The Department of Biomedical Engineering includes a diverse body of research groups, led by various faculty members. Learn more about some of these researchers' laboratories below.
Kimberly Beatty Laboratory
Dr. Beatty's research group is working at the interface of chemistry and infectious disease to understand Mycobacterium tuberculosis (M.tb.), the bacterial pathogen that causes tuberculosis (TB). Overall, her group is creating a new chemical tools and molecular imaging approaches to interrogate latent TB infections and the stages of pathogenesis, with the goal of uncovering new diagnostic and therapeutic targets. Her program employs small molecule probes to elucidate the regulation of mycobacterial enzymes in TB infections and to identify enzymes that can be used in diagnostic assays. In order to look at enzyme activity in real time, her group is synthesizing a variety of enzyme substrate mimics that are fluorogenic probes, which undergo a large change in fluorescence emission and quantum yield upon hydrolysis. These probes will be used to image and quantify distinct enzyme activities (e.g., sulfatases and lipases) at different stages of infection.
Summer Gibbs Laboratory
Summer Gibbs' Lab is focused on the development of optimized imaging reagents to expand the capabilities of macroscopic and microscopic cancer imaging. This includes fluorophore development for image-guided surgery, superresolution microscopy, and correlative light and electron microscopy to visualize and characterize cancer from the operating room to the single cell level.
Monica Hinds Laboratory
The Monica Hinds Lab researches the development, progression, and treatment of cardiovascular disease. We are particularly interested in the fetal development of the heart, endothelial cell regulation of the progression of cardiovascular disease, and cardiovascular devices for the treatment of diseases.
Peter Jacobs Laboratory
Peter Jacobs's Laboratory has numerous ongoing projects, all with a focus on researching, designing and translating novel medical devices and systems for use by patients within natural living environments. The projects broadly fit within the following areas:
· Ubiquitous computing for delivering home-based health care solutions
· Hearing science, specifically hearing aid signal processing and use of otoacoustic emissions for hearing diagnostics
· Medical device development primarily in the area of diabetes
Biomedical Optics (Jacques Lab)
Steven Jacques and his lab develop novel applications of light in medicine and biology. Light can be diagnostic or therapeutic/surgical:
· Where tissue affects photons, light is used for diagnostic imaging, spectroscopy and sensing,
· Where photons affect tissue, lasers are used for therapeutic and surgical cutting, dissecting, machining, processing, coagulating, welding, and oxidizing tissues and biomaterials.
The Jacques Lab develops novel microscopes, cameras and optical fiber probes for use in medical research and clinical care.
James Korkola Laboratory
The Korkola Lab studies both intrinsic features of cancer cells and extrinsic signals from the microenvironment to determine how they impact properties of cancer cells, including growth and response to therapeutic agents (both targeted and chemotherapy). We work with breast, prostate, bladder and pancreatic cancer cells, and use a variety of cell and molecular biology approaches including microenvironment microarrays, CRISPR and siRNA, high throughput drug screens, and high content imaging to understand how the intrinsic and extrinsic features integrate to give rise to resistant phenotypes. We also have systems biology projects to understand the network topology in cancer cells and how these are altered in response to the microenvironment and how such pathways alter drug response.
Xiaolin Nan Laboratory
Xiaolin Nan studies single molecule spatial systems biology, with a particular interest in understanding how oncogenic signaling modules are assembled and operate in their cellular context and seeking their practical use in designing novel cancer therapeutics. His research group takes a multidisciplinary approach that combines biological nanoscopy, biochemistry and bioengineering, and computation to address these challenges.
Sandra Rugonyi Laboratory
Sandra Rugonyi researches novel ways to visualize and calculate how biological systems respond to varying conditions, using mathematical and computational models. Dr. Rugonyi's group currently is focused mainly on the study of cardiovascular systems, which includes the analysis of blood flow through vessels and the heart, as well as the interaction of flow with tissue.
Vu Nanobiotechnology and Cell Imaging Research Group
Tania Vu's group researches imaging nanotechnologies in order to study and diagnose aberrant cellular signaling in disease at the level of single molecules in single cells. These new technologies allow us to detect the amount and sub-cellular location of key cellular signaling proteins with cutting-edge of sensitivity and spatial resolution. Using such new technological capabilities, we seek to understand how cell function emerges from the spatiotemporal interactions of a groups of single proteins. A primary effort is to work with clinicians and industrial partners to translate our technologies into concrete molecular-based personalized diagnostics in the area of cancer and neurological disorders.
Yantasee Laboratory (functionalized nanomaterials in medicine and medical devices)
Wassana Yantasee's Lab researches functionalized nanomaterials in medicine, development of animal models of cancer, kidney disease, and metals-related diseases, and development of engineered nanomaterials to diagnose, prevent, and treat disease.
Daniel Zuckerman Laboratory
The Zuckerman group uses physics-based computational methods to study molecular, meso- and cell-scale systems. The group is particularly interested in the conformational behavior of proteins, in drug design for flexible receptors, as well as in molecular machines and their connections to cell behavior.