Pitt | Swanson Engineering
Biomechanics in Regenerative Medicine (BiRM)

What is BiRM?

The goal of this training program is to provide a solid foundation upon which to build a productive and independent career in Biomechanics in Regenerative Medicine (BiRM). This goal is accomplished via a highly coordinated and mentored interdisciplinary training program with a combination of required and elective courses, research activities, and specialized training opportunities. The proposed Training Program incorporates faculty from the Departments of Bioengineering, Mechanical Engineering, Orthopedic Surgery, Vascular Surgery, Urology, and the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine of the University of Pittsburgh, as well as faculty from the Mechanical and Biomedical Engineering Departments of Carnegie Mellon University. This combination of training faculty research interests and coursework will provide a rich educational experience and more numerous training opportunities for the students than could be obtained within the individual university departments. Moreover, the breadth of research areas that span various physiological systems (cardiovascular, musculo-skeletal, urological) allows for a unique opportunity to train students to become highly skilled problem solvers while avoiding over specialization. Since the BiRM training program is not central to any one department, its structure permits the student a much wider choice of options with which to pursue a PhD in tissue bioengineering and regeneration. In the current departmental focus of graduate education, a PhD student in one department that wishes to perform thesis research in a laboratory in another department finds many departmental based administrative roadblocks in his/her path. The BiRM program eliminates these roadblocks and permits ever increasing educational options for the students and research collaborations. Coursework includes intensive life science and biomechanics is utilized to provide the students with a thorough grounding in both areas. Skills acquired in these courses are combined in later courses and the trainees' research.

BiRM Brochure 

Current Participating Faculty

  • Dr. Savio Woo, PI
  • Dr. David Vorp, Co-PI
  • Dr. James Antaki, Co-PI
  • Steve Abramowitch, PhD
  • Alejandro Almarza, PhD
  • Stephen Badylak, DVM, PhD, MD
  • Harvey Borovetz, PhD
  • Rakie Cham, PhD
  • Kris Dahl, PhD
  • Lance Davidson, PhD
  • Adam Feinberg, PhD
  • Thomas Gilbert, PhD
  • Jeffrey Hollinger, DDS, PhD
  • Kang Kim, PhD
  • Philip LeDuc, PhD
  • Kerem Pekkan, PhD
  • Anne Robertson, PhD
  • Partha Roy, PhD
  • Kenji Shimada, PhD
  • Sanjeev Shroff, PhD
  • George Stetten, MD, PhD
  • William Wagner, PhD
  • Yadong Wang, PhD
  • Jessica Zhang, PhD 

    BiRM Curriculum


     

    Biomechanics Track                                            

     

    Cellular and Organ Engineering Track 

    General Courses 

     

    General Courses 

    Applied Biostatistics (BioE 2525) *

     

    Applied Biostatistics (BioE 2525) *

    Methods in Applied Math (Math 2950) *

     

    Methods in Applied Math (Math 2950) *

    Societal, Political and Ethical Issues in Biotechnology (BioE 2241) *

     

    Societal, Political and Ethical Issues in Biotechnology (BioE 2241) *

    General Science/Engineering Elective 1

     

    General Science/Engineering Elective 1

      

     

      

    Life Science Courses 

     

    Life Science Courses 

    Molecular and Cell Biophysics I (BioE 2520)

     

    Molecular and Cell Biophysics I (BioE 2520)

    Life Science Elective 1

     

    Life Science Elective 1

    Life Science Elective 2

     

    Life Science Elective 2

      

     

      

    Biomechanics Related 

     

    Cellular and Organ Engineering Related 

    Biomechanics of Organs, Tissues, and Cells I (BioE 2080)

     

    Introduction to Tissue Engineering (BioE 2620)

    Biomechanics Elective I                            (BioE 2067 or 3025)

     

    Cellular and Organ Engineering Elective 1                   (BioE 2810 or 2075)

    Biomechanics Elective 2                          (BioE 2081 or BioE 2721)

     

    Cellular and Organ Engineering Elective 2                   (BioE 2220 or 2540)

     

     

     

    Cellular and Organ Engineering Related 

     

    Biomechanics Related 

    Cellular and Organ Engineering Course 1 ** 

     

    Biomechanics Course 1 ***

    Cellular and Organ Engineering Course 2 **    

     

    Biomechanics Course 2 ***

         

    *Or equivalent - Prior permission required

       
         

    ** Any course from the Cellular and Organ Engineering Track

         

    *** Any course from the Biomechanics Track