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.
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.
BME Faculty Pete Jacobs, along with BME collaborator Jeff Kaye, are part of ORCATECH, a multi-disciplinary organization that is transforming clinical research by developing and implementing leading-edge technologies that harvest data in real time from people in their natural living situations. The data we gather, and what we learn and study can be applied to helping elders (and others) live longer, healthier lives at home; developing new medical technology and products; and creating better medical research studies. Our unique expertise provides the opportunity to collaborate with other academic and industry partners in areas ranging from focus groups to field-testing and high-resolution data handling and analysis.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Peter Jacobs Laboratory
Peter Jacobs' 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