Letter from the Chair


Professor K. Kirk Shung is the current chair of USC Viterbi's Department of Biomedical Engineering.

Welcome to the USC Department of Biomedical Engineering (BME). Since our early roots as an option within electrical engineering in 1963, we have maintained a longstanding tradition of advancing biomedicine through the development and application of novel engineering ideas. Our department, established in 1976, includes over 75 primary and affiliated faculty members that conduct cutting-edge research in a wide variety of areas, including biomedical devices & imaging, cellular & molecular bioengineering, mathematical/computational biosystems, and neuroengineering.

The department is home to internationally recognized research centers including the: the Biomedical Simulations Resource (NIH), the Medical Ultrasonic Transducer Technology Research Center (NIH), and the Dr. Allen and Charlotte Ginsburg Institute for Biomedical Therapeutics. The Department also has a Wallace H. Coulter Foundation Translational Research Partnership Program and is co-located with the Alfred E. Mann Institute for Biomedical Engineering at USC. This Institute promotes translation of fundamental research discoveries into commercially viable biotechnologies to improve human health and well-being. Our faculty are also members of other centers and institutes at USC including: the Michelson Center for Convergent Bioscience, the Eli and Edythe Broad Center of Regeneration Medicine and Stem Cell Research, the Lawrence J. Ellison Institute for Transformative Medicine, and the Southern California Clinical & Translational Science Institute. We consistently rank in the very top tier of all U.S. BME departments in terms of research funding per faculty and are one of the most translational and entrepreneurial departments in the country.

Our undergraduate program, which began in 1974, is among the most established in the world and offers specialized options to over 250 students that emphasize medical device & diagnostics; biomechanical engineering, and cell & molecular bioengineering. Year after year, the students in our freshman class are in the highest achieving group at USC, with average SAT scores that are consistently higher than the average SAT scores of all USC freshmen. Our department also claims a large share of all Trustee and Presidential Scholarships awarded to the top freshmen entering USC. Our graduates are highly sought after by all sections of the biomedical technology industry and also continue their education in graduate programs throughout the country, as well as medical school and through other health professional training programs. We are home to over 200 graduate students pursuing M.S. or Ph.D. degrees. Our department is strategically situated near the thousands of biomedical companies located in Southern California, a hotbed for the biomedical industry.

We thank you for taking the time to visit our site, and we certainly look forward to seeing you at USC.

Professor K. Kirk Shung
Dwight C. and Hildagarde E. Baum Chair

Mission & History


Education

To provide the highest quality undergraduate, graduate and post-graduate education to prepare students for diverse professional careers at the interface between engineering, biology, and medicine

Research

To conduct original biomedical research involving the development and application of engineering approaches in biology and medicine

Translation

To apply the knowledge and discoveries of our students and faculty to improve human health and well-being

Biomedical Engineering at the University of Southern California began in 1963 as a Ph.D. option (in Systems Physiology) within the Electrical Engineering Department. In 1967, Dr. Fred S. Grodins was recruited to USC by then Dean Zohrab Kaprielian and undertook the challenge of establishing a formal program in biomedical engineering. Under Dr. Grodins' leadership, an independent graduate program was established in 1969, and in 1974 an undergraduate program was initiated. The Biomedical Engineering Program was granted Department status in 1976.