New researchers from engineering and science join Petit Institute team
New Petit Institute researchers are (clockwise from left): Michael Varenberg, Lily Cheung, Vinyak Agarwal, W. Hong Yeo, Hicham Drissi, Shuichi Takayama, Brooks Lindsey, Erik Dreaden, and Saad Bhamla.
The Petit Institute for Bioengineering and Bioscience has increased its collective IQ with the addition of nine new researchers from across the Georgia Institute of Technology campus and beyond.
Bringing the total number of Petit Institute multidisciplinary member researchers to 209 are Vinayak Agarwal, Saad Bhamla, Lily Cheung, Erik Dreaden, Hicham Drissi, Brooks Lindsey, Shuichi Takayama, Michael Varenberg, and W. Hong Yeo.
Agarwal is an assistant professor in the School of Chemistry and Biochemistry, where he is interested in questions involving (meta)genomics, biochemistry, structural and mechanistic enzymology, mass spectrometry, analytical chemistry, and how natural product chemistry dictates biology. His lab is particularly interested in natural products, which are at the forefront of fighting the global epidemic of antibiotic resistant pathogens.
Bhamla is an assistant professor in the School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering. His research seeks, among other things, to: understand ultra-fast motility at the single-cell level; leverage the fundamental principles and understanding of biological soft matter for human-health applications (including diagnostics to artificial therapeutic replacements and biomedical devices); design and build scientifically rigorous, affordable tools and health care devices.
Cheung is an assistant professor in the School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering. As principal investigator of the Plant Genetic Engineering Lab, her goal is to bring quantitative techniques and mathematical modeling to plants in order to gain systems-level insight into their physiology and development, particularly to understanding how metabolic and gene regulatory networks interact to control homeostasis and growth.
Dreaden is assistant professor in Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering at Georgia Tech and Emory, holding a joint appointment in the Department of Pediatrics at Emory’s School of Medicine. His lab uses molecular engineering to impart augmented, amplified, or non-natural function to tumor therapies and immunotherapies, with the overall goal to engineer molecular and nanoscale tools that can improve understanding of fundamental tumor biology and simultaneously serve as cancer therapies that are more tissue-exclusive and patient-personalized.
Drissi is a professor in Emory’s Department of Cell Biology as well as the Department of Orthopaeidics, where he serves as vice chairman. In that role, he is leading a new strategic vision for musculoskeletal and orthopaedic research, and overseeing the recruitment of new faculty and other essential employees to be engaged in the research mission. He has extensive experience mentoring junior faculty, research fellows, and lab personnel.
Lindsey is an assistant professor in the Coulter Department. His lab is focused on developing new tools, techniques, and systems for medical imaging. All of his team’s research involves ultrasound, including the development of novel sensors, contrast agents, and image and signal processing algorithms. Lindsey is also a member of the Georgia Center for Medical Robotics.
Takayama is a professor in the Coulter Department (where he holds the Price Gilbert Jr. Chair in Regenerative Engineering) and a Georgia Research Alliance Eminent Scholar. His work has focused on the development of micro- and nano-fluidic technologies (organs-on-a-chip systems, for instance, and therapeutic microfluidic systems for treating infertility), and applying that to the study of cells, proteins, DNA, and chromatin.
Varenberg is an assistant professor in the Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering. Relative motion between a solid surface and a contacting substance is essential for the function of natural and artificial mechanisms. So, the research in his Tribology and Surface Engineering Lab seeks to understand and mimic the behavior of interacting surfaces in the world of animals and plants, while uncovering the biological side of adhesion, friction, lubrication, and wear.
Yeo is also an assistant professor of micro- and nano-engineering in the Woodruff School. Working with a wide range of multidisciplinary collaborators from around the world, the Yeo lab’s work in bio-interfaced translational nano-engineering focuses on soft electronics for human health monitoring, human-machine interfaces (via wearable electronics), low-profile implantable electronics, high-throughput fabrication of micro- and nano-structures, nano-biosensors for disease diagnostics, as well as sensors and actuators for radiotherapy.
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