Rashid Bashir, director of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign’s Micro and Nanotechnology Laboratory, will be the next head of the university’s Department of Bioengineering. He will start August 16, 2013.
Bashir is the Abel Bliss Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Bioengineering at Illinois.
He leads two efforts to train the next generation of leaders in nanotechnology and bioengineering — the Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship (IGERT) on Cellular and Molecular Mechanics and Bionanotechnology and the Midwest Cancer Nanotechnology Training Center. These programs are funded by the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health, respectively.
He is also co-director of the National Science Foundation Science and Technology Center with MIT, Illinois, Georgia Tech, and partner institutions on Emergent Behavior of Integrated Cellular Systems.
“The bioengineering department is at a crucial point in its history, and we have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to grow its size and influence. Rashid will be vital to seizing that opportunity and capitalizing on the significant support from the Grainger Engineering Breakthroughs Initiative,” said Michael B. Bragg, interim dean of the College of Engineering.
The Grainger Engineering Breakthroughs Initiative began in January 2013 with $100 million in support from the Grainger Foundation. That gift will support major growth of the bioengineering department. It also will support the renovation of Everitt Laboratory, which will serve as a new home for the department.
“The faculty and the students from Illinois’ bioengineering department are second to none. I’m routinely amazed at my colleagues’ research and dedication to quality and excellence,” Bashir said. “This is a great time for bioengineering at Illinois. There are tremendous opportunities to address grand challenges in medicine and biology using engineering approaches — to have a profound impact on the society and the world at large.”