University of Arizona College of Engineering University of Arizona College of Engineering University of Arizona College of Engineering University of Arizona College of Engineering University of Arizona College of Engineering

Welcome to BME!

Logo for the University of Arizona department of biomedical engineering
Established in 2009, the UA Department of Biomedical Engineering in the College of Engineering reflects a long-standing tradition of interdisciplinary research at the intersection of medicine, science and engineering.

Our faculty boast a variety of backgrounds and research interests, but all are dedicated to improving human health through the application of engineering and scientific principles.

BME Students Have a Chance to Shine at Annual Expo

2017 Most Creative Research winner, Amanda Koiki, with her poster at last year's BME Student Research Expo

The sixth annual Student Research Expo (PDF) -- formerly known as BME Design Day -- is coming Wednesday, Feb. 28, to the Student Union Ballroom.

"If you are working in a lab on a project, this day is for you," said Diana Wilson, senior academic advisor for the Department of Biomedical Engineering. Wilson added that participants do not have to have results to present and that posters illustrating things like methodology are acceptable too. Posters that have already been created for the previous fall and summer semesters may also be used.

"The idea is to help our BME students get experience presenting their research and to get comfortable with talking to others about what they are doing in the labs," she said.

Sponsor W. L. Gore & Associates will be awarding cash prizes for the five best, most promising or most creative posters. Laboratory principal investigators have been given funding to print up to three free posters this year.

Those who wish to participate should RSVP by Feb. 22, and add their names and poster titles to the RSVP document.

"It’s a great day and there’s good food too," Wilson said.

Agenda Outline

BME Graduate Alumni Speaker
Jessi Gamboa Crosby, SynCardia Tucson 
Noon to 1 p.m. Rincon Room
BME Student Research Expo - Poster Session 1-4 p.m. Ballroom
Keynote Speaker Valerie Cross, Product Specialist
W. L. Gore & Associates
3-4 p.m. Ballroom

Wolfgang Fink Named As ACABI Fellow for Biomedical Research and Advancements

Wolfgang Fink examines the eye of a female patient using a biomedical device while a man stands by him and observes.

Biomedical engineering associate professor Wolfgang Fink has been named fellow for the Arizona Center for Accelerated Biomedical Innovation for his research and advancements in the field of biomedical technologies.

"I felt very honored to receive this award," said Fink, who holds a joint faculty position in electrical and computer engineering. "It was definitely very nice to receive this recognition."

ACABI's purpose is to bring together biomedical experts to collaborate for the goal of accelerating the development of biomedical technologies.

"ACABI is like a think tank," Fink said. "So when a medical problem that involves engineering presents itself, the purpose is to brainstorm and come up with ways to solve it."

Fink's colleague, UA cardiologist and ACABI leader Marvin Slepian, calls ACABI "a creative engine," and Fink is an important cog in that engine. He is a leader in research and development for artificial retinas and vision science for the center, with 18 issued patents and several more pending. His goal is to "give vision back to blind people."

A mobile phone shows a person's hand through a remote diagnostic app.Also, as smartphones have become seemingly omnipresent, Fink said he is investing time and research into their potential use to conduct medical examinations worldwide.

"It would be something that provides quality health care to those in austere environments like third-world countries, to those deployed in the field or on a ship," Fink said. "Basically, any area where you do not have an expert within tens of miles. To make those examinations portable is a big deal."

In addition to the honor from ACABI, Fink was recognized as a da Vinci Fellow in 2015 and Fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE) in 2012. He is also the inaugural Edward and Maria Keonjian endowed chair at the University of Arizona.

Jennifer Barton Named Director of BIO5 Institute After National Search

Jennifer K. Barton, director of the BIO5 Institute, in her lab in the Thomas W. Keating Bioresearch Building.

After a national search, professor of biomedical engineering Jennifer Kehlet Barton has been named director of the BIO5 Institute.

Barton, also a professor of electrical and computer engineering, optical sciences, and agricultural and biosystems engineering, has been on the University of Arizona faculty since 1998. She served as BIO5 assistant director from 2009 to 2012, and became interim director in 2015. Her research expertise is in translational biomedical optics, as well as the prevention and early detection of cancer. Barton has published more than 100 peer-reviewed journal articles.

"I am thrilled to have Dr. Jennifer Kehlet Barton continuing in the role of director of the BIO5 Institute on a permanent basis," said UA President Robert C. Robbins. "Her success as a biomedical engineer and her commitment to community impact, mentorship and teaching make her an ideal leader for this important center."

Impatience a Virtue for Biomedical Engineering Freshman and Company Founder

Jeremiah Pate inspects fruit flies under a microscope in the Zarnescu lab. (Photo: Emily Walla/UANews)Biomedical engineering student Jeremiah Pate refused to wait until after graduation to found a company, and now he is designing satellites that can explore asteroids and proteins that can battle Parkinson's disease, even before finishing his freshman year.

"Impatience is a virtue," says Pate, a biomedical engineering major and founder of a company called Lunasonde. Pate was told to wait until after earning a bachelor's degree to start a company, and told to wait until graduate school to start research on a potential therapy for Parkinson's disease.

Instead, as a senior in high school in Oro Valley, Arizona, Pate started Lunasonde, which specializes in small, inexpensive satellites. These "picosatellites" can identify deposits of precious metals, natural gas and water beneath the surface of the Earth.

When he isn't working on his schoolwork, Pate researches gene therapy for Parkinson's disease in the lab of molecular and cellular biology and neurology professor Daniela Zarnescu.

Arizona Bioindustry Association to Honor Dr. Marvin Slepian with Award for Lifetime Achievement

The Arizona Bioindustry Association will honor Marvin J. Slepian, MD, of the University of Arizona, with the AZBio Pioneer Award for Lifetime Achievement at the 2017 AZBio Awards, Oct. 11 at the Phoenix Convention Center.

Slepian is a cardiologist, inventor, entrepreneur and educator, serving at the UA as professor of medicine, professor and associate department head of biomedical engineering, professor of materials science and engineering, professor of medical imaging, McGuire Scholar in the Eller College of Management, and member of the Sarver Heart Center.

Each year, the AZBio Awards ceremony honors Arizona’s leading companies and educators who exemplify the depth, breadth and expertise of the state’s bioscience industry. 

Biomedical Engineering Student Builds Telescopes as Part of Undergrad Team

JeffriesBefore she graduated in May, biomedical engineering student Lindsie Jeffries joined four other undergraduates in a project to create two 24-inch telescopes for the purpose of tracking satellites and space junk. "It was exciting putting the telescope together and confirming that everything fit and worked,” Jeffries said. “I also enjoyed getting to know my teammates. They were all hard workers who cared about the project and pushed me to do my best."

University of Arizona College of Engineering
Department of Biomedical Engineering 1127 E James E. Rogers Way P.O. Box 210020 Tucson, AZ 85721-0020