Bioengineering & Life Sciences

A joint initiative of the College of Engineering and College of Science and a key priority in the University’s strategic framework, the Notre Dame Bioengineering & Life Sciences Initiative will advance human health and wellness through interdisciplinary biomedical research and training—from fundamental discoveries through detection, prevention, and treatment of disease. This University-wide initiative represents an investment in science and engineering — unprecedented in scale at Notre Dame — that will create the capacity for transformative discoveries in human health, especially for vulnerable and underserved populations, and enhance research across multiple units.

In November 2023, the Office of the Provost partnered with the Colleges of Science and Engineering and the Office of Research in an intensive workshop involving more than 30 campus thought leaders in fields touching on biomedical research to define the critical steps for the new Bioengineering and Life Sciences Initiative. 

Paul Bohn, the Arthur J. Schmitt Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering and Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry, was named the initiative's inaugural director in February. He will work closely with an executive committee that includes College of Engineering Dean Patricia Culligan, College of Science Dean Santiago Schnell, and Vice President of Research Jeff Rhoads to direct significant new investments in infrastructure and instrumentation over the next decade; work with academic units across campus to recruit faculty scholars to advance research and training in bioengineering and life sciences disciplines; and implement cross-disciplinary graduate and postdoctoral training programs.

The initiative has already established a policy and guidance committee with representatives from 14 colleges, departments, centers, and institutes and formed a faculty research strategy committee. It held three faculty information sessions in April that drew more than 100 participants and organized a day-long planning retreat in May. 

scientist working with test tubes to do molecular recognition

Meet the Initiative's Research Strategy Committee

Members advise the Director on the initiative's research mission and its implementation.

View committee members

Executive Committee

  1. Paul Bohn

    Paul Bohn

    Initiative Director

    Arthur J. Schmitt Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering

    Email Biography

  2. Arnie Phifer

    Arnie Phifer

    Managing Director, Bioengineering & Life Sciences Initiative

    Email Biography

  3. Dean Patricia Culligan

    Patricia Culligan

    Matthew H. McCloskey Dean of Engineering

    Email Biography

  4. David Go

    David Go

    Vice President and Associate Provost for Academic Strategy; Viola D. Hank Professor, Department of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering

    Email Biography

  5. Jeff Rhoads

    Jeffrey Rhoads

    Vice President for Research

    Email Biography

  6. Dean Santiago Schnell

    Santiago Schnell

    William K. Warren Dean of the College of Science

    Email Biography