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Biomedical Engineering Research

Graduate student working with stem cells

Cellular and Molecular Engineering

Cellular engineering is an interdisciplinary field in which the principles of engineering and life sciences are used to study or manipulate biological processes at a cellular or molecular level. Stem cell engineering is a particular area of emphasis for many in biomedical engineering, melding engineering and developmental biology to investigate and regulate the process of cellular differentiation.


Core faculty

Faculty affiliates

Centers, Consortia and Institutes

Cardiovascular Research Center

An innovative program, the UW Cardiovascular Research Center works to reduce the incidence of cardiovascular disease in Wisconsin and the nation and develop effective approaches to treating cardiovascular disorders and disease. Faculty from over 30 specialties collaborate in a broad attack on cardiovascular problems through basic research, clinical investigation, diagnosis, treatment, and public education. Working together, physicians and researchers combine their unique perspectives, sparking fresh ideas and reducing the time it takes to bring new discoveries out of laboratories and to patients.

Forward BIO Institute

The Forward BIO Institute catalyzes innovation in biomanufacturing research, entrepreneurship, and workforce development. It acts as a “catapult” that pushes groundbreaking technologies into the private sector.

The institute engages with research institutions throughout the Midwest and supports innovations in workforce development, transformative research and development, and public-private partnerships in the emerging area of biomanufacturing: the advanced manufacturing of therapeutic medical devices, cells, tissues, or pharmaceuticals.

The McPherson Eye Research Institute (MERI)

The McPherson Eye Research Institute is a multi-disciplinary community of scholars working to gain critical knowledge about the science and art of vision and apply it to preventing blindness.

Founded by Drs. Daniel M. Albert and Alice McPherson in 2005, MERI brings the extraordinary diversity and strength of vision research at UW–Madison under one umbrella. It has quickly become one of the world’s foremost multi-disciplinary vision research centers, with more than 150 members in 35 UW–Madison departments and affiliated non-UW institutions. Through basic and clinical science research of the eye and visual system, our researchers have made significant advances in preserving and restoring vision, basic vision research, advanced technologies, and education and outreach.

Quantitative Biology Initiative (QBI)

Technological innovations have revolutionized the scale and detail with which biological systems can be explored. With that revolution comes a new demand for scientists who transcend biological and computational sciences to seamlessly integrate complex datasets into quantitative and predictive models of biological systems.

To address this need, the Quantitative Biology Initiative at UW–Madison is training the next generation of scientists who will work at the interface of computational, statistical, and quantitative biology. The QBI represents a university-wide initiative that brings together students and faculty from diverse departments. They utilize an exceptional level of inter-departmental collaboration at UW–Madison to provide students outstanding training opportunities in interdisciplinary, collaborative research.

University of Wisconsin Carbone Cancer Center (UWCCC)

The University of Wisconsin Carbone Cancer Center is recognized throughout the nation as one of the leading innovators in cancer research, quality patient care, and active community involvement. It is the only comprehensive cancer center in Wisconsin, as designated by the National Cancer Institute.

UWCCC’s location in the Wisconsin Institutes for Medical Research (WIMR) allows researchers to work with scientists from other disciplines, speeding the transfer of cutting-edge science to patients.

University of Wisconsin-Madison Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine Center (SCRMC)

Since the first successful culturing of embryonic stem cells from non-human primates in 1995, and later with the isolation of the world’s first human embryonic stem cells, the University of Wisconsin–Madison has been a leader in the companion fields of stem cell research and regenerative medicine.

The UW–Madison Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine Center (SCRMC) provides a central point of contact, information, and facilitation for all stem cell research activities on campus. The center’s mission is to advance the science of stem cell biology and foster breakthroughs in regenerative medicine through faculty interactions, research support, and education.

Wisconsin Institute for Discovery (WID)

The Wisconsin Institute for Discovery was created in 2010 to explore new ways of generating innovation in science and engineering. Since opening in 2010, the institute has been awarded and administered more than $22 million in grant funding from a variety of foundations and agencies to continue pursuing research collaborations with the Morgridge Institute for Research, the University of Wisconsin–Madison, the State of Wisconsin, and more.

Wisconsin Institutes for Medical Research (WIMR)

The Wisconsin Institutes for Medical Research has embraced a new way of doing science since its opening in 2008. In this new model, traditional research silos become obsolete as basic, translational, and clinical scientists—in cancer, imaging, neuroscience, surgery, and cardiovascular and regenerative medicine—work together to move discoveries quickly from bench to bedside and into the community.

In addition to its three interdisciplinary research towers, WIMR neighbors the UW Health Sciences Learning Center, the UW Schools of Pharmacy and Nursing, and the UW Hospital and Clinics and American Family Children’s Hospital—making it well-positioned for easy interactions between WIMR scientists, their health sciences colleagues, practicing clinicians, and the patients whose lives they hope to improve.