We have moved beyond the ‘one-size-fits-all’ era of medicine. Individuals are different, their diseases are different, and their responses to drugs are different too. This variability is not just from person to person; heterogeneity is observed even between tumors within the same person, and between sites within the same tumor. These levels of variability among the human population must be accounted for to improve patient outcomes and the efficiency of clinical trials. Some of the ways in which this is being explored include: drugs are being developed hand-in-hand with the tests needed to determine whether or not they will be effective; tumor fragments excised from patients are being cultured in the lab for high-throughput testing of drugs and drug combinations; data-rich assays such as genomics and proteomics identify thousands of potentially significant differences between individuals; and computational models are being used to predict which therapies will work for which patients. This course will focus on the applications of pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics to simulating the effects of various drugs across a heterogeneous population of diseased individuals. Such computational approaches are needed to harness and leverage the vast amounts of data and provide insight into the key differences that determine drug responsiveness. These approaches can also explore the temporal dynamics of disease and treatment, and enable the modification of treatment during recovery. Recommended background: 110.201 Linear Algebra, 110.302 Differential Equations, and 553.311 Probability and Statistics (or equivalent).
This is an interdisciplinary course on leadership, decision making, and the application of ethics to real world problems. JHU students are future leaders of innovation across many fields, including but not limited to engineering, business, law, journalism, government, science and medicine. The awesome power of emerging technologies to modify our world – our food supply, our health, even people – will only increase and become more pressing in coming years. The goal of this course is to give students a deep and practical grounding in how leaders make decisions, and in particular difficult decisions where there is no clearly right answer. In this two-credit course, we will cover important concepts in the practical application of ethics; in decision making; and leadership. There is a companion 1-credit course, EN.660.406 which forms a second part of the course, and which will take a deep look at a major ethical issue resulting from the newfound capabilities made possible by emerging technologies. Students of EN.660.400 can choose whether or not to register for EN.660.406. This course includes online lectures, readings and substantial discussion components, as well as weekly meetings in small sections. The course spans the first two thirds of the semester, leaving the final third of the semester available for the 1-credit EN.660.406.
Engineers confront problems and make decisions that hold long term social consequences for individuals, organizations, communities and the profession. For biomedical engineers, these decisions may relate to: inventions such as medical devices and pharmaceuticals; neural prosthetics and synthetic biological organisms; responsible and sustainable design; availability of biotechnology in the developing world. Using a combination of cases, fieldwork and readings, we examine the ethical issues, standards, theory and consequences of recent and emerging engineering interventions as a way to understand the profession and to form a basis for future decisions. In addition students will learn and practice multiple forms of communication, including oral, visual and written rhetoric. A particular focus will be communication targeted to different stakeholders including other professionals and the public. Students will apply good communication principle to the discussion of biomedical engineering ethics, develop their own ethical case studies and participate in group projects to aid ethical decision-making, and to improve communication of complex biomedical ethical issues to others.
An introduction to modern molecular and cellular biology in the context of potential biomedical engineering applications. Topics covered: reactions between molecules, including receptor-ligand and antigen-antibody specificity, protein structure, enzyme catalysis, genetic information, protein processing and secretion, cell physiology and cell functions. Along with detailed study of molecular pathways and cellular behavior, we will discuss the quantitative study of molecular and cellular biology. Recommended Course Background: AS.030.101 and AS.030.104