Joint Projects

Biomedical Engineering

Hanjoong Jo

The Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering at Georgia Tech and Emory University, established in 1997, is a unique educational and research collaboration between a public college of engineering and a private medical school.  The department is based in both Emory University School of Medicine and the Georgia Tech College of Engineering.  Ranked second in the nation by U.S. News & World Report, the multidisciplinary department offers a joint PhD degree, awarded from both schools, that integrates life sciences, engineering, and mathematics. 

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Research includes cardiovascular biology and biomechanics; biomaterials and regenerative medicine; neuroengineering; medical imaging; integrative biosystems; and cellular and biomolecular engineering. Research is focused on rapid translation into advances in patient care and on devices and technologies that can be commercialized through corporate partnerships.

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Regenerative Medicine

GTEC Researchers

The Georgia Tech / Emory Collaboration for Regenerative Medicine (GTEC) is a research partnership originally established in 1998 by the National Science Foundation as the Center for the Engineering of Living Tissues. For a decade the center was supported by an NSF grant and became internationally recognized for its strengths and novel applications in the emerging field of regenerative medicine. When GTEC was founded, its focus was on replacing tissues or growing cell-based substitutes outside the body for implantation into the body. Now, along with its new name, its approach has evolved and broadened from a focus on tissue engineering to one that includes tissue regeneration.

Biomedical Nanotechnology

Quantum dots

Emory and Georgia Tech researchers have one of the largest combined biomedical nanotechnology research programs in the nation.  With more than $50 million in total funding from the National Institutes of Health, including a project with the Medical College of Georgia, scientists are developing new nanotechnologies focused on diagnosing and treating cancer and cardiovascular disease.  The cornerstone of the joint programs is the Emory-Georgia Tech Nanotechnology Center for Personalized and Predictive Oncology, one of seven NIH-funded National Centers of Cancer Nanotechnology Excellence (CCNE). The CCNE is housed at the Emory Winship Cancer Institute and on the Georgia Tech campus.

Predictive Health

Predictive Health

The Emory/Georgia Tech Predictive Health Institute is exploring a new model of healthcare focused on maintaining health rather than treating disease. Using new tools of genetics, proteomics and computational biology, the Predictive Health Institute is identifying and measuring risks and mechanisms of disease and working to promote health maintenance. The Predictive Health Institute combines an interdisciplinary research core with a clinical testing ground for new predictive biomarkers of health, disease risk and prognosis aimed at keeping people healthy. The Center for Health Discovery and Well Being, located at Emory’s midtown campus, is a unique and innovative facility that engages participants in discovering their disease risks and working with health partners to improve their health profile. The research core links the systems biology program at Georgia Tech, the joint Georgia Tech-Emory biomedical engineering department, and Emory programs in human genetics and computational and life sciences. It also relies on the expertise of ethicists, behaviorists, health economists and other disciplines from across the universities.

Clinical and Translational Research


The Atlanta Clinical and Translational Science Institute (ACTSI) is one of 38 NIH-supported medical research groups working to improve the way biomedical clinical research is conducted across the country. ACTSI's areas of focus include systems engineering, biomedical engineering, nanotechnology, regenerative medicine and bioinformatics. ACTSI's Community Engagement & Research Program promotes effective community intervention trials and recruits participants for transformative clinical studies. A Pilot and Collaborative Translational Clinical Studies program promotes new networks of multidisciplinary and inter-institutional research teams to re-engineer the health sciences enterprise within Atlanta. ACTSI provides support, equipment, consultative, nursing and lab services, and clinical interaction sites across Atlanta for Emory, Morehouse School of Medicine, and Georgia Tech investigators.

Flu Vaccine Delivery


Using grants from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) totaling approximately $11.5 million over five years, researchers from Emory and Georgia Tech are working to develop a new product to deliver flu vaccine through painless microneedles in patches applied to the skin. A vaccine administered through a skin patch would have a number of advantages, including less discomfort to the recipients, lower cost and reduced production time. Potentially, individuals could administer the vaccine to themselves. The team hopes to design patches that could be stored for long periods of time at room temperature and that will increase the breadth and duration of immunity to influenza -- perhaps with smaller amounts of vaccine.

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Global Safe Water

Hand and water

The Emory Center for Global Safe Water is working with a coalition of colleagues at CDC, Georgia Tech, The Carter Center, and CARE to improve water, sanitation, and hygiene problems in less-developed countries. In Bolivia, for example, undergraduate students from Tech's School of Civil and Environmental Engineering have worked with the Center for Global Safe Water and the Georgia Tech Research Institute to help design better and lower-cost latrines.

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A team of Tech and Emory researchers has developed a robot named EL-E that can help individuals who have limited mobility. The robot can be instructed with a laser pointer to find and retrieve objects. The project is led by Charlie Kemp, director of the Georgia Tech Healthcare Robotics Lab and an assistant professor in the joint Tech-Emory biomedical engineering department, with team members including Jonathan Glass, professor of neurology and director of the Emory ALS Center.

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