BME at WashU

BME brochure (.PDF)

Established in 1997, the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Washington University in St. Louis (BME at WashU) seeks to provide a first-class engineering education that prepares students for a variety of careers and a cutting-edge graduate program that advances basic science with the hope of ​improving the diagnoses and treatments of human diseases.

Diagnosing and treating complex diseases are among the world’s most significant long-term challenges. Yet these present some of the greatest possibilities for improving global quality of life. Historically, physicians have approached diseases with standardized treatments, but recently, through a convergence of disciplines, physicians, scientists and engineers are beginning to understand the medical and health potential of cutting-edge research in areas such as genome and imaging sciences, novel medical devices, and new drugs and delivery methods.


tenured/tenure-track faculty




affiliated faculty

1,479 alumni
graduate students



Core Faculty Total (FY18)




Per core faculty (FY18)

Mission & Objective

The departmental mission is to serve society as a center for learning and knowledge-creation in engineering and science for the purpose of advancing biology and medicine.

Our overall objective is to prepare those in our biomedical engineering training programs for a variety of career paths. To that end, our undergraduate curriculum is designed to provide technical proficiency, as well as communication and other professional skills so that our graduates will be able to:

  • Pursue careers in the biomedical engineering industry or related fields.
  • Engage in further study (e.g. MS, PhD) of biomedical engineering or related fields.
  • Seek advancement in professional degrees (e.g., in medicine, dentistry, law)

History of Biomedical Engineering at WashU

1964 - 1967

Biomedical Computer Laboratory (BCL) founded by Dr. Jerome Cox.


Interdepartmental graduate program in Biomedical Engineering established and Master of Health Care Technology program started.


Certificate Program in Biomedical Engineering established.


The strategic planning process for a new department began.


First freshman class in biomedical engineering admitted.


Department of Biomedical Engineering established and Frank Yin, MD, PhD serves as department chair (1997-2013).


Fifteen million dollars awarded from the Whitaker Foundation for a new building and faculty.


BCL closed and the Center for Computational Biology (CCB), a joint endeavor with the Departments of Genetics & Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics established.


Uncas A. Whitaker Hall for Biomedical Engineering completed.


Cardiac Bioelectricity & Arrhythmia Center (CBAC) established.


Ranked #10 in U.S. News & World Report rankings of graduate and professional programs.


Stephen F. & Camilla T. Brauer Hall completed.


Center for Biological and Systems Engineering established.

2014 - 2017

Steven C. George, MD, PhD serves as department chair.


Lori Setton named department chair.

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