Institute of Engineering in Medicine (IEM)

With the cooperation of the Jacobs School of Engineering and UC San Diego Health Sciences, the Institute for Engineering in Medicine was formed in 2008 for the integration of engineering principles and novel technologies with biomedical research and clinical translation The key technology areas include imaging, systems biology, medical devices, nanotechnology, biomaterials, tissue engineering, biophotonics, and vaccine engineering.

IEM Mission and Goals

Research in the IEM focuses on the convergence of disease, technology and sciences by applying an engineering approach to medicine.  The IEM establishes new frontiers for healthcare research by interfacing engineering and biomedical sciences using the team science approach to precision medicine. With active involvement of industry partners and clinical colleagues, the technologies developed in IEM are transferred to healthcare delivery to enhance the wellbeing of people.

Visit the IEM Website

IEM Faculty Investigators


The IEM has over 130 outstanding faculty from UCSD’s Schools of Medicine, Skaggs School of Pharmacy & Pharmaceutical Sciences, and Jacobs School of Engineering, all sharing the objective of translating creative ideas into clinical medicine and novel products that will transform patient care and improve the health and well-being.  IEM Research Centers with shared objectives to CHARM include the Biomaterials and Tissue Engineering Center (BMEC), Center for Medical Device Technology (CMDT), Center for Multiscale Imaging of Living Systems (CMILS), Center for Excellence in Nano-Medicine and Engineering (CNME), Center for Perinatal Health (CPH), Vaccine Engineering Center (VEC), and Whitaker Center for Biomedical Engineering (WBCE).

CHARM Collaboration Contact:  Liangfang Zhang, PhD  (Professor of Nanoengineering)

CHARM  IEM Collaborations

CHARM and IEM Faculty are conducting research to develop new computer and machine learning algorithms to rapidly detect antibiotic resistance or discover new antibiotic targets based on multi-omic datasets.  Ongoing research explores nanoparticle drugs to block bacterial toxins, the construction of infection-resistant biomaterials, engineering immune cells to combat pathogens, and addressing engineering challenges in vaccine epitope design and adjuvant function.


Decoding Natural Antibiotics

IEM investigators developed a computer algorithm that revealed that bacteria produce 10 times more peptidic natural products (PNP), a common source of antibiotics, than previously recognized. The surprising diversity of PNP antibiotics reflect evolutionary adaptation of various bacterial species to changing environment and competition -- a continuous change of the repertoire of variants in response to developing antibiotic resistance. 

Read at Nature Microbiology