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ChemEng 290B: Chemical Engineering Principles of Biological Systems

Every fall, I teach 290B (soon being renumbered to ChE 220), an introduction to cell and molecular biology and bioengineering course. This class is required for Chemical Engineering sophomores, and is a Biological Sciences GenEd.

In 290B, we cover critical basic topics in Biology that all Chemical Engineers should know, such as:

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  • Principles of DNA-RNA-protein trascription and translation
  • How amino acid sequences within proteins dictate their physical folding
  • What the extracellular matrix is, and how it supports cells and tissues in your body
  • How cells integrate extracellular signals to adhere to tissue or migrate

Most importantly, all of these biological topics are covered within the context of core Chemical Engineering quantitative methods. Students are introduced to:

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  • Diffusion
  • Thermodynamics
  • Kinetics

Class assignments include homeworks (about 6 per semester), short quizzes to cover biology reading, 3 total exams, and a small research project at the end of the class. In the research project, students have a team, and learn how to find and scrutinize current bioengineering literature, and present a recent, exciting technology to the class.

Classes are T/Th from 9:30-10:45a, room TBA for fall 2012.

ChemEng 590B: Tissue Engineering

First offering is Spring 2012. This graduate and undergraduate co-listed class will cover the newest technologies in engineering replacement tissues, discuss how cells interact with, create, and remodel the extracellular matrix in vivo, how the matrix can feedback and regulate cell behavior, and how engineers can use this information to direct cell behavior with materials systems in vitro.

Lectures are 50% from myself, and 50% from students. Each student will research a single tissue engineering device, technology, or high-profile researcher. They will post a summary of the topic as a webpage, using the UMass Wikis, as well as give a brief (15min) presentation to the class.
Assignments include these short "wiki" modules, 3 take home exams, and 1 large research project, which is done in groups. The research project is an NIH-style grant, which is a proposal of a NEW idea, not found in literature. The grant also includes generating preliminary data in the lab, so all students must be lab safety trained by UMass EHS.
Classes are currently T/Th from 4-5:15p, but this is subject to change.

Course Website