The Convergence of Biology, Medicine, and Engineering


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I think learning the fundamentals of a discipline is the most important thing that students can do to prepare themselves for jobs both today and tomorrow. That discipline may be biology, bioengineering, chemistry, chemical engineering or others. I also think doing research is great preparatory experience. Furthermore, I believe the opportunities offered by the convergence between biology, medicine, and engineering are rapidly increasing.

Thus, courses and research at this interface may be increasingly attractive. At MIT, for example, training at the Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research or the Broad Institute or the Harvard-MIT Health Sciences and Technology Program may be very helpful. At many universities, there are also special programs or activities that students can be involved in that may be useful. At MIT such programs include the $100K business plan competition. At Stanford they have a Biodesign Program. Finally, summer jobs in companies involved in biotech or pharma or medical devices can offer great experiences.

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Biomedical engineer Robert Langer is the David H. Koch Institute Professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He has approximately 800 issued and pending patents, 220 of which have been licensed or sublicensed to pharmaceutical, chemical, biotechnology, and medical device companies. Follow @

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