Focus Areas

A biomaterial is any material, natural or man-made, that is made compatible with living tissues and performs, aids, or replaces a natural function and is used and adapted for a medical application. Biomaterials may have a benign function, such as being used for a heart valve, or may be bioactive with a more interactive functionality such as scaffolds for cell delivery and engraftment and a delivery vehicle for controlled delivery of biotherapeutics. More info and list of faculty

Cancer is a disease in which a group of cells display uncontrolled growth through division beyond normal limits. It is an invasion that intrudes upon and destroys adjacent tissues, and sometimes metastasis, in which cancer cells spread to other locations in the body. The Petit Institute is home to several research labs that focus on various elements of cancer biology research. More info and list of faculty

Chemical biology is the creation and use of chemical entities that influence or probe biological systems. Its development as a distinct field of research is a direct result of the fact that biology and medicine have become predominantly “molecular” over the past 20 years. Now, chemical biology is the fundamental science underpinning the discovery of most new diagnostics and therapeutics. More info and list of faculty

Pharmaceuticals save lives, alleviate suffering, and are highly cost effective compared to other treatments. In the Petit Institute, researchers seek to further improve pharmaceuticals through research on drug design, drug development and drug delivery. Our research  emphasizes making new drugs to treat cancer, AIDS, infections, and other diseases. More info and list of faculty

Molecular evolution is the process of evolution at the scale at the DNA, RNA, and proteins level. As a field, molecular evolution emerged in the 1960s as researchers sought to understand discoveries surrounding the evolutionary patterns, structure and function of nucleic acids and protein as well as the use of these molecules in studies of phylogenetics, population genetics, biogeography, and other areas of research. More info and list of faculty

Biomechanics is the application of mechanical principles to biological systems in order to better understand the physical properties in cells and other systems. Biomechanics emerged from the bioengineering field and uses traditional engineering principles to analyze complex biological systems. Biomechanical phenomena affect nearly every aspect of cellular biology and function. More info and list of faculty

Neuroscience spans basic science studies of the brain and nervous system at multiple scales from cells to networks to behavior. Neuroscience research in the Petit Institute is highly interdisciplinary and includes studies of the genetic basis of neural systems and diseases, the functioning of neural cells and systems, relationships between neural activity and behavior, as well as cognitive processing and brain imaging.  More info and list of faculty

The promise of regenerative medicine is truly remarkable. Over the last two decades, significant breakthroughs in understanding within the regenerative medicine and tissue engineering fields have yielded a more intimate understanding of the functioning of human tissue. New technologies may deliver islet cells for diabetes, neural regeneration for spinal cord injuries and more substantial heart repair. More info and list of faculty

Systems biology is an interdisciplinary field that focuses on complex interactions in biological systems in order to improve the design of molecular and cell-based technologies. Instead of studying one biological component at a time, scientists use systems biology approaches to obtain, integrate and analyze complex data from multiple experimental sources to understand how molecules act together within the network of interaction that makes up life. More info and list of faculty