of DNA sequencing technologies, the whole genome sequencing, at ever-decreasing cost, accelerates the mapping of complex diseases on the genome landscape in high precision. Students will learn major biomedical informatics approaches in translating the fount of genomic information into promising actionable treatment options through lectures, journal discussions, and project presentations. Biomedical informatics encompasses an array of subjects ranging from genetics, genomics, and statistics to bioinformatics. Lectures will cover basic principles and methods. Students will learn how researchers apply these principles and methods in studying genomic variations through in-depth review of primary research articles and oral presentations. Major topics include human genome, genomic variations, genome-wide association study (GWAS), cancer genome, microarray technology, next generation sequencing, pharmacogenomics, and personalized medicine.

Prerequisites: BIOL 274 or BIOL 255 or permission of instructor

CHEM 351: Biochemistry Survey

This course provides an understanding of structure, function, and metabolism of biological molecules including proteins, carbohydrates, lipids, and nucleic acids. Other topics include enzyme catalysis, bioenergetics, metabolic control mechanisms, and information transfer at the molecular level.
Prerequisite: Chemistry 222 or permission of instructor.

CHEM 352: Experimental Biochemistry

This course provides laboratory experience and a theoretical analysis of modern preparative, analytical, and physical techniques utilized for the study of proteins, nucleic acids, polysaccharides, membranes, and organelles. Lecture/laboratory.
Prerequisite: Chemistry 351 or permission of instructor.

CHEM 452: Topics in Advanced Biochemistry

This course covers a variety of topics with emphasis on the molecular basis of human disease, new areas of biochemical research, and advances in biotechnology. Topics may include immunobiochemistry, molecular mechanisms of cellular signal transduction, advanced topics in metabolism, chemical carcinogenesis, and the physical basis of biochemical methodology.
Prerequisite: Chemistry 351 or permission of instructor.

NEUR 201: Introduction to Neuroscience

This course introduces students to the interdisciplinary field of neuroscience using a problem-based approach. The structure and function of the brain are explored at molecular, cellular, and systems levels. Students become familiar with approaches used by neuroscientists as well as the connections between neuroscience and other disciplinary fields.
Prerequisites: None.

PHYS 220: Medical and Biological Physics

This course demonstrates how the principles, tools, and strategies of physicists can be applied to problems that have biological, medical, or ecological import. Methods taught in this course are applied to a broad range of interdisciplinary problems from biomechanics to nerve impulse propagation to the latest imaging techniques, including three-dimensional ultrasonic imaging and magnetic resonance imaging. The course is aimed at students nearing a decision on a career direction who are curious about what areas of research are open to them, or to those who simply wish to broaden their biophysical or biomedical outlook. Taught in the spring semester in alternate years.
Prerequisites: Phys 112 or 133 or permission of instructor.

PSYC 225: Psychopharmacology

This course examines the neurological, physiological, and psychological effects of psychoactive drugs, such as sedatives, stimulants, opiates, antidepressants, alcohol, and hallucinogens. The use of psychoactive drugs in treating mental disorders such as schizophrenia and manic-depressive illness is also explored.
Prerequisite: Psychology 110 or permission of instructor.

PSYC 323: Physiological Psychology

The neural, hormonal, and physiological bases of animal and human behavior are examined. Physiological aspects of such topics as language, learning and memory, feeding, sexual behavior, emotions, sleep, and neurological disorders are covered. In the laboratory, students will conduct discovery-oriented research utilizing a variety of techniques employed by physiological psychologists and neuroscientists. Lecture/laboratory. [NS, W]
Prerequisite: Psychology 110, 120 or Neuroscience 201 or permission of instructor.