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A New Cellular And Molecular Engineering Curriculum At Rice University

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2002 Annual Conference


Montreal, Canada

Publication Date

June 16, 2002

Start Date

June 16, 2002

End Date

June 19, 2002



Conference Session

Curriculum Development in BIO Engr.

Page Count


Page Numbers

7.73.1 - 7.73.5



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Paper Authors

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Larry McIntire

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Ka-yiu San

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Ann Saterbak

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A New Cellular and Molecular Engineering Curriculum at Rice University

Ka-Yiu San, Larry V. McIntire, Ann Saterbak

Department of Bioengineering, Rice University Houston, Texas 77005

Abstract The tremendous advances in cellular and molecular biology over the last 25 years have fundamentally changed our understanding of living organisms. This new understanding at the level of cells and their array of associated molecules is having a tremendous impact on both medicine and technology. Appreciating the complexities of the cell and its inner workings will be crucial to turning our knowledge into effective treatment strategies at the tissue, organ and whole individual levels. Because of its tradition of applying the fundamentals of physics and mathematics to the understanding and control of biological systems, biomedical engineering is especially well positioned to advance cellular and molecular-based medicine and technology. To accomplish this, the Bioengineering Department at Rice University is developing a curriculum that educates students in cellular and molecular processes and their control.

In this talk, we will describe the structure of a bioengineering undergraduate program at Rice University begun in 1998. We will present the development of a series of new courses for the cell and molecular engineering program. This series of courses starts with the basic concepts of engineering fundamentals at the sophomore level. This introductory course provides the foundation for the more advanced quantitative treatment of cell structure and function at the cellular and tissue levels taught in the junior and senior levels. In particular, we will discuss the development of three specific courses that cover topics ranging from molecular to tissue level: molecular engineering, cellular engineering and tissue engineering. This sequence of courses exposes students to the cutting-edge synthesis of molecular and cellular information into design of tissue systems. Coupled with these lecture-based courses is a hands-on tissue culture laboratory course. With the emphasis on cellular and molecular engineering, we believe our bioengineering undergraduate students will obtain the necessary training to become leaders in this rapidly emerging field of the biomedical/biotechnology industry.

Introduction The Bioengineering undergraduate program at Rice University is designed to prepare students for careers in rapidly developing areas of biomedical engineering and bioprocessing. The undergraduate educational program in Bioengineering (BIOE) has the goal of producing a new type of biomedical engineer, fully conversant with modern biochemistry and cell and molecular biology. This type of biomedical engineer will translate bench-scale scientific advances in biological sciences into cost-effective new products and processes. New and innovative curricula are being developed to educate biomedical engineers who will not only create new tissues and cell-based therapies but also deliver them at a cost affordable to our health care system.

Proceedings of the 2002 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright Ó 2002, American Society for Engineering Education”

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McIntire, L., & San, K., & Saterbak, A. (2002, June), A New Cellular And Molecular Engineering Curriculum At Rice University Paper presented at 2002 Annual Conference, Montreal, Canada. 10.18260/1-2--10235

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