Research includes:

  • Bioenergy
  • Biofuels
  • Bionanotechnology
  • Biosensors
  • Biospectroscopy and Imaging
  • Computational Biology
  • Devices
  • Engineering
  • Human Health
  • Instrumentation
  • Nanotechnology
  • Quantitative Biology
  • Renewable Energy
  • Systems Biology
  • The Environment

Training Group Mission:

The mission of the Biotechnology (BT) Training Group is to develop highly skilled scientists and engineers who excel at the intersection between biology and engineering. The evolution of engineering and its influence on the discovery, design, implementation and translation of biology requires future students who are capable of merging instrumentation, quantitative methods and engineering principles seamlessly into the biology discipline. Because of the breadth in focus, students with both engineering and non-engineering background can be admitted. The training group provides a unique set of courses and lab experiences to provide the quantitative and design background to students interested in exploring the boundaries of science and engineering at Purdue University. The additional expertise required for success in the Biotechnology Training Group requires a minimum of 35 and up to a maximum of 41 credit hours of course-work, which is greater (almost twice) than any other training group and in the range of course-work requirements for engineering departments across campus (eg. ABE: 42, BME: 26). Faculty members of the Training Group have diverse backgrounds and come from diverse departments on campus. Research focus on addressing global challenges related to human health, the environment, biofuels, and renewable energy. The training group provides tremendous opportunities to prepare students for a broad range of career opportunities in industry and academia.

Faculty Membership

Research Area

1) The role of advanced glycation end-products in the development of diabetic tendinosis 2) The role of estrogen in tendon health 3) Combined
nutrition/exercise approaches to improve tendon properties in older adults.

The Chan Lab believes that understanding the early response to injury is critical to diagnosis, assessment, and intervention in life-altering diseases, including post-traumatic osteoarthritis and traumatic brain injury. True to our biomedical engineering roots, we adopt a multi-disciplinary approach - using biomechanics, biomedical imaging, and matrix biology - to quantify the complex tissue responses to injury.

Biotechnology, proteomics and bioinformatics

The research in my lab is geared towards understanding the host-pathogen interaction during migration of zoonotic ascarid larvae of the genera, Toxocara and Baylisascaris within the mammalian host. We use a combination of traditional parasitology, molecular biology and "-omics" related tools for identification and characterization of these parasite proteins. Our goal is to lay down a path to develop efficient diagnostics, identify potential vaccine candidates and drug targets to mitigate the effects of these neglected soil-transmitted nematodes.

Biomaterials, Musculoskeletal Regenerative Engineering, Micro/Nano-technology, Stem Cell Technology, Translational Biomedical Research
Biological Engineering, Bioenergy

Our laboratory develops strategies that can leverage the immune system to simultaneously repair bone and control inflammation or cell viability. The overall therapy goals are to treat tumors and repair bone in tumor models or covid19 related inflammatory models, and treat and repair cartilage/bone in arthritis models.

Cardiovascular Imaging
Intestines harbor trillions of microbes that have evolved in the milieu of a diverse diet-derived small molecules. Gut microbiome (the collection of genetic materials harbored by the gut microbes) contains thousands of distinct genes with an enormous capacity to catalyze chemical reactions. Their functions, however, remains largely unknown. Jeong and Lee lab has been investigating the gut microbiota as (1) a drug-metabolizing organ and (2) a modulator of host response to drugs. Based on the expertise of Dr Jeong (a pharmacologist) and Dr Lee (a microbiologist), we identify and characterize the microbial factors involved in drug metabolism as well as host-microbe interaction that leads to altered drug efficacy and toxicity.
Biomechanics of cytoskeleton, cells and tissues; Computational modeling of biological structures
bio-organic chemistry, bioconjugate chemistry, in vitro evolution, drug discovery
Development of mass spectrometry imaging for mapping lipids, metabolites, proteins in biological samples.
Coding, modeling, computing, and simulating to develop new, effective, and safe drug products.
Prof. Liu's research focuses on developing protein-based biomaterials for application in tissue engineering, regenerative medicine, and surgical glues.
Magnetic resonance imaging, image and signal processing,brain decoding and modeling
We are interested in programmed self-assembly of nucleic acids (DNA and RNA), or DNA nanotechnology. Nucleic acids are information-rich molecules. They have well-defined secondary structures (duplexes) and simple interaction rules (Watson-Crick base pairing). These chemical properties render nucleic acids to be excellent molecules for programmed self-assembly. Since 1982, a wide range of nanostructures have been constructed and find applications in biosensing, imaging, smart drug delivery, vaccine, organizing chemical reactions, plasmonic devices etc.

Cancer immunotherapy, immunoengineering, natural killer cells, nanomedicine, cell and gene engineering, immunotherapy of solid tumors

The focus of our groups activities is the analysis and manipulation of metabolic pathways. With an increased understanding of the regulation of metabolism, scientists and engineers can rationally manipulate pathways to produce novel compounds or increase the production of specialty compounds. Quantifying metabolic flux is a critical technology that forms the basis for rational metabolic engineering. Our group has been developing the mathematical modeling and experimental tools for the particularly difficult problem of quantifying fluxes in photoautotrophic organisms. We also engineer cyanobacteria to overproduce valuable amino acids.
Magnetic resonance imaging and spectroscopy, electromagnetic modeling in tissue
The Scarpelli Lab utilizes electromagnetic radiation as a diagnostic and therapeutic tool in medical applications. The lab’s near-term research aims to understand the biological effects of radiation and in particular the effects of cancer radiotherapy on the immune system. To facilitate this, the lab is developing medical imaging (MRI and PET) techniques to measure different aspects of the immune system, including quantification of macrophages and activated T cells.

Nanomaterials, Environmental and Molecular Toxicology, Nanoparticle-Biomolecule Interactions, Susceptible Subpopulations

Dr. Aaron Specht's research is at the cross-roads of physics, environmental science, epidemiology, and public health. Developing novel devices for evaluation of environmental toxicants, applying these in cohort studies and surveillance studies in vulnerable populations, and identifying toxicokinetic and health outcomes associated with these environmental exposures.
Signal transduction in development; mechanisms of robustness, cell fate decisions, and tissue patterning by morphogen gradients
Dr. Verma’s goal is to engineer human microbiomes for improving health. He aims to achieve this objective by understanding the principles of designing and assembling desired communities of microorganisms.
Controlled drug delivery, bio-nanotechnology
Dr. Zhang’s research focuses on two areas: 1) elucidating the physiological and molecular roles of plant vascular tissues in normal or stress condition and 2) improving crop yield and stress resistance via biotechnological approaches.
Plant-parasitic nematodes are microscopic soil-borne roundworms, they infect and damage plant roots causing annual crop losses valued at $80-$118 billion worldwide. With most of front-line nematicides being banned due to their extreme toxicity, it is urgent to develop new methods for nematode control. We focus on two groups of plant-parasitic nematodes: 1) Soybean cyst nematode (SCN), the most damaging pathogen of soybean in the US. We study distributions and virulence of SCN populations on soybean fields in Indiana to provide information to growers for effective SCN management. We are also interested in developing new bio-control agents for SCN. 2) Root-knot nematodes (RKNs) cause serious problems in melons and vegetables in Indiana. RKNs secrete effector proteins to root cells to facilitate their infection of plants. Our lab focuses on studying how nematode effectors manipulate plant processes at molecular levels during parasitism. Our goal is to translate the knowledge and develop crop resistance against RKNs by disrupting the molecular plant-nematode interactions using technologies such as gene editing and host-delivered RNAi.
Bioinformatics and Biologically Related Disciplines (genomics, nutrition, proteomics, statistical genetics)

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