The quantitative, computational, and theoretical bioengineering group works to explain, model, and provide the means to manipulate medically-related biological systems.
Investigations range from biomechanics to protein-protein interactions, to stem cell differentiation and immune system therapies. These investigations often employ a systems biology approach to understand how biological processes, within cells, a group of cells, or an entire tissue work at the ‘network level’, and generally seeks to determine how biological components (e.g., genes, proteins, and biochemical reactions) interact to produce defined physiological responses and behaviors.
Ultimately, this multi-scale understanding of biological systems is central to gaining a better understanding of the causes and progression of human diseases, and promises to lead to new therapeutic strategies that can be increasingly personalized. General areas of interest include connective tissue mechanics, environmental effects on stem cell differentiation, biofilms, sequence and structure properties of biomacromolecules, nanoelectromechanical transduction in cochlear, outer-hair cell membranes, neuroscience, characterization of molecular imaging markers, structural biology, evolution and immune system therapies, and design principles of biochemical circuits.
Faculty working with these research approaches often collaborate with experimentalists and clinician-scientists based at Rice, in the Texas Medical Center, or throughout the world.