Bioengineering faculty Nie and Irudayaraj honored at investiture

Allen Xu, BioE intern
11/29/2017 10:28:34 AM

Two Bioengineering professors were honored November 15 at a College of Engineering investiture ceremony—Shuming Nie was invested as the Grainger Distinguished Chair in Engineering and Joseph Irudayaraj was invested as a Founder Professor of Bioengineering. Both positions are supported by the Grainger Engineering Breakthroughs Initiative, which provides funding to help attract and retain the best faculty.  

Shuming Nie was invested as the Grainger Distinguished Chair in Engineering Nov. 15.
Shuming Nie was invested as the Grainger Distinguished Chair in Engineering Nov. 15.

Known for his work in biomedical nanotechnology, molecular engineering, and the development of image-guided surgical systems, Shuming Nie joined the Illinois faculty in September 2017 from Emory University and the Georgia Institute of Technology, where he was the Wallace H. Coulter Distinguished Chair Professor in Biomedical Engineering. Some of his most significant scientific contributions include demonstrating how surface-enhanced Raman scattering with colloidal metal nanoparticles could be used for single molecule detection, the development of nanoparticles for targeted therapy and imaging, and the development of a real-time, image-guided surgical system.

Nie is one of the most highly regarded scholars in the world in the area of nanotechnology, with his papers being cited nearly 60,000 times.

“I came [to Illinois] because I saw the opportunity to join this very outstanding academic institution with the breadth and depth of science, scholarship, and engineering,” said Nie at the investiture ceremony. “Few places can match the academic excellence of the University of Illinois in engineering. My goal is to make a huge impact on the order of 100 million people in the next 20 years, whether it’s in the US, in China, in India, or elsewhere.”

Nie is a Fellow of both the AAAS and IAMBE, and a recipient of the MilliPub Club Award, Merck Award, Nature Publishing’s Achievement Award in Nanomedicine, and the United Kingdom’s Rank Prize in Opto-electronics. He obtained his PhD at Northwestern University and has also held appointments at Stanford, Indiana, and Nanjing Universities.

In addition to being a Bioengineering faculty member, Nie holds joint appointments in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department, as well as the Micro + Nanotechnology Lab (MTNL).

Joseph Irudayaraj joined the Illinois faculty in July 2017 after spending more than a decade at Purdue, where he used gold nanorods and dark field plasmon imaging to evaluate multiple surface proteins and mRNA splicing simultaneously in live cancer cells.

Much of his work is concerned with exploring nanomaterials for biosensors and monitoring live cell dynamics. His groundbreaking work in phenotyping cancer cells has been successfully commercialized into a globally marketed diagnostic tool by Cytoviva Inc.

Joseph Irudayaraj was invested as a Founder Professor in Bioengineering on Nov. 15.
Joseph Irudayaraj was invested as a Founder Professor in Bioengineering on Nov. 15.

At Illinois, Irudayaraj is focusing on multi-scale live cell monitoring and has a lab in both MNTL and Carle Hospital’s Stephens Family Clinical Research Institute, which allows him to collaborate with researchers as well as physicians to develop practical medical devices for point-of-care diagnostics.

Irudayaraj is a Fellow of the AIMBE and a recipient of the Purdue College of Engineering Research Excellence Award and University Faculty Scholar award. He earned his PhD at Purdue and has held appointments at Penn State, Utah State, and the University of Saskatchewan. At Illinois, he holds joint appointments in the Carl Woese Institute for Genomic Biology and at MNTL.

“I’d like to thank the Bioengineering Department for putting faith in me,” said Irudayaraj, who looks forward to making impactful research, educational, and leadership contributions at Illinois. “There was a lot of encouragement, enthusiasm, and motivation for me to come here, and I already feel at home because I have a great department with amazing support staff.”

In addition to NIe and Irudayaraj, Industrial and Enterprise Systems Engineering Professor Aleksandry Stolyar was invested as a Founder Professor at the ceremony.

The Grainger Chair and Founder Professorship are made possible by the Grainger Engineering Breakthroughs Initiative, a program which that aims to expand research in bioengineering and big data through a $100 million grant from the Grainger Foundation. This generous donation is used not only to fund undergraduate scholarships and renovations, but also to attract and retain talented scholars that will contribute to Illinois’ legacy in world-renowned engineering research and education.




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