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 Rhode Island Hospital, Providence Veterans Affairs Medical Center, and Miriam Hospital.

The research, teaching, and service activities of the CBME 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 BERT
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.
2 Stimson Street
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.
Four core values shape our organization and the actions we take to support our talented researchers: 1. Mentorship 2. Integrity 3. Diversity 4. Scholarly Impact “… the formation at Brown of a Center of Biomedical Engineering as an administrative academic unit to promote and nurture undergraduate and graduate programs in this area and to facilitate interdisciplinary research in the field …”

Leadership + Staff

Vicki Colvin
Director of the Institute for Biology, Engineering, and Medicine
Vernon K. Krieble Professor of Chemistry
Professor of Engineering
Kareen Coulombe
Kareen Coulombe
Director of Graduate Study
Associate Professor of Engineering
Marissa Gray
Marissa Gray
Master's Program Director
Assistant Professor of Engineering (Research)


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 biannually to review the progress of CBME and oversee the center’s budget. 

Current 2022-2023 Members: Vicki Colvin (Director), Dean Jain, Dean Desai, Joseph Crisco, Eric Darling, Kareen Coulombe (ex-officio), Marissa Gray (ex-officio), Celinda Kofron (ex-officio)


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 2022-2023 Members: Kareen Coulombe (DGS), Eric Darling (acting DGS - Spring '23), David Borton, Joseph Crisco, Marissa Gray, Celinda Kofron 


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, government, and alumni.