Catherine Best

Catherine Best
Catherine Best
  • Research Assistant Professor
  • Research Assistant Professor
(217) 333-8367
1106 Micro & Nanotechnology Lab

Primary Research Area

  • Molecular, Cellular and Tissue Engineering

Education

  • Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, MA 2005-2007
  • B.S. Biology and Psychology, University of Massachusetts, Boston, MA 1994

Academic Positions

  • Medical Technician, Clinical Chemistry, and Toxicology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA, 2001-2002
  • Research Associate, Department of Pathology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA, 2002-2005
  • Visiting Research Scientist in Cellular Biophysics, School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, 2005-2007
  • Director of Curricular Alignment and Active Learning Curricular Development, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2011-2013
  • Interim Director of Assessment, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2011- 2013
  • Course Director, Medical Biochemistry, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2010-2011
  • Course Director, Medical Neuroscience, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2007-2014
  • Research Associate, Clinical Traumatic Brain Injury Trial Primary Investigator, Lovell Federal Health Care Center, Chicago, IL 2018
  • Research Assistant Professor, Department of Bioengineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2014-current
  • Manager, Shield Saliva COVID-19 Diagnostic Laboratory Veterinary Diagnostic Lab., University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2020

Research Interests

  • Neuroprotection and neuroimaging of cerebral blood flow in the context of brain Injury and neurodegenerative disease.

Research Statement

My research interests include interfacing bioengineering, neuroscience and medicine from the molecular to the behavioral scale, and the application of quantitative phase microscopy techniques to biomedical problems.

Undergraduate Research Opportunities

We are looking for undergraduate students interested in integrating bioengineering, neuroscience and medicine.

Graduate Research Opportunities

Looking for energetic students interested in projects at the interface of bioengineering, neuroscience and medicine.

Post-Doctoral Research Opportunities

Looking for energetic post-docs interested in projects at the interface of bioengineering, neuroscience and medicine.

Primary Research Area

  • Molecular, Cellular and Tissue Engineering

Chapters in Books

  • “Optical Sensing of Red Blood Cell Dynamics” by YK Park, C A. Best-Popescu, and G Popescu, in "Mechanobiology of cell-cell and cell-matrix interactions," Edited by Amy Wagoner Johnson (Springer, 2011)
  • “Erythrocyte Nanoscale Flickering: A Marker for Disease” by C. A. Best-Popescu, in “Nanobiophotonics”, Edited by G. Popescu (McGraw Hill, 2010).

Teaching Honors

  • Alpha Omega Alpha Robert Glaser Distinguished Teacher Nominee 2015
  • UIC Urban Health program COM Team Member Servant Leadership Award, College of Medicine (COM), University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) (2014)
  • Teacher ranked as excellent by the students, Medical Neuroscience, COM UIUC, 2012, 2013 and 2014* (* instructor rating was outstanding- top 10%) (2012, 2013, and 2014)
  • Raymond B. Allen Award - Golden Apple award winner, COM UIUC M2 (second-year medical school students) 2012, and M1 (first-year medical school students) 2014 (2012 )

Research Honors

  • Individual Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award recipient, 2005, 2006