Faculty Research

Bioengineering professors at Illinois are engaged in discovery-making research aimed at improving global health. This research shapes the campus identity, stimulates classroom instruction, and serves as a springboard for public engagement activities throughout the world. It also provides numerous enhanced experiences for both undergraduate and graduate students who may develop independent projects, earn recognition, file patents, and launch their own careers as researchers while working with faculty.

  • Cover image from Advanced Materials.
    Cover image from Advanced Materials.
    Prof. Rashid Bashir

    RESEARCH INTERESTS: BioMEMs, lab on a chip, and nanobiotechnology
    HONORS, AWARDS: APS Fellow; AAAS Fellow; IEEE EMBS Technical Achievement Award; AIMBE Fellow; IEEE Fellow; Chair, Nanotechnology Study Section, NIH Center for Scientific Review
  • Prof. Rohit Bhargava
    RESEARCH INTERESTS: Vibrational spectroscopic imaging, chemical imaging, optical theory and algorithms, instrumentation, plymer dynamics, breast and prostate cancer pathology,3D printing and engineered tumor models
    HONORS, AWARDS: Craver Award, Coblentz Society; FACSS Innovation Award; Rose Award for Teaching Excellence, UI College of Engineering; Teaching Academy Faculty Fellow in Engineering
  • Prof. Stephen Boppart
    RESEARCH INTERESTS: Biophotonics, including optical coherence tomography, and multi-photon microscopy
    HONORS, AWARDS: Innovation Transfer Award, UI Office of Technology Management and Champaign County Economic Development Corp.; AAAS Fellow; Hans Sigrist Award
  • Biosensor combined with smartphone
    Biosensor combined with smartphone
    Prof. Brian Cunningham

    RESEARCH INTERESTS: Biophotonics, optical biosensors, mobile sensors, disease diagnostics, optical imaging
    HONORS, AWARDS: Technical Achievement Award, IEEE EMBS; Fellow, National Academy of Inventors; Fellow, Optical Society of America
  • Asst. Prof. Roy Dar
    RESEARCH INTERESTS: Systems biology, noise biology, viral and genetic circuitry, cellular fate-determination and state transitions, drug screening, gene regulation, single-cell biophysics
  • Asst. Prof. Wawrzyniec Dobrucki
    RESEARCH INTERESTS: Molecular PET/SPECT/CT bioimaging, multimodal probes for hybrid imaging of cardiovascular pathologies including peripheral and myocardial angiogenesis, vascular remodeling, diabetes-accelerated atherosclerosis, cancer
    HONORS, AWARDS: Siemans Translational Image of the Year
  • Asst. Prof. Princess Imoukhuede
    RESEARCH INTERESTS: Cell and molecular engineering, biomolecular modeling, computational pioneering, biomedical imaging, biophotonics
    HONORS, AWARDS: BMES Young Innovator Award, American Heart Association Scientist Development Grant
  • Prof. Michael Insana
    RESEARCH INTERESTS: Medical imaging systems development with applications in breast cancer and vascular disease, ultrasonics, signal processing, signal detection, elasticity imaging, soft tissue biomechanics, polymer mechanics, complex system modeling
    HONORS, AWARDS: Donald Biggar Willett Professor of Engineering; Editor, IEEE Transaction on Medical Imaging; member, IEEE Fellow; Fellow, Acoustical Society of America; Fellow, Institute of Physics; Chair, Ultrasonic Imaging Technology Special Study Section, NIH
  • Prof. Deborah Leckband
    RESEARCH INTERESTS: Biosurfaces, biological interfaces, cell adhesion biophysics
    HONORS, AWARDS: Reid T. Milner Professor; Fellow, BMES: Fellow, American Chemical Society; Fellow, AAAS; Fellow, AIMBE; University Scholar; Fellow, UI Center for Advanced Studies; Xerox Award for Faculty Research; NSF CAREER Award; NIH First Award
  • DNA proteins
    DNA proteins
    Asst. Prof. Ting Lu

    RESEARCH INTERESTS: Synthetic and systems biology
    HONORS, AWARDS: NSF Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Award, ONR Young Investigator Award
  • Prof. Sergei Maslov
    RESEARCH INTERESTS: Genome evolution, microbial communities, computational biology, systems biology
    HONORS, AWARDS: Bliss Faculty Scholar, Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers
  • Asst. Prof. Dipanjan Pan
    RESEARCH INTERESTS: Translational nanomedicine, molecular carcinogenesis, nanotoxicity, breast cancer, liver cancer, multiple myeloma, molecular imaging, image-guided drug delivery, stem cell therapy
    HONORS, AWARDS: Innovative Research Award, American Heart Association; Management Award, General Electric Global Research
  • Asst. Prof. Pablo Perez Pinera
    RESEARCH INTERESTS: Bioengineering, synthetic biology, gene and cell therapy, tissue engineering, biomolecular engineering
  • Asst. Prof. Andrew M. Smith
    RESEARCH INTERESTS: Nanoparticle bioimaging probes, imaging living cells and living animals
  • Founder Prof. Jun Song
    RESEARCH INTERESTS: Theoretical biological physics, computational biology and biomedicine, malignant melanoma
    HONORS, AWARDS: NSF CAREER Award, Sontag Foundation Distinguished Scientist Award
  • Assoc. Prof. Brad Sutton
    RESEARCH INTERESTS: Developing magnetic resonance imaging acquisition, image reconstruction, and systems modeling approaches to understand brain function
    HONORS, AWARDS: Collins Award for Innovative Teaching from UI College of Engineering, Top 10% of Teachers Ranked as Excellent from UI student submissions
  • Asst. Prof. Gregory Underhill
    RESEARCH INTERESTS: Tissue engineering, cell microenvironments, stem cell differentiation, high-throughput analysis
  • Founder Prof. Tandy Warnow
    RESEARCH INTERESTS: Combining mathematics, computer science, probability and statistics to solve large-scale, comple estimation problems in phylogenomics and metagenomics
    HONORS, AWARDS: Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship, Radcliffe Fellowship, David and Lucile Packard Fellowship, NSF Young Investigator Award