Bioengineers at Princeton achieve far-reaching impact by answering fundamental questions about how living systems work while bringing an engineering approach to solving real-world problems. The expansion of bioengineering at Princeton, reflected in the creation of a bioengineering institute and a planned BioE facility, offers growing opportunities for collaboration with industry, government, and nonprofit partners.
Bioengineering at Princeton took a significant step forward in July 2023 with the creation of the Omenn-Darling Bioengineering Institute. The new Institute aims to bolster innovation, entrepreneurship, and ties to the region’s biotech and pharmaceutical industries by focusing on cellular engineering, biomedical instruments and devices, and computational bioengineering. Like living organisms, the new Omenn-Darling Bioengineering Institute is built to thrive as a community, mixing disciplines to create a unique synthesis of ideas and techniques that improve the health of people and the planet. The Institute will bring together scholars and researchers exploring experimental and computational methods and the ethical and public policy implications of new ideas and technologies.
The new bioengineering institute will be housed in its own building, currently under construction as part of a broad new campus neighborhood for engineering and environmental studies that is slated to open in 2025.
The Institute will also be home to new interdisciplinary bioengineering programs for postdocs, graduate students, and undergraduates.
“The Omenn-Darling Bioengineering Institute will accelerate Princeton’s leadership at the forefront of this exciting engineering frontier, with unlimited potential for positive impact on health, medicine, and quality of life,” said Andrea Goldsmith, dean of the School of Engineering and Applied Science and the Arthur LeGrand Doty Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering. “The Institute will bring together the most innovative faculty and students in the field and provide them with the foundation needed to enable transformative research and teaching. With its world-class faculty across relevant areas and its robust culture of interdisciplinary collaboration, Princeton is now well-poised to shape the trajectory of bioengineering long into the future.”
The new Omenn-Darling Bioengineering Institute builds on many areas of work already developing under the Princeton Bioengineering Initiative created in 2020. Cliff Brangwynne, the June K. Wu ’92 Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering, has led the initiative. His research has changed how scientists understand cellular organization by linking biology with materials science and engineering, leading to foundational insights about cell functions and suggesting new ways to treat diseases such as cancers, ALS, and Alzheimer’s. He has earned many accolades for his work, including being named a MacArthur Fellow, a Sloan Fellow, a Howard Hughes Medical Investigator, and a winner of the 2023 Breakthrough Prize.
“The world needs problem-solvers in the life sciences space,” Brangwynne said in 2020. “Just look around us. Our whole world has been turned upside down by a nanometer-sized particle of biological matter that has swept across the globe and killed a million people. The COVID-19 pandemic is just one example. Think about cancer, dementia — these are diseases that have devastating effects on society.”
The Omenn-Darling Bioengineering Institute will include a team of core faculty members and convene affiliated faculty from across campus. The current Princeton Bioengineering Initiative has involved faculty from the School of Engineering and Applied Science, the Lewis-Sigler Institute for Integrative Genomics, the Princeton Neuroscience Institute, and the departments of molecular biology, physics, chemistry, and ecology and evolutionary biology.
Learn more about bioengineering at Princeton.
For more information on specific research topics, we encourage you to search Research With Princeton, a comprehensive and up-to-date database of research publications and projects, faculty profiles, research units, and scientific facilities available for sharing with external partners.