Bioengineering overview

Bioengineering is the application of life science, physical science, mathematics and engineering principles to define and solve problems in biology, medicine, health care and other fields. The goal of bioengineering research and education is to advance a fundamental understanding of how human biological systems function and to develop effective technology-based solutions to the wide spectrum of societal needs in human development and disease diagnosis, treatment and prevention. 

Our mission 

Bioengineering at Illinois develops innovative engineering, technology, and quantitative methods to address grand challenges in human health and sustainability.

We are building on a foundational expertise in biomolecular imaging, bio-nanotechnology, computation, cellular and tissue engineering, synthetic bioengineering, and healthcare systems engineering, and are focused on detecting and treating cancer, neuro-degeneration, and cardiovascular disease as the most urgent areas of human health issues.

Department at a glance

The department of bioengineering at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign is widely regarded for its excellence in undergraduate and graduate education and for research advances that address grand challenges in medicine and health care. Bioengineering faculty also played key roles in the conceptualization, curriculum design and overall implementation of the Carle Illinois College of Medicine, the world's first engineering-focused medical school. See our department at a glance here.

“I loved the aspect of having a small major in a big school since it allowed me to have the comfort of a tight-knit community with the opportunities of a big school. ”

Drashti Sikligar
Bioengineering undergraduate student class of 2022


Seniors have found full-time employment or will be enrolled in continuing education by graduation.


NSF CAREER faculty

Research expenditures per tenure track faculty

The first steps towards the Carle Illinois College of Medicine (CI MED) officially came in 2014, when leaders from UIUC and Carle Health Systems recognized the need for a new kind of medical education. They visualized the world’s first engineering-based medical school, where students would receive an education that could combine traditional medical training with engineering and technology, with the potential to produce a new generation of physician-innovators.

The investiture of Mark Cohen, Dean of CI MED, as a Founder Professor in Bioengineering.  
The investiture of Mark Cohen, Dean of CI MED, as a Founder Professor in Bioengineering.  


Faculty from the Department of Bioengineering (BIOE) were critical in the progression of CI MED as it developed. They played key roles in recognizing the need for this new department, as well as designing its curriculum and providing expertise in areas such as engineering education, medical imaging, biomaterials, and more.


Since its first class of students was accepted in 2017, the departments of CI MED and BIOE have had many opportunities to work together, including faculty research and interdepartmental student work. The two departments share many faculty members, including the Dean of CI MED, Professor Mark Cohen, who was recently invested as a Founder Professor in Bioengineering–the first instance in the Grainger College of Engineering of a dean of one college being invested as a named professor in another. 


CI MED and the Department of Bioengineering share a commitment to improving the future of healthcare; to making medical advancements more accessible, more functional, and more impactful, all while promoting the increasingly important union of engineering and health care. It’s a partnership that promises to leave a mark on not only Illinois, but the world beyond.