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​Research Centers & Initiatives

Cardiac Bioelectricity & Arrhythmia Center (CBAC)
An interdisciplinary center housed within the engineering school, CBAC works to develop new tools for diagnosis and treatment of cardiac arrhythmias — a major cause of death and disability. Through an interdisciplinary effort, CBAC investigators apply molecular biology, ion-channel and cell electrophysiology, optical mapping of membrane potential and cell calcium, multi-electrode cardiac electrophysiological mapping, electrocardiographic imaging (ECGI) and other noninvasive imaging modalities, and computational biology (mathematical modeling), to study mechanisms of arrhythmias at all levels of the cardiac system.

Center for Aerosol Science & Engineering (CASE)

CASE works to characterize fundamental aerosol formation and transformation processes to determine impacts on the environment, climate and human health; and to utilize these processes to develop new materials to enable energy, environmental and medical technologies. The center is composed of a collaborative group of faculty, students and affiliates within the Department of Energy, Environmental & Chemical Engineering and across the university, as well as partners in universities and corporations dispersed across the globe.

Center for Biological Systems Engineering (CBSE)
In September 2012, the engineering school launched an innovative, multidisciplinary center to revolutionize the way human diseases are diagnosed and treated. Building on the strengths in the schools of Engineering & Applied Science and Medicine, faculty and student researchers from different backgrounds are working together to study the basic sciences of protein structure, models of complex living systems and genetic regulatory networks. By leveraging systems science approaches to understand and control biomolecular and cellular networks, the researchers in the center focus on novel approaches that will enable a new understanding of how cellular processes and decisions are controlled by structures and dynamics of biomolecular networks.
Center for Biomedical Informatics
WashU has been a leader in the use of informatics for the analysis of genomic sequences, for associations of complex traits and genomic variation, and for the analysis of radiological images, which have led to a greater understanding of genes and proteins and their roles in health and disease, as well as new knowledge for improved diagnostics and therapeutics. The Center for Biomedical Informatics (CBI) seeks to expand its efforts — especially by enhancing its quantitative foundation through the application of computer science, applied mathematics and engineering — and aspires to become the world leader in developing methods and protocols for analyzing biomedical data, and using those methods to understand biological questions and provide improved clinical care. The CBI also plans to be a leader in educating scientists and clinicians with new graduate-level programs in medical informatics. >>
Consortium for Clean Coal Utilization (CCCU)
Established in December 2008, the CCCU is a center for research in advanced coal and carbon capture technologies. The consortium's goal is to foster the utilization of coal as a safe and affordable source of energy, and as a chemical feedstock, with minimal impact on the environment. The consortium operates under the umbrella of I-CARES, and the establishment was made possible through financial commitments from the lead sponsors: Arch Coal, Peabody Energy and Ameren. Funding goes to support a variety of research projects, advanced research facilities in the engineering school and outreach activities relating to the clean utilization of coal. The research projects are led by faculty at Washington University and performed in collaboration with faculty from international partner universities.
Center for Engineering MechanoBiology (CEMB)
The Center for Engineering MechanoBiology (CEMB) is a multi-institutional Science and Technology Center funded by the NSF to advance the study of mechanical forces in molecules, cells, and tissues in plants and animals.
Center for Sensor Signal & Information Processing
Vast growth in the amount and complexity of data obtained from modern, diverse sensor systems requires the development of advanced data processing techniques. Innovative imaging and signal processing techniques are needed to efficiently perform automated inference and make quick decisions. Researchers in this center focus on statistical signal processing and imaging to solve problems in security, defense, biomedicine, energy and the environment. They develop physically or biologically based models, statistical hypothesis tests, detection and estimation algorithms, performance analyses, bounds and optimal designs. Applications include remote sensing, radar, sonar, biologically inspired sensing, genomics, biomedical imaging and monitoring power systems using advanced sensors.
Institute of Materials Science & Engineering (IMSE)
The schools of Engineering & Applied Science and Arts & Sciences jointly established IMSE in 2012 to integrate and leverage the full potential of interdisciplinary materials research by bringing together more than 30 researchers from engineering, physics, chemistry, and earth and planetary sciences. While advances in materials science and engineering research depend on knowledge from traditional disciplines, a new integrated, dynamic and diverse approach through a convergence of disciplines provides the greatest opportunities for unprecedented discoveries — new knowledge that cannot be achieved by a single discipline or department. IMSE also educates the next generation of materials scientists and engineers through a new, novel interdisciplinary doctoral program.
International Center for Energy, Environment & Sustainability (InCEES)
InCEES (formerly I-CARES) was created in 2007 to encourage and coordinate universitywide and external collaborative research on energy, environment and sustainability that cannot be done by single investigators or by single disciplines alone.
The Nano Research Facility (NRF)
The NRF is positioned among the physical science and engineering departments and cultivates an open and shared research and education environment that brings researchers across disciplines together, particularly in the emerging area of nanomaterials with applications in the energy, environment and biomedical fields. Scanning and transmission microscopes as well as a micro- and nano-fabrication lab (clean room class 100/1,000), surface characterization lab, particle technology lab and bio-imaging lab represent the core of capabilities. The NRF services and equipment, supported by NSF's National Nanotechnology Infrastructure Network, are available for both university and industry users.
McDonnell Academy Global Energy & Environment Partnership (MAGEEP)
MAGEEP is a consortium of 28 McDonnell Academy universities and global corporate partners that supports the development of innovative ideas in energy, environmental and sustainability research, education and operations.

U.S.-India Joint Clean Energy Research & Development Center
In May 2012, the U.S. Department of Energy announced WashU would be part of a $25 million solar energy consortium that brings together experts from national laboratories, universities and industry in both the U.S. and India. The consortium's research focuses on sustainable photovoltaics, multiscale concentrated solar power and solar energy integration. >>

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