FACULTY AND RESEARCH

CORE FACULTY

     
Yevgeny Berdichevsky
  Yevgeny Berdichevsky
Electrical & Computer Engineering
Email / Website

Yevgeny Berdichevsky is interested in micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS) and neurobiology.  Microtechnology provides the means to sense and control the behavior of neural circuits at the cellular level.  Dr. Berdichevsky developed brain tissue culture methods that are compatible with microfluidic and microelectrode devices.  He uses a combination of engineering and molecular/proteomic/metabolic approaches to study abnormal function of neural circuits in disorders such as epilepsy.  He also develops multiple electrode array devices for high-throughput screening of drugs for neurologic and psychiatric disorders.
     
Bryan Berger

  Bryan Berger
Chemical Engineering
Email / Website

Bryan Berger, assistant professor of chemical engineering, focuses on problems at the interface of biophysics and engineering, particularly in understanding the interrelationship between protein structure, molecular recognition and biological function. One area of research is membrane biophysics and membrane protein structure. He is interested in developing new experimental techniques to examine how membrane proteins interact with other proteins and lipids, and how these interactions regulate signal transduction across cell membranes.Collaborative projects include plexin-semaphorin signaling with Prof. Iovine (Biological Sciences) and calcitonin signaling during vascular calcification with Dr. James Wu (Lehigh Valley Hospital) and Prof. James Thompson (Mayo Clinic). Another area of research is in design and characterization of protein-based biomaterials for drug delivery. In collaboration with Prof. Snyder (ChE) and Prof. Ellen Pure (Wistar Institute), his team designs peptide-based probes for imaging and delivering therapeutics to solid tumors. A third area is in understanding host-pathogen interactions, particularly mechanisms of multi-drug resistance in chronic lung infection. In collaboration with Dr. Emily Wong (Lehigh Valley Hospital), we are investigating mechanisms by which pathogens invade the host epithelium, and designing novel therapeutic approaches to treat multi-drug resistant lung infections.
                                                                                                                  
Calcitonin signaling:
http://www.lehigh.edu/~inisrema/2011/vol1/bio-briefs-fish-sheds-light-on-cardiovascular-disease.html

Cancer drug delivery:
http://www.che.lehigh.edu/blog/berger_snyder_2012_2.pdf

New publications:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22822084

NSF BRIGE Award 2012: http://www.nsf.gov/funding/pgm_summ.jsp?pim_id=503160

 

     
Xuanhong Cheng
  Xuanhong Cheng
Materials Science & Engineering
Email / Website

CD4+ T lymphocytes are the target for the HIV virus, and their absence is a key indicator of HIV infection. Scientists recently developed an inexpensive device that allows for point-of-care measurement of CD4 cell levels, currently being tested in field trials in Africa. Xuanhong Cheng, assistant professor of materials science and engineering, contributed to this research at Harvard Medical School, where she helped design, modify and test the microchip that functions as a cartridge for a handheld CD4 counter. At Lehigh, Cheng is pursuing microdevices for environmental monitoring and pathogen detection, and the development of tools for biological studies in well-controlled micro-environments. “I’m interested in learning how cells respond to environmental stimulation. To do this, we keep cells in small microdevices where we can control the environmental conditions very precisely,” Cheng says. Cheng's research team is also pursuing a device that can be used for screening vaccine candidates against potentially harmful reactions.
 

 

James T. Hsu
  James T. Hsu
Chemical Engineering
Email

James Hsu, professor of chemical engineering, is interested in bioseparations using selective precipitation and affinity adsorption. Understanding the chemistry and kinetics of precipitation is critical for the success of the large-scale process. Affinity adsorption employs the extraordinary selectivity of the antibody-antigen interaction for the recovery of a specific protein or other bioactive molecule. He investigates the selection of the antibody to be immobilized and its interaction with its support and target molecules. In other research, he seeks the development of scalable manufacturing processes that reproducibly meet the quality criteria of purity, potency, efficacy, and safety for recombinant drug substances.
     
Anand Jagota
  Anand Jagota
Chemical Engineering
(610) 758-4396
Email / Website

Anand Jagota is professor of chemical engineering and director of the bioengineering program at Lehigh. His research interests are in biomaterials, biomechanics, and nanobiotechnology. His group works on properties, processing, and modeling of DNA interactions with nanomaterials, specifically on its hybrids with carbon nanotubes. He also has interests in nanomechanics, biomechanics, adhesion and friction. In another active project, his group works on biomimetic fibrillar interfaces with enhanced adhesion, friction, and compliance achieved by design of near-surface architecture.
     
Jedlicka
  Sabrina S. Jedlicka
Materials Science & Engineering
Email/ Website

Sabrina Jedlicka’s research revolves around biologically functional material design for use in cell based therapeutics and drug delivery. Biologically functional materials provide the ability to manipulate the direct extracellular environment surrounding cells; influencing their fate and differentiation path. In addition, engineering materials that can be directed using native biological signaling pathways provides a means to direct drug delivery into the central and peripheral nervous system. The ability to engineer the interface between the cells and growth environment allows for a repeatable, stable means of directing cells down a specific development path determined by endogenous signaling pathways. The ability to develop a homogenous, directed cell population has implications in stem cell research, regenerative medicine, cell-based devices and biosensing technology. She is interested in development of novel materials, modification of existing platforms, and translation of traditional materials science characterization tools into the biological and organic environments. In addition to materials design and fundamental characterization, Dr. Jedlicka is interested in biomolecule:material interactions, specifically related to biophysics and modeling.
     
Linda Lowe-Krentz
  Linda J. Lowe-Krentz
Biological Sciences
Email / Website

Linda Lowe-Krentz is a cellular biochemist whose research focuses on signaling systems within cells. Her laboratory examines cross-talk between various signal systems initiated by chemical and mechanical signals. New bioimaging techniques being explored in the Lowe-Krentz lab at Lehigh University will allow many advances in signal transduction research. To improve analysis of relevant signal protein co-localization, a novel dual-link assay technique is being employed that involves complementary oligonucleotides conjugated to secondary antibodies, allowing visualization of only very closely associated proteins. The Lowe-Krentz lab also explores GFP (and other FP) tagged proteins and immunoflurorescent images to be fed directly into models to help predict stress-induced signaling. Also, SNAP-tagged gene constructs are being employed to follow new protein synthesis induced by signaling systems, with protein expression being monitored in bioimaging. Lowe-Krentz also employs optical tweezers to probe localized intracellular mechanics with locations being determined in part by expressed fluorescent protein constructs.
     
Yaling Liu
  Yaling Liu
Mechanical Eng & Mechanics
Email / Website

Liu group's research interest is Micro/NanoEngineering for Biology and Medicine, in particular, using combined computational and experimental approaches to characterize the interfacial phenomena at the micro/nano scale and in biological systems. Examples include fluid-structure interaction, particulate and multiphase flow, blood rheology, biomedical device (artificial heart, valves, stents, etc) design, electromagnetic manipulation of bio-nanoparticles, DNA sequencing in functionalized nanopores, etc. Current efforts focus on two emerging applications of bio-nanotechnology: Nanomedicine and Biosensing, where we are combining multiscale modeling, biofluid mechanics, image-based simulation, BioMEMS/NEMS fabrication,surface functionalization, fluorescence imaging, electrohydrodynamic manipulation, and microfluidic testing to improve nanoparticle targeted drug delivery efficiency, and biomolecule detection at ultralow concentration.
     
Daniel Ou-Yang
  Daniel Ou-Yang
Physics
(610) 758-3920
Email / Website

Professor Daniel Ou-Yang of Lehigh’s physics department conducts research in experimental soft condensed matter physics that spans the topics of polymers, colloids and cellular biophysics. His research activities include the studies of ultrasound induced reorientation of gold nanodisks, polymer adsorption at colloidal surfaces, complexation of cyclodextrin with hydrophobic molecules in aqueous environment, structure and interactions of colloidal particles, active microrheology of polymer solutions and gels, quantitative study of electrophoresis and dielectrophoresis; in vitro cytoskeleton networks and biological cells at subcellular levels. To conduct experimental research, his laboratory develops novel capabilities of oscillatory optical tweezers and optical bottles and combines optical manipulation capabilities with advanced optical fluorescence imaging and spectroscopic techniques for understanding the interactions and dynamics of colloidal particles and biological materials at nano-meter scale.
     
Svetlana
  Svetlana Tatic-Lucic
Electrical & Computer Engineering
Email / Website

Svetlana Tatic-Lucic is associate professor of electrical and computer engineering at Lehigh with research interests focused on fabrication, design and applications of micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS) for application in cell biology and neuroscience. She is currently developing a system for extracellular recording of electrical signals from cultured neuronal networks for eventual use in neuroscience and as a sensor for detecting the presence of neuroactive compounds. She is also designing a bioMEMS device capable of accurately measuring the mechanical properties of biological cells to help mitigate the impact of certain diseases such as osteoporosis. Dr Tatic-Lucic’s research has been supported by the National Science Foundation, NASA, and Pennsylvania Infrastructure Technology Alliance (PITA).
     
Voloshin
  Arkady Voloshin
Mechanical Eng & Mechanics
Email / Website

Arkady Voloshin, professor of mechanical engineering and mechanics, has spent more than two decades studying the effects of dynamic loading on the musculoskeletal system. Working with researchers at Università degli Studi della Basilicata in Potenza, Italy, he is subjecting a segment of a pig’s spine to compression, extension and lateral bending, in an effort to learn how to measure disc displacements under various loads. “This study holds promise for investigating the behavior of tissue,” says Voloshin, “which could lead to a better understanding of spine and disc injuries in humans and, ultimately, to improved surgical treatment of degenerative disorders of the spine.”Working with researchers in Lehigh’s Sherman Fairchild Center for Solid State Studies, Bioengineering Program and electrical and computer engineering department, Voloshin is studying osteoporosis. The group wants to know why bones lose their ability to respond to dynamic mechanical stimulus. The lack of response slows osteogenesis, the process of laying down new bone material. Voloshin, seeking to identify the mechanism responsible for osteoporosis, has used a polymer-based MEMS device to observe living cells and measure their mechanical properties. Working with Israel’s Loewenstein Rehabilitation Hospital, Voloshin studies runners to measure fatigue’s effect on the ability of the musculoskeletal system to dissipate heel-strike shock waves on the tibial tuberosity and sacrum.
     
Zhang
  Xiaohui (Frank) Zhang
Mechanical Eng & Mechanics
Email / Website

Protein molecules are made up of a multitude of amino acids joined together to form a linear chain that is folded up into a three dimension globular form. Under physiological conditions, proteins are not static entities, and are more like molecular machines that constantly change shape or conformation to fulfill their biological functions. Xiaohui (Frank) Zhang, assistant professor of mechanical engineering and mechanics, has focused his research efforts on the biomechanical mechanisms of protein folding, conformational change and protein-protein interactions. Prof. Zhang’s group is also active in the development and application of single-molecule force spectroscopic approaches to study cell adhesion and migration.
     
Zhou
  Chao Zhou
Electrical & Computer Engineering
Email / Website

Chao Zhou, assistant professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, is interested in developing novel optical imaging technologies for biomedical applications. Particularly, he is interested in developing optical coherence tomography (OCT) and microscopy (OCM) technologies to perform "optical biopsy" and generate 3D in situ images of tissue morphology, function and pathological status in real-time without the need to remove and process specimens. He is also interested in applying these technologies to a variety of biological and clinical applications, including cancer research, neuroscience, developmental biology and tissue engineering. Currently, his group is working on developing methodologies to enable molecular-contrast for OCT and OCM, to extract 3D cerebral hemodynamic information of animal brains, and to evaluate functional development of embryonic hearts of fruit flies and zebrafish.

     

ASSOCIATED FACULTY

     
Filbert Bartoli

  Filbert J. Bartoli
Electrical & Computer Engineering
Email / Website

Filbert J. Bartoli is chair of the department of electrical and computer engineering at Lehigh. With four decades in professional research, Dr. Bartoli has accumulated extensive experience in photonics, optoelectronics, sensors, and nanotechnology, with a more recent focus on nanobiotechnology -- biophotonics, bioelectronics, nanoplasmonics, and biosensing. From 2000 to 2005, he was a Program Director in Photonics at the National Science Foundation, and prior to that worked for 29 years in the Optical Sciences Division at the Naval Research Laboratory He currently leads a Lehigh research group on nanoplasmonic sensor development that seeks to enable sensing systems-on-a-chip and miniaturized biomedical devices for eventual point-of-care screening, diagnosis, and treatment of disease. He is a Fellow of OSA and IEEE, and currently serves as IEEE Photonics Society Vice President for Finance and Administration and Editor-in-Chief for the IEEE Journal of Selected Topics in Quantum Electronics, and is the publisher of some 300 technical papers and holder of 18 patents.

     
Derick Brown
  Derick G. Brown
Civil & Environmental Engineering
Email / Website

Derick Brown, associate professor of civil and environmental engineering, focuses on the implications of bacterial attachment to surfaces. Current projects in this area examine how bacterial adhesion affects the cellular metabolic activity, with implications on surface colonization, biofilm formation, and long-term survival under oligotrophic conditions. His interests in microbial kinetics are related to biodegradation of hydrophobic compounds and multisubstrate biodegradation kinetics, and how bacteriophage (viruses that infect bacteria and are ubiquitous in the environment) impact biodegradation kinetics.
     
Matthias Falk
  Matthias Falk
Biological Sciences
Email / Website

Mattias Falk, associate professor of biological sciences, explores direct cell-to-cell communication via gap junction membrane channels, and biocompatibility and bioactivity of glass bone-replacement scaffolds. Trained as a cell biologist, Falk is fascinated with the myriad complex functions a cell has to accomplish. Of particular interest are processes related to protein biosynthesis, intracellular trafficking, the assembly of multi-protein complexes, and how cells in a multi-cellular organism communicate with each other. Gap junction (GJ) membrane channels provide cells with the capability of direct cell-to-cell communication via the exchange of hydrophilic, small signaling molecules. Falk’s group uses molecular biology, biochemistry, and in particular live-cell imaging approaches to investigate how cells regulate and modulate gap junction mediated direct cell-cell communication (GJIC), as well as physical cell-cell coupling. These phenomena are crucial to all aspects of multi-cellular life including development, differentiation, cellular homeostasis, wound repair, cancer metastasis, and many more. His research in this area has been funded by NIH for 14 years.

For the past few years, Falk has also worked in collaboration with Prof. Jain, Director, International Materials Institute for New Functionality of Glass (IMI-NFG) to investigate how cells react to glass scaffolds intended for eventual use in bone-replacement therapy. Falk uses fluorescence light microscopy and Q-RT-PCR approaches to investigate the adhesion, proliferation, and differentiation of bone-cells on the glass scaffolds. This project is funded by NSF and has been funded by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Biosystems Dynamics Summer Institute at Lehigh University.

     
X. Huang
  Xiaolei Huang
Computer Science & Engineering
Email / Website

Xiaolei Huang, assistant professor of computer science and engineering, develops robust image analysis methods and software systems that integrate algorithms with simple, efficient, application-specific designs to solve computational problems in biomedicine. In particular, she works toward robust medical imaging software that aids medical doctors in accurate and reproducible diagnosis and in the understanding of the basic anatomical and physiological relationships in normal and diseased states. Her lab develops image processing and analysis software for analyzing biological images to help biologists and biophysicists understand and model complex biological pathways and systems. She is also interested in creating intelligent vision systems that are capable of learning effectively and reasoning about multiple sources of information in order to achieve functions typical of human vision.
     
Himanshu Jain
  Himanshu Jain
Materials Science & Engineering
Email / Website

Dr. Jain’s group investigates, in collaboration with several groups across the globe, various aspects of the structure, properties, and processing of glass for developing their new applications. His current research activities related to biomaterials include the development of novel bioactive glasses with nano-macro bimodal porosity for bone scaffold (in collaboration with Professor Falk), separation of virus from blood, hemostasis, etc.; and infrared transmitting multilayer thin film structures for chem-bio sensing. His other research foci include photoinduced phenomena, electrical conduction, dielectric and optical properties, diffusion and defects in chalcogenide and oxide glasses, grayscale micro and nanolithography, transparent ferroelectric glass-ceramics and single crystal micro-architecture in glass for nonlinear optical applications, etc. Various pump-probe techniques, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), X-ray absorption fine structure (XAFS), extended electron energy loss fine structure (EXELFS), etc. are developed for characterizing the structure under in situ laser irradiation.
     
Shalinee Kishore
  Shalinee Kishore
Electrical & Computer Engineering
Email/ Website

Associate professor of electrical and computer engineering Shalinee Kishore is an expert on wireless networking who has developed an outreach program on education and extension of wireless technologies with Susquehanna County, a rural community in Northeastern Pennsylvania. In collaboration with Mayo Clinic, she works on the development of algorithms and hardware to support electronic systems for the U.S. Government and Mayo’s medical practice, and to transfer newly developed electronics from the U.S. Government and the aerospace industrial community to the health care industry, where they are needed to assure the provision of quality medical care to patients.
     
Mayuresh Kothare
  Mayuresh V. Kothare
Chemical Engineering
Email / Website

Kothare is R. L. McCann Professor of Chemical Engineering and co-director of the Chemical Process Modeling and Control Research Center at Lehigh University. He has recently won a competitive award from the NSF to study closed-loop feedback control tools in the context of neuroprosthesis rehabilitation devices, in collaboration with colleagues at Johns Hopkins Biomedical Engineering. Kothare is currently studying new methods in neuroengineering for decoding closed-loop brain measurements to manifest “brain-based actuation” – converting thought into device automation -- to help people who suffer from paraplegia, amputation, and ataxia. Additionally, he studies spinal cord stimulation as a means of non-invasive rehabilitation from Parkinson's, dystonia, and other motor disabilities. He is also exploring the development of large-scale brain dynamic models to better understand neuronal response characteristics under stimulation and in the context of seizures. He is well-known in the field of control systems, and in 2008 he was one of 80 participants selected to participate in the Frontiers of Engineering Workshop sponsored by the U.S. National Academy of Engineering.
     
Daniel Lopresti
  Daniel P. Lopresti
Computer Science & Engineering
Email / Website

Daniel Lopresti is chair of the department of computer science and engineering at Lehigh. Dan's research interests lie in applied pattern recognition. He has developed new models and algorithms for sequence comparison and built one of the first low cost, highly parallel computers for searching genetic databases. At Lehigh, he collaborates with biologist Stefan Maas on techniques for mining the human genome for genes that undergo A-to-I editing, a post-transcriptional process that leads to the recoding of primary messages through site-selective adenosine-to-inosine modification and which has been implicated in a variety of important diseases. Another collaboration, with Lehigh colleague Xiaolei Huang, is in the area of interactive medical image processing, with applications to the detection of pre-cancerous lesions in digitized uterine cervix images. This work also involves associates at the National Library of Medicine and a local women’s health physician. Recently, he has started to work with Lehigh biologist Sean Mullen on the analysis of next-generation sequencing data which will be used to produce genome maps for Limenitis Admiral butterflies. Lopresti's research is supported by the National Science Foundation and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.
     
Anthony McHugh
  Anthony J. McHugh
Chemical Engineering
Email / Website

Anthony McHugh, the Ruth H. and Sam Madrid Professor and department chair of chemical engineering, has made significant progress in achieving sufficient drug load (DL) in pharmaceutical delivery media while avoiding the so-called “burst effect” when a large drug volume is quickly released into the body. He encapsulates drugs in a honeycomb-like polymer matrix, thus helping attain controlled drug release while providing maximum DL to the delivery system. Their approach has been to use established principles of polymeric membranes to judiciously control drug-polymer interactions in delivery systems. The goal is to create improved drug delivery devices for direct implant or as a coating on stent-like devices.
     
Jeetain Mittal
  Jeetain Mittal
Chemical Engineering
Email / Website

Assistant professor of chemical engineering Jeetain Mittal focuses on macromolecular crowding effects, where the cell constituents not actively participating in a given reaction under study are labeled as part of the crowd. He notes that the presence of a large number of macromolecules will change the behavior of the most important constituent in the cell – water – which modulates reactions in the cell. He uses a “divide and conquer approach” to understand macromolecular crowding effects. “We construct theoretical models with different degrees of complexity. For example, we will build models that separate the direct effect of crowding from the indirect effect through hydrophobic interactions in order to break the problem into manageable subsets.” Advanced computational methods generate data on long-time behavior, Mittal says, which can be used to predict the collective behavior arising from various effects closely resembling the interior of a cell. This will help extend the findings from commonly performed dilute solution experiments to solution conditions resembling intracellular environment.
     
D. Vavylonis
  John Spletzer
Computer Science & Engineering
Email / Website

Associate professorJohn Spletzer heads up the VADER Laboratory at Lehigh University. His research interests include intelligent vehicle systems, assistive technologies, and multi-robot systems. He teaches courses in mobile robotics and real-time image processing, and also serves as the instructor for both the Computer Science and Computer Engineering senior design courses. His research is funded by the National Science Foundation, the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development, and private corporations that include Freedom Sciences, LLC., Lockheed Martin, and Thales Communications, Inc.
     
D. Vavylonis
  Dimitrios Vavylonis
Physics
Email / Website

The research group led by Dimitrios Vavylonis, assistant professor of physics, is developing theoretical models that describe how the actin cytoskeleton contributes to cell organization and function. Networks and bundles of actin filaments spontaneously form subcellular structures with mechanical integrity that provide cells with shape, generate mechanical forces and movement by polymerization, and act as tracks for imotor proteins. A common pattern in the function of the cytoskeleton is exploration of space by filament growth and shrinkage. These growth processes result in the establishment of transient linkages between distant parts of the cell; local and global feedback mechanisms regulate the growth and shrinkage of cytoskeleton components. In collaboration with biologists and computer scientists, we use the methods of physics to study, analyze, and model the physical properties of such adaptive materials.
     
D. Vezenov
  Dmitri V. Vezenov
Chemistry
Email / Website

Dmitri Vezenov, assistant professor of chemistry, pursues these three major research directions: (1) Bionanophotonics, in particular a new experimental methodology to characterize mechanisms and dynamics of intra- and intermolecular binding that involves biomolecules; (2) New tools for research in biophysics and bioengineering, new, simple approaches to the analytical force spectroscopy platform for massively-parallel low cost binding assays; and (3) Meso-scale assembly of functional nanomaterials, tools and approaches to three-dimensional self-assembly of semiconductor nanowires during growth, and research their potential applications in photonics and sensors.
     
Wojciech Z. Misiolek
  Wojciech Z. Misiolek
Materials Science and Engineering;
Mechanical Engineering & Mechanics
(610) 758-4252
Email / Website

Professor Misiolek conducts interdisciplinary research in materials processing and process engineering. His research and teaching interests have focused on deformation, powder and machining processes along with applications for structural and bio-materials. The common theme of these studies is to understand and develop characterization techniques for microstructure evolution in different materials during forming and processing. These scientific challenges are being addressed by the use of various physical and numerical modeling procedures in conjunction with state of the art materials characterization techniques. The Institute for Metal Forming collaborates with several research institutions in North and South America, Europe, Asia and Oceania .
     

PROFESSORS OF PRACTICE

     
herz
  Lori Herz
Chemical Engineering
Email / Website

Professor Herz's academic and professional background is in biotechnology, biochemical engineering, and pharmaceutical processing. She is the Associate Director of the Bioengineering Program at Lehigh, and teaches Metabolic Engineering and the Biotechnology Laboratory. Additionally, she is affiliated with the Integrated Product Development program, for which she advises student teams working on their capstone design projects. She is currently the faculty adviser for the Lehigh chapter of ISPE, as well as a member of AICHE and the Society for Biological Engineering.

Recent publications

Lori Herz, M. Jean Russo, Daniel Ou-Yang, Mohamed El-Aasser, Anand Jagota, Svetlana Tatic-Lucic, John Ochs, "Development of an Interdisciplinary Undergraduate Bioengineering Program at Lehigh University," Advances in Engineering Education (2011), vol. 4, no. 2.
     
Niedbala
  Sam Niedbala
Chemistry
Email
   
Perry
  Susan Perry
Biological Sciences
Email