Growth Factors, news from the Department of Bioengineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

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Bhargava and team measure tumor microenvironments with chemical imaging to enable precision medicine for prostate cancer

Saurabh Sinha and Rohit BhargavaRohit Bhargava, professor in Bioengineering and Bliss Faculty Scholar at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and his research collaborators have developed a promising new predictive method to tackle prostate cancer, the second-leading cause of death (behind lung cancer) in U.S. men. The team’s new chemical imaging method will complement existing clinical indices and tools to determine more effectively how well patients with prostate cancer are likely to respond to treatment and whether the cancer is expected to recur. Traditional predictive methods include manually examining the structure of dyed prostate cells through a microscope to see abnormalities. In contrast, Bhargava (pictured here on the right), faculty and researchers from Illinois, and physicians at the University of Illinois at Chicago are using their combined expertise in medicine, chemical imaging and computer science to examine both the molecular content and the structure of the tissue. Bhargava is working closely on this research with Saurabh Sinha (pictured on the left), associate professor in Computer Science, member of the graduate program faculty in Bioengineering, and one of the newest Donald Biggar Willett Scholars at Illinois.

MORE ON THE PROSTATE CANCER RESEARCH


Photo of Andrew Smith.Smith looks at cancer biology at molecular level to improve diagnostics and treatment

Andrew Smith is designing quantum dots — engineered nanoscale semiconductor particles -- to develop a better understanding of how cancer cells transform and could be treated more effectively. In collaboration with the Mayo Clinic and his student research team, Smith, assistant professor in Bioengineering, is using the dots to develop a quantitative method for detecting the diseased cells within a tissue sample, as opposed to the current qualitative method, wherein a pathologist looks for patterns and shapes to aid in diagnoses.

MORE ON SMITH'S QUANTUM DOT RESEARCH


Three Bioengineering faculty members invested as named professors in College of Engineering

Photo of Brian Cunningham, Jun Song, and Tandy Warnow.Jun Song and Tandy Warnow, both professors in Bioengineering, were honored recently as Founder Professors in the College of Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Brian T. Cunningham, also a professor in Bioengineering, was recognized as a Donald Biggar Willett Professor in the College of Engineering. Song conducts biomedicine research on gene expression, which has implications for prognosis and treatment of cancer. Warnow’s work addresses complex issues at the intersection of evolution and genomics, and in the study of genetic material in the environment. Cunningham works with photonic crystal-based biosensors, which allow for the detection of such things as cancer cells, the amount of HIV virus in a person, and contaminants in food and water.

MORE ON THE INVESTITURES ...
JUN SONG
TANDY WARNOW
BRIAN CUNNINGHAM


Cunningham selected to lead MNTL

Brian T. Cunningham, Donald Biggar Willett Professor in the College of Engineering, professor of Bioengineering and of Electrical and Computer Engineering, has been selected as the new director of the Micro and Nanotechnology Laboratory at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Cunningham earned three degrees in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Illinois, including a B.S., M.S. and Ph.D., and worked in government, industry and his own startup, in addition to teaching and conducting research at Illinois. He has held various leadership roles during his career, most recently as the interim director of the MNTL and as the faculty lead on the conception and implementation of the department's new professional master's degree (MEng) in bioinstrumentation, which will welcome its first cohort in Fall 2015.

MORE ON CUNNINGHAM


Bhargava elected Fellow of AIMBE

Rohit Bhargava, professor in Bioengineering and Bliss Faculty Scholar, has been elected to the College of Fellows of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE). Bhargava was nominated, reviewed, and elected by peers and members of the College of Fellows for pioneering the development of chemical imaging technology and the use of optical spectroscopic methods for digital pathology. The College of Fellows is comprised of the top two percent of medical and biological engineers in the country. A formal induction ceremony is scheduled for March 16, 2015, at AIMBE’s 2015 Annual Meeting at the National Academy of Sciences Great Hall in Washington, D.C. AIMBE’s mission is to recognize excellence in, and advocate for, the fields of medical and biological engineering in order to advance society.

MORE ON AIMBE


Kilian receives NSF CAREER award to study somatic cell reprogramming

Photo of Kris Kilian.Kristopher Kilian, assistant professor in Materials Science and Engineering and member of the graduate program faculty in Bioengineering, has earned a National Science Foundation CAREER Award to support his work in stem cell engineering and its applications in regenerative therapies. Kilian studies cellular reprogramming to determine how it can be used to correct genetic mutations and regenerate injured tissue. Each year the NSF presents its Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) award to select junior faculty "who exemplify the role of teacher-scholars through outstanding research, excellent education and the integration of education and research within the context of the mission of their organizations."

MOE ON KILIAN'S NSF AWARD


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