More than 20 percent of Princeton Engineering faculty members, including engineers from all six departments, are engaged in research aimed at improving human health. Some engineers are advancing fundamental biology through the Lewis-Sigler Institute for Integrative Genomics, while others are using their expertise in nanotechnology to provide innovative solutions to long-standing problems in neuroscience, cancer treatment or vaccine delivery.
Trying to unravel the roles that a small set of genes play in the regulation of a human trait is a daunting enough task, but when scientists try to apply the same analytic methods to a specific tissue or organ, they quickly run into a storm of information.
The functional role of any one gene is quickly obscured by a cascade of genes whose influence combines with that of other genes and environmental factors to affect multiple pathways. What starts as a few bits of information quickly becomes