Bio-Micro and Nanotechnology

Research summary:
My group is interested in building new devices and studying new phenomenon at the intersection of engineering, biology, and medicine at the micro and nano scale. We work on developing Lab-on-Chip (LOC) technologies for precision diagnostics and therapeutics for applications in infectious disease, cancer, and neuroscience. We are also working on bioprinting and biofabrication approaches for building Multi-Cellular Engineered Living Systems (MCELS) and biological machines at the mm – cm scale.

Ideal applicant should have:
Hands on experience in cell culture, micro or cell biology; knowledge of programming, data analysis, electronic design; microfabrication experience or interest; excellent communication, team work, attention to details, hard work, sense of humor.

When to apply:
Anytime, but especially in the first 2 weeks of the semester.

Research Assistant testimonial:

“I am a research assistant in Dr. Bashir’s Laboratory for Integrated Bio/Nanotechnology Applications. This lab focuses on developing point-of-care diagnostic devices for various diseases such as Zika, Dengue, COVID-19, breast cancer, and sepsis. I emailed Dr. Rashid Bashir asking to join because I knew I was interested in point-of-care technology and I wanted to see what working in a lab was like. When I joined the lab I started with the sepsis project. I came in with no lab skills, so I did basic lab work to learn how to use all of the equipment and get familiar with various research techniques. I learned how to pipette, how to use flow cytometry, and how to manufacture certain components of the devices that were being developed. At this time, I was also reading papers published by the lab group to get a better understanding of what has been done before and the general direction the lab was going in. Over the years, as I improved my manufacturing techniques and other skills, I was able to make the devices on my own and run experiments alongside the graduate students. I have been able to contribute to several papers, and am listed as a co-author on a paper that is currently being reviewed to be published. I also learned how to program in my BioE courses and was able to use that experience to develop code to analyze the data that was collected in our experiments. Working in the lab has been a great learning experience and made me realize that I can’t envision a future where I don’t do research.”

Victoria Kindratenko, Class of 2023

Chemical Imaging and Structures Laboratory
Contact information:
(217) 265-6596
4265 Beckman Institute

Research summary:
The Bhargava laboratory uses chemical imaging and designed structures to understand molecular composition and function in a range of problems. The activities in the group are divided broadly into three categories: theory, modeling, and simulations (fundamental science); instrumentation and analysis algorithms (applied engineering); and applications of the first two to a range of problems, notably in cancer pathology, polymeric systems, and food grain analysis (translational activities).

From an analytical technique perspective, we are involved in many aspects of mid-infrared and Raman (including stimulated and surface enhanced) spectroscopy. We are particularly interested in microscopy and tomography using these optical spectroscopic techniques. In cancer pathology, we are interested in developing new imaging technology to use molecular changes in the tumor and its microenvironment for better diagnoses, using an integrated approach we term “systems pathology.” The development of systems pathology comes from both a bottoms-up approach in using 3D cell cultures, computer simulations, and engineered tumor models using 3D printing as well as a top-down approach using human clinical samples and tissue microarrays. The approach is applied to prostate, breast, and colon cancers.

Ideal applicant should have:
Our group is inviting highly motivated undergraduates to join our research team. As an undergraduate, you will get to interact with a team of engineers from a wide variety of different engineering backgrounds and work in cutting edge areas involving: optics, opto-electronics, 3-D printing, microscopy, machine vision and edge computing. Design tasks will be tailored to the student’s skills and interests and may relate to optics, software engineering, electronics and mechanical design.

When to apply:
Please contact Prof. Rohit Bhargava directly via email. Please attach your resume and any relevant coursework or project work/GitHub to inquire about any position/project openings.

Joseph Maria Kumar Irudayaraj

Shuming Nie

Andrew M. Smith

Vlasov Lab: Integrated Neuro Technologies
Contact information:
(217) 300-1870
1250 Micro & Nanotechnology Lab

Nucleic Acids Programming Lab
Contact information:
(217) 333-9278
0250 Everitt Laboratory