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

DEPARTMENT OF BIOENGINEERING WEBSITE

 
FEBRUARY 2016

Photo of Ting Lu. Lu earns NSF faculty early CAREER award

Ting Lu, Bioengineering assistant professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, received a Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) award from the National Science Foundation to help advance his work on developing a better understanding of the design principles of bacterial communities. Lu is using an interdisciplinary approach that combines experimental synthetic biology with advanced mathematical modeling.

MORE ON LU’S AWARD


Dar receives NIH Career Transition Award

Bioengineering Assistant Professor Roy Dar, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, has received a Career Transition Award from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. The NIH award supports a two-year project aimed at using shifts in the frequencies of viral gene expression to detect drug interactions that perturb a master-feedback loop of HIV.

MORE ON NIH CAREER TRANSITION AWARD

Photo of Roy Dar.

Illinois teams’ new biosensor uses microfluidic biochip for blood cell counts at the point of care

Using only a drop of blood, a new biosensor provides inexpensive, fast, accurate counts of red and white blood cells and platelets for improved patient care. Led by Rashid Bashir, Bioengineering department head at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, the team designed scalable technology that can be used by patients as well as medical personnel. The journal Technology recently published the study.

MORE ON THE BIOSENSOR

Photo of Rashid Bashir.

Photo of Sergei Maslov. ‘Mapping the Protein Universe’

Sergei Maslov is part of a multi-institution team focused on developing computational “maps” of protein genes to learn more about how they operate. Maslov is a professor in Bioengineering and in the Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and he is a computational biologist at the Brookhaven National Laboratory. He and the team are working with big data to be able to collect, catalog, flag, compare and make predictions about protein genes to create “an extensive library of proteins,” according to Argonne National Laboratory, which leads the research.

MORE ON THE PROTEIN MAPPING RESEARCH


Lipoprotein nanoplatelets shed new light on biological molecules and cells
Photo of Andrew Smith.

Bioengineering Assistant Professor Andrew Smith is leading the development of a new material composite made from quantum dots. The new material, developed by Smith and his team at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, can enter cells quickly and provides bright, stable light emission for a broad of range of potential uses.

MORE ON THE NEW QUANTUM DOT MATERIAL


Illinois researchers develop new cell-capture system for use in personalized medicine

A team of researchers from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign developed a gentle way of capturing cells — without disturbing cellular biomarkers — to isolate them for use in creating personalized medicine. The Illinois team is led by Bioengineering Assistant Professor Princess Imoukhuede and includes Jennifer Amos, teaching associate professor; Felipe Lee-Montiel, former postdoctoral researcher at Illinois, now with the University of Pittsburgh; and Ali Ansari, graduate student in Bioengineering. Their work was published in and appears on the cover of the journal Biotechnology and Bioengineering.

MORE ON THE CELL-CAPTURE SYSTEM

Photo of Biotechnology and Bioengineering Nov. 2015 cover.

Undergraduates build biobots in new bioengineering course
Photo of BIOE 306 students Howard Dabbous and Alexandra Palasz looking on as Ritu Raman (right) works with the biobots they created. A wealth of hands-on opportunities are available to undergraduates in Bioengineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The newest among them offers the chance to create biobots — minute movable "bots" comprised of muscle cells that propel the bots and electrical impulses to control their movements. Undergraduates are studying and learning how to build the biobots in a new course at Illinois that was developed as part of the Emergent Behaviors of Integrated Cellular Systems (EBICS), a National Science Foundation program.
Leading the biobots course are Rashid Bashir, department head in Bioengineering and EBICS associate director; Pablo Perez Pinera, assistant professor in Bioengineering, who primarily taught the course; Ritu Raman, EBICS researcher and NSF Graduate Research Fellow; and Colin Castleberry, teaching assistant for the course and UI 2014 BIOE alumnus.

MORE ON THE UNDERGRADUATE BIOBOTS COURSE


Photo of Jacob Calvert, 2015 BIOE grad and Marshall Scholar, with US Ambassador ot UK Barzun.
Jacob Calvert (right), 2015 Bioengineering graduate from Illinois and 2015 Marshall Scholar studying at the University of Bristol, recently met U.S. Ambassador to the United Kingdom Matthew Barzun (left).


The Rejuvenation of Everitt Lab.

Demolition is under way at Everitt Laboratory, and construction is expected to begin in early Summer 2016. Most of the work will be done on the interior, but a few improvements are necessary in some exterior locations. In 2018, the building will become the new home of the Department of Bioengineering.

We will continue to bring you highlights of the project in this space, and we hope to see you on campus in May for a celebration of the project.

Please save the date: May 5, 2016, for the 5:00 p.m. "groundbreaking" ceremony, followed by a reception at 5:30.

Look for an official invitation in March, and watch this newsletter and our Everitt Lab website for more information as it becomes available: EVERITT.ILLINOIS.EDU.

Demolition begins at Everitt Laboratory.

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DEPARTMENT OF BIOENGINEERING
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