About Brown’s Center for Biomedical Engineering

This center is the only joint academic program of the School of Engineering and the Division of Biology and Medicine. Our research improves human health through cross-disciplinary studies and educational activities that integrate the engineering, physical sciences, life sciences and clinical practice.  CBME also oversees and administers degree programs in Biomedical Engineering for undergraduatesmasters students,  and PhD students.

Our faculty are drawn from across the campus academic departments as well as the School of Engineering and the clinical departments of the Division of Biology and Medicine.  Their dual status as CBME faculty and members of academic departments makes them well poised to bring the very latest in their disciplines to bear on the complex and multi-disciplinary problems of biomedical engineering.  Many of our researchers bridge the gap between clinical and basic research through interaction with Brown's affiliated hospitals including the VA and Miriam.

The research, teaching and service activities of this BME community are diverse.  However, much of our fundamental capability can be captured in four topics of nationally recognized excellence: Mechanobiology, Regenerative Engineering, Neuroengineering, and Biomaterials and Sensing.

Please see the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering for a more extensive description of the field of Biomedical Engineering.

Brown University provides an outstanding environment for high-impact research in biomedical engineering in part because of the wide range of instrumentation, skilled researchers and shared technologies available to its students and faculty. These resources are distributed across the Brown campus and nearby hospitals and the most commonly used facilities are listed below. A searchable database, CoresRI, also exists for locating specific equipment contained in core facilities throughout the state of Rhode Island. Some facilities provide standard services for a flat fee, others provide open-access along with training, others are restricted to collaborative research efforts only, while others are for educational purposes only.
Brown University is internationally recognized for its unique academic culture which seeks to solve problems by integrating knowledge from many traditional disciplines. Centers and Institutes across campus are one strategy for bringing together researchers to focus on high-impact problem solving. The CBME has many close interactions with these groups which are listed below.

Leadership + Staff

Vicki Colvin
Vernon K. Krieble Professor of Chemistry
Professor of Engineering
Professor of Molecular Pharmacology, Physiology, and Biotechnology
Director of the Center for Biomedical Engineering
Eric Darling
Associate Professor of Medical Science
Associate Professor of Engineering
Associate Professor of Orthopaedics
Graduate Program Director, Biomedical Engineering
Jacquelyn Schell
Assistant Professor (Research)
Masters Program Director, Biomedical Engineering and Biotechnology
Jonghwan Lee
Assistant Professor of Engineering
Undergraduate Concentration Advisor
Kareen Coulombe
Assistant Professor of Engineering
Assistant Professor of Molecular Pharmacology, Physiology and Biotechnology
Biomedical Engineering Honors Committee Chair
Celinda Kofron
Celinda Kofron
Lecturer of Engineering
Adjunct Assistant Professor of Molecular Pharmacology, Physiology, and Biotechnology
Associate Director of the Center for Biomedical Engineering
Jessica Bello
Program Administrator


The CBME executive committee is the primary management body for the center.  The Dean of Biology and Medicine as well as the Dean of Engineering both serve on the EC along with the Director, the Director of Graduate Studies and two rotating faculty members.  This group meets quarterly to review the progress of CBME and oversee the center’s budget. 

Current 2017-2018 Members: Professor Vicki Colvin (Director), Dean Elias, Dean Larson, Professor Joseph Crisco, Professor Arto Nurmikko, Professor Eric Darling, Dr. Celinda Kofron (ex-officio), Wendy McHugh (ex-officio)

The operating committee of the CBME meets regularly and includes the CBME director, the associate director of CBME, the Directors of Graduate/Master’s/Undergraduate studies, and relevant staff to coordinate events, student admissions, and other ongoing functions.  

Current 2017-2018 Members: Professor Vicki Colvin (Director and Director of the Undergraduate Program), Dr. Celinda Kofron (Associate Director), Dr. Jacquelyn Schell (Director of the Master’s Program), Dr. Eric Darling (Director of the Graduate Program), Jessica Bello (Program Administrator, BioMed), Cathleen McIntosh (-----)

The Graduate Program Committee oversees the PhD and ScM graduate programs. It approves official documentation changes and other program-wide issues of importance. This Committee is also the ultimate body for deciding termination of students from the program. Additionally one member of the group is an engineering faculty member who serves as a liason to the Engineering Graduate Council.

Current 2017-2018 Members: Professor Eric Darling, Professor David Borton (EGC Liason), Professor Kareen Coulombe, Professor Vicki Colvin, and Professor Trey Crisco. 

The faculty committee consists of all primary CBME faculty where primary is defined as faculty who are active within CBME, attend CBME meetings regularly, and have served as a mentor to CBME students within the past five years.  Monthly lunchtime meetings during the academic year allow for discussion and review of program policies, collaborative proposal planning, and general research activities among the group.  A current 2017-2018 faculty list can be found here.

The external advisory board meets every other year to provide strategic input and advice on the short-term and long-term goals of the center.   Members are drawn from prestigious academic institutions, relevant industry, and government.