Translational Medicine

University of California, Berkeley

About the Program

The MTM program is a cross-campus collaboration between the Department of Bioengineering at UC Berkeley and the Department of Bioengineering and Therapeutic Sciences at UCSF. Students are enrolled in both Universities and draw on the range of expertise and technological resources available at the two institutions. In addition to these two core departments, students join in aspects of the leadership training offered by the Fung Institute for Engineering Leadership at UC Berkeley.

This program is designed to train students in applying translational research and engineering approaches to solve fundamental problems in healthcare delivery. The program is focused on addressing real-world problems in a creative, interdisciplinary team setting.

This program should appeal to engineers, scientists, and clinicians who seek to bring innovative treatments and devices into clinical use. Individuals with backgrounds in medicine, nursing, dentistry, and pharmacy are encouraged to apply. We anticipate that upon receiving their master’s degree or after further academic or clinical training, graduates will work in industries that deliver healthcare products or patient care. 

The MTM program is an intense year of coursework designed around the main content themes of engineering, clinical needs & strategies, and business, entrepreneurship & technology. The centerpiece of the curriculum is the capstone project course. Complementing 10 months of work with external mentors, this class meets regularly to provide peer support, introduce concepts in translational medicine, and develop presentation skills.

The MTM program is focused specifically on training in translational medicine as opposed to basic research science. As such, this master’s degree is intended as a terminal degree for students interested in industry and entrepreneurship and is not a gateway to the Bioengineering PhD program.

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MTM Admissions

Please see the MTM Program website for detailed application instructions.

Admissions decisions are governed by committee, and are based on several factors in the application, including (but not limited to) test scores, academics, essays, letters of recommendation, and prior research and work experience. Students from all educational fields are eligible to apply, but all applicants should be aware that the masters curriculum includes required coursework in bioengineering fundamentals; applicants with a non-technical background should make it clear in their application why they feel that they will be able to handle the more rigorous technical components of the coursework. Applicants who already hold a master's degree in bioengineering (or a similar field) will need to carefully specify their reasons for pursuing this additional masters; duplicate degrees are not allowed.

Please note: Applicants who intend to pursue additional degrees beyond the MTM program should be prepared to explain their intended educational trajectory.

Admission to the University

Minimum Requirements for Admission

The following minimum requirements apply to all graduate programs and will be verified by the Graduate Division:

  1. A bachelor’s degree or recognized equivalent from an accredited institution;
  2. A grade point average of B or better (3.0);
  3. If the applicant has completed a basic degree from a country or political entity (e.g., Quebec) where English is not the official language, adequate proficiency in English to do graduate work, as evidenced by a TOEFL score of at least 90 on the iBT test, 570 on the paper-and-pencil test, or an IELTS Band score of at least 7 on a 9-point scale (note that individual programs may set higher levels for any of these); and
  4. Sufficient undergraduate training to do graduate work in the given field.

Applicants Who Already Hold a Graduate Degree

The Graduate Council views academic degrees not as vocational training certificates, but as evidence of broad training in research methods, independent study, and articulation of learning. Therefore, applicants who already have academic graduate degrees should be able to pursue new subject matter at an advanced level without the need to enroll in a related or similar graduate program.

Programs may consider students for an additional academic master’s or professional master’s degree only if the additional degree is in a distinctly different field.

Applicants admitted to a doctoral program that requires a master’s degree to be earned at Berkeley as a prerequisite (even though the applicant already has a master’s degree from another institution in the same or a closely allied field of study) will be permitted to undertake the second master’s degree, despite the overlap in field.

The Graduate Division will admit students for a second doctoral degree only if they meet the following guidelines:

  1. Applicants with doctoral degrees may be admitted for an additional doctoral degree only if that degree program is in a general area of knowledge distinctly different from the field in which they earned their original degree. For example, a physics PhD could be admitted to a doctoral degree program in music or history; however, a student with a doctoral degree in mathematics would not be permitted to add a PhD in statistics.
  2. Applicants who hold the PhD degree may be admitted to a professional doctorate or professional master’s degree program if there is no duplication of training involved.

Applicants may apply only to one single degree program or one concurrent degree program per admission cycle.

Required Documents for Applications

  1. Transcripts: Applicants may upload unofficial transcripts with your application for the departmental initial review. Unofficial transcripts must contain specific information including the name of the applicant, name of the school, all courses, grades, units, & degree conferral (if applicable). 
  2. Letters of recommendation: Applicants may request online letters of recommendation through the online application system. Hard copies of recommendation letters must be sent directly to the program, by the recommender, not the Graduate Admissions.
  3. Evidence of English language proficiency: All applicants who have completed a basic degree from a country or political entity in which the official language is not English are required to submit official evidence of English language proficiency. This applies to institutions from Bangladesh, Burma, Nepal, India, Pakistan, Latin America, the Middle East, the People’s Republic of China, Taiwan, Japan, Korea, Southeast Asia, most European countries, and Quebec (Canada). However, applicants who, at the time of application, have already completed at least one year of full-time academic course work with grades of B or better at a US university may submit an official transcript from the US university to fulfill this requirement. The following courses will not fulfill this requirement:

    • courses in English as a Second Language,

    • courses conducted in a language other than English,

    • courses that will be completed after the application is submitted, and

    • courses of a non-academic nature.

Applicants who have previously applied to Berkeley must also submit new test scores that meet the current minimum requirement from one of the standardized tests. Official TOEFL score reports must be sent directly from Educational Test Services (ETS). The institution code for Berkeley is 4833 for Graduate Organizations. Official IELTS score reports must be sent electronically from the testing center to University of California, Berkeley, Graduate Division, Sproul Hall, Rm 318 MC 5900, Berkeley, CA 94720. TOEFL and IELTS score reports are only valid for two years prior to beginning the graduate program at UC Berkeley. Note: score reports can not expire before the month of June.


Where to Apply

Visit the Berkeley Graduate Division application page

Admission to the Program

Applicants from countries in which the official language is not English must also demonstrate English language proficiency.

Master's Degree Requirements


Satisfactory completion of the MTM program requires the completion of 24 semester (or equivalent) units of upper division and graduate courses, including 6 semester (or equivalent) units of a master’s capstone project administered by the MTM faculty directors. Presentation of the capstone project at a final symposium is required.

Two additional required MTM courses can be split across categories to help you design a curriculum that fits your interests:

  • The 9 quarter units of the required MTM Capstone Course [BIOENG 296 at UCSF; 3 units per quarter, 6 semester units] can be distributed between the Engineering and Clinical Needs and Strategies categories
  • The 2 units of the required Project Management Course [BIO ENG 290 at Berkeley; 1 unit per semester] can be distributed between the Engineering and Business Entrepreneurship, and Technology categories

Please see the MTM curriculum website for more detail.

Technical Courses (at least 10 semester units or equivalent)

Courses Required- 10 semester units
BIO ENG 270: Translational Challenges: Diagnostics, Devices, and Therapeutics (UCSF course, 2 quarter units)
BIO ENG 280Ethical and Social Issues in Translational Medicine (Berkeley)1
BIO ENG 252Clinical Need-Based Therapy Solutions2
Bioengineering Electives per approved study list

Clinical Needs and Strategies Courses (at least 6 semester units or equivalent)

Courses Required- 6 semester units
BIO ENG 283: Designing Clinical Research (UCSF, 2 quarter units)
BIO ENG 260: Translational Challenges as Medicine--"Anti-Medical School" (UCSF course, 1 quarter unit)
BIO ENG 285: Health Care Finance and Economics (UCSF course, 2 quarter units)
Clinical needs and strategies electives per approved study list

Business, Entrepreneurship & Technology Courses (at least 8 semester units or equivalent)

Courses Required - 8 semester units
ENGIN 270AOrganizational Behavior for Engineers1
ENGIN 270BR&D Technology Management & Ethics (ENGIN 270 D/E/F/G/H/I/J - choose two)1
ENGIN 270 D/E/F/G/H/I/J - choose two2
Business/Entrepreneurship Electives per approved study list


Translational Medicine

Faculty and Instructors

* Indicates this faculty member is the recipient of the Distinguished Teaching Award.


Chris Anderson, Associate Professor. Synthetic biology.
Research Profile

Adam Arkin, Professor. Systems and synthetic biology, environmental microbiology of bacteria and viruses, bioenergy, biomedicine, bioremediation.
Research Profile

James Casey, Professor. Continuum mechanics, finite elasticity, continuum thermodynamics, plasticity, theories of elastic-plastic materials, history of mechanics, dynamics.
Research Profile

Iain Clark, Assistant Professor. High throughput analysis of single cells, microfluidics, microbiology, immunology.
Research Profile

Irina M. Conboy, Professor. Stem cell niche engineering, tissue repair, stem cell aging and rejuvenation.
Research Profile

Steven Conolly, Professor. Instrumentation, medical imaging reconstruction, contrast, MRI, Magnetic Particle Imaging.
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Derfogail Delcassian, Assistant Professor. Immunoengineering, 3d printing, immunochemistry.
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John Dueber, Professor. Synthetic biology, Metabolic Engineering.
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Daniel Fletcher, Professor. Bioengineering, optical and force microscopy, microfabrication, biophysics, mechanical properties of cells.
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Teresa Head-Gordon, Professor. Computational chemistry, biophysics, bioengineering, biomolecules, materials, catalysis, computational science.
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Kevin Healy, Professor. Bioengineering, biomaterials engineering, bioinspired materials, regenerative medicine, stem cell engineering, microphysiological systems, organs on a chip, drug screening and discovery.
Research Profile

Amy Herr, Professor. Microfluidics, bioanalytical separations, diagnostics, electrokinetic transport, engineering design.
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Ian Holmes, Professor. Computational biology.
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Patrick Hsu, Assistant Professor. Postmitotic genome, therapeutic macromolecule delivery, human neuroscience.
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Richard Karp, Professor. Computational molecular biology, genomics, DNA molecules, structure of genetic regulatory networks, combinatorial and statsitical methods.
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Jay Keasling, Professor. Microorganism metabolic engineering for environmentally friendly product .
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Tony M. Keaveny, Professor. Biomechanics of bone, orthopaedic biomechanics, design of artificial joints, osteoporosis, finite element modeling, clinical biomechanics.
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Sanjay Kumar, Professor. Biomaterials, molecular and cellular bioengineering, stem cells, cancer biology, translational medicine.
Research Profile

Liana Lareau, Assistant Professor. Computational biology, molecular biology.
Research Profile

Seung-Wuk Lee, Professor. Nanotechnology, bio-inspired nanomaterials, synthetic viruses, regenerative tissue engineering materials, drug delivery vehicles.
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Dorian Liepmann, Professor. Bioengineering, mechanical engineering, bioMEMS, biosensors, microfluid dynamics, experimental biofluid dynamics, hemodynamics, valvular heart disease, cardiac flows, arterial flows.
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Gerard Marriott, Professor. Molecular Biophysics and Integrated Bioimaging, Cellular and Tissue Imaging.
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Phillip Messersmith, Professor. Biomaterials, adhesion, polymers, self-assembly, biomimetics, biomedical devices.
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Mohammad Mofrad, Professor. Nuclear pore complex and nucleocytoplasmic transport, mechanobiology of disease, cellular mechanotransduction, integrin-mediated focal adhesions.
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Niren Murthy, Professor. Molecular imaging, drug delivery.
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Lisa Pruitt, Professor. Tissue biomechanics, biomaterial science, fatigue and fracture micromechanisms, orthopedic polymers for total joint replacement, synthetic cartilage.
Research Profile

Shankar Sastry, Professor. Embedded and cyberphysical systems, artificial intelligence, ar/vr, computer science, robotics, arial robots, cybersecurity, cyber defense, homeland defense, nonholonomic systems, control of hybrid systems, sensor networks, interactive visualization, robotic telesurgery, rapid prototyping.
Research Profile

David Schaffer, Professor. Neuroscience, biomolecular engineering, bioengineering, stem cell biology, gene therapy.
Research Profile

Aaron Streets, Assistant Professor. Biological systems, microfluidics, microscopy, genomics.
Research Profile

Moriel Vandsburger, Professor. Bioengineering, molecular MRI, MRI.
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Michael Yartsev, Assistant Professor. Neuroscience, engineering.
Research Profile

Emeritus Faculty

Thomas F. Budinger, Professor Emeritus. Image processing, biomedical electronics, quantitative aging, cardiovascular physiology, bioastronautics, image reconstruction, nuclear magnetic resonance, positron emission, tomography, reconstruction tomography, inverse problem mathematics.
Research Profile

Luke Lee, Professor Emeritus. Biophotonics, biophysics, bionanoscience, molecular imaging, single cell analysis, bio-nano interfaces, integrated microfluidic devices (iMD) for diagnostics and preventive personalized medicine.
Research Profile

Boris Rubinsky, Professor Emeritus. Medical imaging, biotechnology, biomedical engineering, low temperature biology, micro and nano bionic technologies, electrical impedance tomography, bio-electronics, biomedical devices biomedical numerical analysis, bio-heat and mass transfer, electroporation light imaging.
Research Profile

Kimmen Sjolander, Professor Emeritus. Computational biology, algorithms, phylogenetic tree reconstruction, protein structure prediction, multiple sequence alignment, evolution, bioinformatics, hidden Markov models, metagenomics, statistical modeling, phylogenomics, emerging and neglected diseases, machine-learning, genome annotation, metagenome annotation, systems biology, functional site prediction, ortholog identification.
Research Profile

Matthew Tirrell, Professor Emeritus. Self-assembled structures for diagnostic and therapeutic applications, electrostatic self-assembly.
Research Profile

Contact Information


306 Stanley Hall

MC 1762

Phone: 510-642-5833

Fax: 510-642-5835

Visit Program Website

Department Chair

Sanjay Kumar, MD, PhD

306 Stanley Hall

Phone: 510-642-5833

Executive Director, MTM Program

Verna Rodriguez, PhD

418 Hearst Memorial Mining Building

Phone: 510-664-9080

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