Affiliated Centers & Institutes

Bioengineering faculty are involved in many interdisciplinary research centers and institutes that span across all SEAS departments and foster collaborations that make possible discoveries requiring many fields of expertise. They are also members of many centers and institutes in the medical school and university as a whole (see right column). For complete descriptions of our affiliated Engineering centers, see the summaries below.

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Center for Engineering Cells and Regeneration (CECR)

CECR Chris Chen, Director
Cellular Engineering, Tissue Engineering, and Regenerative Medicine are all part of a new science that seeks to understand how cells, tissues, and organs undergo adaptive or maladaptive responses to stimuli whose effects may be beneficial (e.g., in natural or engineered nutritive microenvironments) or harmful (e.g. in aging, stress, or injury). This multidisciplinary center pushes the frontiers of our understanding of cells as control systems,  how the individual subcomponents can be  retooled to alter cell function, and how cells interact with each other and their microenvironment to form tissues. Learn more.

Center for Human Modeling and Simulation (HMS)

Norman I. Badler, Director
The Center for Human Modeling and Simulation exists to investigate computer graphics modeling and animation techniques for embodied agents, virtual humans, and their applications. Major foci involve developing behavior-based animation of human movement, especially for gesture, gait, and facial expression, constructing a parameterized action representation for real-time simulation and animation, and understanding the relationship between human movement, natural language, and communication. Learn more.

Institute for Medicine and Engineering (IME)

The mission of the Institute for Medicine and Engineering (IME) is to stimulate fundamental research at the interface between biomedicine and engineering/physical/computational sciences leading to innovative applications in biomedical research and clinical practice. Learn more.

Institute for Research in Cognitive Science (IRCS)

John Trueswell, Director
The Institute for Research in Cognitive Science fosters the development of a science of the human mind through the interaction of investigators from the disciplines of Linguistics, Mathematical Logic, Philosophy, Psychology, Computer Science, and Neuroscience. Learn more.

Laboratory for Research on the Structure of Matter (LRSM)

Arjun G. Yodh, Director
The Laboratory for Research on the Structure of Matter (LRSM) is the intellectual focal point of materials research at Penn. It hosts the Materials Research Science & Engineering Center (MRSEC), which consists of five Interdisciplinary Research Groups (IRGs) plus selected seed projects. The MRSEC provides crucial support for faculty, postdoctoral fellows, and graduate students drawn from different disciplines, to tackle complex materials science projects that can only be addressed in a truly collaborative mode. Learn more.

Nano/Bio Interface Center (NBIC)

Charlie Johnson, Director
The Nano/Bio Interface Center at the University of Pennsylvania is a Nanoscale Science and Engineering Center (NSEC) that exploits Penn's internationally recognized strengths in design of molecular function and quantification of individual molecules. The Center unites investigators to provide, not only new directions for the life sciences, but also for engineering in a two-way flow essential to fully realizing the benefits of nano-biotechnology. Learn more.

Penn Center for Molecular Discovery (PCMD)

Scott Diamond, Director
The Penn Center for Molecular Discovery (PCMD) is a multi-disciplinary center that screens small molecules from around the world in search of new, potentially useful biologically effective agents. The Penn Center for Molecular Discovery is housed within the Institute for Medicine and Engineering. Learn more.

Penn Genome Frontiers Institute (PGFI)

James Eberwine and Junyhong Kim, Co-Directors
The Penn Genome Frontiers Institute (PGFI) is a university-wide institute dedicated to the advancement of the interdisciplinary field of genomics research. PGFI fosters collaborations and scientific exchange across biology, veterinary medicine, pharmacology, medicine, genetics, microbiology, engineering, physics, chemistry and psychology. Learn more.