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Message from the Chair

Planet Rice BIOE_webAt the core of planet “Rice BIOE” are the people and collaborators who dedicate their efforts to develop and manage top-quality education and research programs. Our undergraduate program is ranked fifth and our graduate program is ranked ninth in the nation by U.S. News & World Report.

Our mission as a department is to excel in basic and translational research at the interface of biology and engineering, while training the next generation of leaders in the field. In the coming year, we will continue to expand the department with a focus on growth in three synergistic research areas:

  • Systems and synthetic biology,
  • Multi-scale optical imaging, and
  • Tissue engineering 2.0.

Since 2007, Rice BIOE’s externally funded annual research expenditures have grown to over $14M. The faculty membership has increased by a gain of five new tenured and tenure-track positions with immediate plans for three additional tenure-track positions. The number of doctoral graduates has increased by 25 percent.

The bioengineering undergraduate program is comprehensive and provides students with a broad and rigorous understanding of engineering principles. The program is unique for providing students with significant early exposure to cutting-edge research and relevant real-world engineering design experiences. Since 2007, we have had a 51 percent increase in the number of degrees awarded.

Significant awards our students have earned during this timeframe include: 37 NSF Graduate Research Fellowships, 5 Hertz Fellowships, 1 Fulbright Scholarship, 1 Truman Scholarship, 3 Marshall Scholarships, 7 Goldwater Scholarships, and 3 Soros Fellowships.

Our professional master's program has tremendous potential to bring enhanced dimension and leverage to bioengineering. The number of M.B.E. degrees awarded has increased three fold since 2007. We are developing a new focus in global medical innovation that involves external collaborators and the unique engineering design environment at Rice. New courses are also being added that guide students in researching a medical need, investigating technologies that address that need, and systematically developing and bringing products to the market.

We will be celebrating 20 years of Rice bioengineering in 2017! Look to bioe.rice.edu, as well as our Facebook and LinkedIn pages for news of the growing impact our students, faculty, staff and alumni have had in achieving their goals. 

Deem_ChairMichael W. Deem
John W. Cox Professor of Biochemical & Genetic Engineering
Professor of Physics & Astronomy
Chair, Department of Bioengineering
Founding Director, Graduate Program in Systems, Synthetic, and Physical Biology