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Engineering the Precise Translation of Novel Medicines

SBE Special Section

The field of bioengineering has placed engineers at the frontier of human health. In fact, medical schools at Univ. of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Texas A&M, and other universities are developing programs with an “engineering-centric medicine” approach.

Engineers recognize that our mission is not complete until we create innovations to directly impact or cure major health challenges across the world. A relatively recent emphasis for our community has been translational and precision medicine. Even though translational medicine has been defined in different ways, the central theme is using a multidisciplinary approach to translate novel scientific and technological findings from bench to bedside to address human health in an affordable manner.

The National Institutes of Health’s perspective of translational medicine encompasses three key aspects that appeal to engineers: the process of applying basic discoveries and preclinical studies to the development of trials and studies in humans; the translation of best practices to the field; and the need to ensure prevention and treatment strategies are cost-effective.

With the emergence and convergence of fields such as nanotechnology, machine learning, artificial intelligence, and gene editing, and a globalized emphasis on the immense opportunities in human health, chemical and biomedical engineers are well positioned to leverage deeper partnerships...

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