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Faculty Bios

Barry Trimmer, IGERT Director
Henry Bromfield-Pearson Professor of Natural Sciences

Barry Trimmer is head of the "Neuromechanics and Biomimetic Robotics Laboratory". He has a professional background in neurobiology and invertebrate physiology and a life-long interest in motorcycle mechanics. His research group works on (1) the neural and mechanical control of caterpillar locomotion, (2) building soft robots that crawl, climb and roll, and (3) growing self-fueled robots using living insect cells. His group welcomes graduate student applications from all disciplines.
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David Kaplan, Director, Bioengineering and Biotechnology Center
Stern Family Professor and Chair, Department of Biomedical Engineering

Research at the interface between biology and materials science and engineering - aimed at understanding and controlling the biological synthesis and processing of polymers and polymer interfaces. Studies are focused on the manipulation of adult human stem cells on novel protein-based matrices in novel bioreactors to generate desired tissue outcomes — ligament, bone, cartilage.
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Michael Levin, Professor
Director of Tufts Center for Regenerative & Developmental Biology

Michael Levin was originally trained in computer science, working in artificial intelligence and information processing. His interest in the engineering of systems with adaptive behavior and self-repairing abilities led him to study the robust patterning mechanisms of living systems. The Levin lab studies storage and processing of patterning information among living cells during regeneration, development, and cancer suppression.
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Robert D. White, Associate Professor
Director of
Tufts Micro- and Nano-Fabrication Facility
Prof. White's research interests focus on Micro- and Nano-electromechanical systems (MEMS/NEMS) sensors and actuators, micro-fabrication processes and materials, and computational modeling of micro-electromechanical systems. These interests are directed towards device development and engineering science in micro- and nano-technology, with an emphasis on acoustic sensing, wind tunnel instrumentation, dynamic systems, and robotic systems.
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Christoph Börgers, Professor
Mathematical Neuroscience

Christoph Börgers is an applied mathematician with a background in the numerical solution of ordinary and partial differential equations. His main current research focus is in the area of differential equations models of networks of nerve cells, in particular mechanism leading to and the functional role of rhythmic synchrony in the brain.
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Luis Dorfmann, Associate Professor
Mechanics of Soft Materials Laboratory

Luis Dorfmann is interested in mathematical foundations of mechanical biology. He and collaborating students are using continuum models to simulate the transition of muscle tissue between passive and active states and viceversa. In particular, we focus on the interaction between electro-physiological stimuli and nonlinear deformations with the aim of developing general forms of constitutive law for nonlinear biohybrid materials.
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Soha Hassoun, Associate Professor
Software algorithms and methodologies for multiscale complex systems
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Marc Hodes, Associate Professor
Mechanical Engineering
Marc Hodes' area of interest is transport phenomena. Current research in his Group is focused on the analysis of convection in the presence of apparent slip, a foundational understanding of the drying of wet gels using supercritical carbon dioxide and the computation of conjugate Nusselt numbers for heat sinks. Applications of the research include the enhanced thermal management of electronics, reduced cost aerogel-based insulation and reduced energy consumption data centers.
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Valencia Koomson, Associate Professor
Valencia Joyner Koomson leads the Advanced Integrated Circuits and Systems Lab. Her research focuses on the integration of heterogeneous devices/materials (optical, RF, bio/chemical) with silicon-based nanoscale circuit architectures to address challenges in high-speed wireless communication, biomedical imaging, and point-of-care medical instrumentation. Her group is also involved in the design and synthesis of biomimetic electronic systems based on the nonlinear dynamics of micro/nanoscale silicon devices.
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Gary G. Leisk, Senior Lecturer & Research Assistant Professor
Mechanical Engineering

Novel biomaterial systems, soft fiber-reinforced composite scaffolds
William Messner, John R. Beaver Professor of Mechanical Engineering
Chair, Department of Mechanical Engineering

Professor Messner specializes in application of controls to data storage systems, robotic systems, and microfluidics for biological research. Professor Messner was a member of Carnegie Mellon's teams that competed in the DARPA Grand Challenges and the Urban Challenge, and he worked on the Comprehensive Automation of Specialty Crops program funded by USDA. He is a Fellow of the AAAS, a Fellow of the ASME, and a Senior Member of IEEE. He is an avid swimmer and a big fan of Italian cappuccinos.
Matthew J. Panzer, Assistant Professor
Matthew Panzer leads the Green Energy and Nanostructured Electronics Laboratory within the Department of Chemical & Biological Engineering at Tufts University. From a chemical engineering perspective, his group seeks to better understand and improve upon next-generation optoelectronic and electrochemical devices for energy applications. Current interests include: ionogel electrolytes for capacitive energy storage, semiconducting metal oxide thin film electrodeposition, and novel light-emitting device architectures.
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Robert Peattie, Research Associate Professor, Surgery
Robert Peattie directs the Biomechanics-Hemodynamics Laboratory. Research in his lab is centered on understanding the physiologic responses of cells, tissues and organs to mechanical challenges, principally in the context of hemodynamic environments, with 3 primary focus areas: (i) investigating hemodynamics and vascular mechanotransduction in anatomically real, patient-based geometries, (ii) engineering synthetic extracellular matrices for in vivo post-implantation elicitation of localized, sustained therapeutic responses, and (iii) developing synthetic artificial blood vessels emulating the ultrastructure and cellular components of native vessels.
Jason Rife, Assistant Professor
Mechanical Engineering

Dr. Rife's is the head of the Automated Systems and Robotics (ASAR) Lab. The goal of the ASAR lab is to develop novel control, navigation and interface technologies that ensure safe, reliable and seamless interactions between human and machine.
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Chris B. Rogers, Professor, Mechanical Engineering
Co-Director of Center for Engineering Education & Outreach

Chris Rogers' research includes the engineering of musical instruments (Steinway), wafer manufacturing (Intel), educational robotics (LEGO & National Instruments), and studying how people learn engineering (NSF). He also has spent time burning couches, building underwater robots, developing robots driven by fruit flies, measuring turbulence in microgravity, and measuring incubator temperatures around goose eggs (a local 1st grade classroom).
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Matthias Scheutz, Director, Human-Robot Interaction Laboratory
Associate Professor

Matthias Scheutz is the director of the Human-Robot Interaction Laboratory. He has formal training in philosophy, formal logic, computer science, cognitive science, and robotics, and his research interests lie in the intersection of those fields. Work in his lab includes various types of computational models of human cognitive functions as well as animal behavior and those models are implemented and run on a variety of robots.
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Igor Sokolov, Professor, Bernard M. Gordon Senior Faculty Fellow
Prof. Sokolov's research interests focus on Micro- and Nano-mechanics, sensors, materials, and photonics. Igor's current research focuses on nanomechanics of soft material, molecules and cells; atomic force microscopy, self-assembly of nanoporous materials, nanophotonics, and the studies towards understanding of nature of cancer, early detection of cancer based on altered biophysical properties of cells and tissues.
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Sameer Sonkusale, Associate Professor, Director, Nanoscale Sensors, Integrated Circuits and Metamaterials Lab
Sameer Sonkusale directs Nanoscale Integrated Sensors and Circuits Laboratory (NanoLab) with a highly interdisciplinary research focus. Current activities in his research group are in the area of (1) Flexible Biomedical Circuits (2) Nanoelectrochemical Sensors (3) Miniaturized instrumentation for sensing, imaging and spectroscopy (4) Analog to Information Converters and (5) Terahertz Technology.
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Samuel W. Thomas, Assistant Professor
Sam Thomas is an Assistant Professor, Tufts University Department of Chemistry. His research group works in the field of physical organic chemistry with an emphasis on the design, synthesis, and evaluation of new photoresponsive polymers.
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Eric D. Tytell, Assistant Professor
Eric Tytell is an interdisciplinary scientist with a background in organismal biology, fluid dynamics, and neuroscience. His group uses experimental and computational approaches to study the mechanics and neural control of swimming in fishes, including the fluid dynamics of undulatory propulsion, sensory physiology, and neural control of rhythmic behaviors. He welcomes graduate student applications from all disciplines.
Research website >
  Qiaobing Xu, Assistant Professor, Biomedical Engineering
Qiaobing Xu's research group mainly focuses on applying nanotechnology for biomedical uses, including tissue engineering and nanomedicine. Within tissue engineering, they have pioneered the use of nature-derived nanostructured tissue, e.g. decellularized tendon, as a source of biomaterials. They work to engineer these materials via a combination of tissue sectioning, multilayer stacking and rolling into constructs with innovative biomedical functions. Within nanomedicine, his group is working on developing novel lipid-based nanoparticles to deliver various biomacromolecules for therapeutic applications.