Biology & Biomedical

Linking nanoscale science across biological and non-biological materials and systems opens up new frontiers of possibilities and applications. Nanoscale constructs promise a host of new approaches to more effective, disease-specific medical therapies. New tools and diagnostics that can directly probe the electrical, structural and optical behavior of biological materials can not only illuminate our understanding of those systems, but also inspire us with new device constructs that can be engineered from hybrid biological-non biological components.

Faculty Research

Paul Atzberger

Mathematics, Mechanical Engineering
Mathematical analysis and computational methods for the study of the statistical mechanics of biological and engineered systems. Application areas include molecular motor proteins, soft matter physics, polymeric fluids, lipid bilayer membranes, fluctuating hydrodynamics, osmotic phenomena, and microfluidic devices.

Frank Brown

Chemistry & Biochemistry
Cellular functioning: membrane dynamics, cytoskeletal assembly and the kinetics of enzymatic turnover.

Alison Butler

Chemistry & Biochemistry
Bioinorganic chemistry and metallobiochemistry with an emphasis on the roles of metal ions in the catalytic activity of metalloenzymes.

Otger Campas

Mechanical Engineering
Our group takes a highly interdisciplinary and quantitative approach, combining theory and experiments, as well as physics, biology, materials science and engineering, to study the processes of morphogenesis and self-organization in living systems.

Andrew Cleland

Nanoscale electronic and mechanical devices, exploring their uses as novel and ultrasensitive sensors and imaging devices.

Beth Gwinn

Synthesis, isolation and optical studies of few-atom metal clusters in nucleic acid scaffolds. Exploring use of these photon emitters in nanophotonics applications and bulk solution sensing and signaling.

Craig Hawker

Materials Department and Materials Research Lab
Current interests include design, synthesis and exploitation of nanoscopically defined materials in applications ranging from next-generation microelectronic devices to diagnostic agents for detection and treatment of cardiovascular disease.

Song-I Han

Chemistry & Biochemistry
Dynamic Nuclear Polarization NMR to study of large molecular assemblies such as vesicles or lipid bilayer embedded membrane proteins.

Jacob Israelachvili

Chemical Engineering
Intermolecular and Surface Forces in Complex Colloidal Systems and Macromolecular Materials, adhesion, friction, lubrication, biological interactions. integration in devices.

Luc Jaeger

Chemistry & Biochemistry
Research projects in Jaeger's lab are all related to RNA tectonics, a new LEGO game for supra-molecular chemists and biochemists. It refers to the construction of artificial RNA architectures with novel properties and takes advantage of the knowledge of folding and assembly rules governing the three-dimensional shape of complex natural RNA molecules.

Ken Kosik

Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology
Basic mechanisms and disorders of neural plasticity, the role of microRNAs in stem cell differentiation.

Igor Mezic

Mechanical Engineering
Applied mechanics, non-linear dynamics, fluid mechanics, applied mathematics, active (chaotic advection) methods in micromixing, nonlinear dynamics and control of dielectrophoretic separation of bioparticles, bioparticle control for biosensing, control of spin systems.

Daniel E. Morse

Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology
Proteins, genes and molecular mechanisms controlling biological nanofabrication of high-performance mineral-organic composites, and innovative strategies to harness these mechanisms for new routes to nanofabrication of electronic, magnetic and optical materials.

Linda Petzold

Mechanical Engineering
Numerical ordinary differential equations, differential-algebraic equations, and partial differential equations, dynamic optimization, nonlinear model reduction, mathematical software and scientific computing.

Kevin Plaxco

Chemistry & Biochemistry
Biomolecular engineering, biosensors and bioelectronics.

Norbert Reich

Chemistry & Biochemistry
Enzyme function, primarily at the levels of catalytic and specificity mechanisms, with a long term goal of developing enzyme inhibitors with potential therapeutic application.

Todd Squires

Chemical Engineering
Micro-scale fluid mechanics and transport science - microfluidics, electrokinetics, and ion transport; active, nonlinear and interfacial microrheology of complex materials; polymer and nanoparticle dynamics and sensing.

Joan Emma Shea

Chemistry & Biochemistry
Application of statisical and computational physics to biological systems like protein folding.

Hyongsok "Tom" Soh

Mechanical Engineering
High throughput cell sorting, integrated biosensors, and in vitro directed evolution of molecules.

Luke Theogarajan

Electrical & Computer Engineering
Low-Power Analog VLSI, Biomimetic Nanosystems, Neural Prostheses, Biosensors, Block Copolymer Synthesis, Self-Assembly, and Microfabrication.

James Thomson

MCDB and Center for Stem Cell Biology and Engineering
Understanding how human embryonic stem (ES) cells can form any cell in the body (pluripotency); how an ES cell chooses between self-renewal and the initial decision to differentiate; and how a differentiated cell with limited developmental potential can be reprogrammed to a pluripotent cell.

Megan T. Valentine

Mechanical Engineering
Nanoscale manipulation and measurement techniques to probe diverse biological materials on length scales from that of single proteins (a few nanometers) to that of entire cells (~100 microns or more).