Health & Biotechnology

WPI's research in health and biotechnology crosses multiple disciplines and embraces a wide range of focus areas.

Cellular biology—neuronal migration and degeneration, the molecular basis of bacterial adhesion and biofilm formation

Regenerative bioscience and stem cell biology—repairing damaged hearts with adult stem cells, creating bioengineered scaffolds for soft tissue repair, developing methods to reprogram adult cells to act more like stem cells to repair wounds

Tissue mechanics and mechanobiology—exploring how mechanical forces contribute to proper growth and healing of connective tissue and bones

Biophysics—understanding metal ion transport across cell membranes, exploring the role of protein signaling pathways in disease, and uncovering the role of the cell's internal architecture in a host of biological process

Disease treatment—attacking malaria with whole-plant therapy, searching for new drug targets for common fungal infections

Animal behavior—mental flexibility in pollinating insects

A “Liquid Biopsy” Chip that Detects Metastatic Cancer Cells

WPI scientists and researchers make new discoveries all the time. But when your research has a direct impact on loved ones, the stakes are that much higher. When the mother of Balaji Panchapakesan, associate professor of mechanical engineering at WPI and director of the Small Systems Laboratory, developed breast cancer, it spurred the creation of a new way to test for cancer cells.  

Investigating the Origins of Type 2 Diabetes

WPI physicist Izabela Stroe is working to uncover the link between amyloid polypeptides and Type 2 diabetes. The exact cause of this devastating disease, the seventh leading cause of death in the country, is a mystery, but Stroe’s research is uncovering the role amyloid peptides play in the diabetes and discovering ways to stop the disease from developing.

Generosity and Foresight Yield Remarkable Research Opportunities

One woman’s decision to donate her body to research gave WPI researchers an incredible opportunity to create a computational tool of a three-dimensional virtual human body. The Virtual Human model is being used by researchers worldwide who use it to conduct virtual medical procedures and experiments.

Megan Chrobak, PhD Candidate

Megan Chrobak, PhD candidate in biofabrication, says the decision to pursue her advanced degree will open career opportunities and position her well for the work she so enjoys.

“Research is funny,” muses Chrobak. “It’s definitely discouraging at times when experiments you believed were well thought out end up failing. But when things start coming together, it’s such a great feeling!”