Laboratories and Centers
Tandon's biomedical engineers are building the technology for a healthier future. Our work straddles multiple areas of expertise, and spans a number of different fields and specializations.
Medical Imaging and Data Analysis
This field involves designing new medical imaging instrumentation and methods as well as developing novel algorithms that help to analyze medical images and data. Artificial Intelligence and deep learning play an increasing role and our department collaborates closely with the Department of Radiology at NYU Langone.
The AOIL consists of a team of ophthalmologists, engineers, software specialists, statisticians, and trainees that focus primarily on the study of glaucoma, a leading cause of blindness in the world. The groups of Profs. Schuman, Wollstein and Ishikawa develop advanced imaging tools to detect this disease, monitor its progression, and investigate its pathogenesis.
Professor Dan Sodickson’s research primarily addressed the development of new techniques for biomedical imaging to improve human health. He leads a multidisciplinary team that develops new methods for rapid continuous imaging, taking advantage of recent developments in parallel imaging, compressed sensing, and artificial intelligence. This work extends to clinical applications of MRI, PET and CT.
Professor Andreas Hielscher’s team focuses on developing clinically relevant optical tomographic imaging systems. They apply these devices and wearable electronics to the diagnosis and treatment of various diseases, such as breast cancer, arthritis, peripheral artery disease, diabetic foot syndrome, and real-time monitoring of brain activities.
Using advances in computer vision and machine learning, Professor Guido Gerig’s team develops image analysis methodologies related to segmentation, registration, atlas building, shape analysis, and image statistics. Collaboratively with clinical research, this work is driven by medical problems covering research in autism, Down's syndrome, eye diseases, Huntington's disease, and musculoskeletal disorders.
Professor Lattanzi’s research lies at the boundaries between physics, engineering, and medicine. His group develops new techniques to improve the diagnostic power of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). The main applications are in the areas of cartilage damage and hip osteoarthritis.
Professor Els Fieremans works on validation methods for diffusion magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) including hardware, numerical phantoms, and animal models. Her group seeks to develop and translate new imaging markers for neurodegeneration (e.g. Alzheimer’s), as well as body diffusion applications in muscles and prostate cancer.
Kevin Chan and his group are developing and applying new methods for noninvasive imaging of neurodegeneration, neurodevelopment, neuroplasticity, and neuroregeneration in people with vision-related diseases and injuries. They study the structural, metabolic, physiological, and functional relationships between the eyes, brain, and behavior with the mission to improve vision.
Professor Srinivasan’s group at the Tech4Health Institute develops novel light-based technologies to image the structure and function of the eye and brain. The techniques include near-infrared spectroscopy, optical coherence tomography, and optical coherence microscopy. In close collaboration with clinicians, they improve the diagnosis and treatment of glaucoma and neurodegenerative diseases.
Research activities in Professor Yao Wang’s group deal with encoding and distributing videos among a large number of users. Of special interest are diverse network access links and applications to biomedical imaging. The lab collaborates extensively with other research groups in wireless communication and networking at the School of Engineering and NYU’s medical school and hospitals.
In the laboratory of Professor Ivan Selesnick, PhD, researchers are interested in digital signal processing, sparsity in signal processing, and multi-dimensional wavelet-based signal/image/video processing. They develop new methods for signal filtering, separation, and deconvolution, especially in the area of biomedical imaging.
The work that Professor Samir Taneja and his colleagues are conducting at NYU Langone’s SCPCC and Perlmutter Cancer Center has transformed the field of prostate cancer diagnosis and therapy. Their clinical research focuses on the use of MRI to improve methods of prostate imaging, cancer detection, disease localization, and treatment.
Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine
This area of biomedical engineering focuses on the assembly of functional constructs that restore, maintain, or improve damaged tissues or whole organs. It also incorporates research on self-healing – where the body uses its own systems, sometimes with the help of foreign biological material, to recreate cells and rebuild tissues and organs.
Professor Lukasz Witek’s research group performs in vivo and in vitro evaluations of a wide range of (bio)materials that can be used as implants for dental and orthopedic applications. A special focus is on 3D printing of bio-ceramic materials for tissue regeneration.
The ultimate goal of Professor Kirsch’s research is to define novel therapeutic targets for the treatment of osteoarthritis and other joint diseases and injuries. To this end the laboratory studies mechanisms involved in the regulation of cartilage homeostasis, maintenance and pathology. In addition, research is performed on how cells and the joint environment interact.
Professor Alesha Castillo and her team study the interactions between mechanobiological cues and musculoskeletal systems with the long-term goal of developing novel biophysical, pharmaceutical, and stem cell-based interventions to improve musculoskeletal health
Professor Chakravarti’s research group tries to understand how the extracellular matrix (ECM) regulates cellular functions and tissue homeostasis. In their work they use cell cultures and mouse models to gain a better understanding of the role of neutrophil, macrophage and dendritic cell functions in bacterial and viral infections. In addition, they explore the ECM changes and the underlying genetic causes in corneal diseases.
Synthetic and Systems Bioengineering
This relatively young field is based on the premise that living systems are modular, and thus, able to be engineered. The emphasis lies on designing genetically encoded information and cell micro environments to gain a deeper understanding of living things as well as to generate useful products, such as advanced medical treatments.
The laboratory of Professor Jef Boeke is well known for foundational work on mechanistic and genomic aspects of retro-transposition in both yeast and mammalian systems. After more than three decades, they continue to scrutinize their favorite genomic parasites. In addition, the Boeke lab is heavily involved in the development of novel technologies in genetics, genomics and synthetic biology.
Professor Maurizio Porfiri’s group conducts multidisciplinary research in the theory and application of dynamical systems, motivated by the objectives of advancing engineering science and improving society. They perform research and development in the areas of robotics and mechatronics, experimental fluid mechanics, material characterization, animal behavior, and vibrations.
Blending theory with experiments, Professor Andras Gyorgy’s team focuses on the behavior of networks with particular emphasis on synthetic biology applications.
David Truong’s lab uses principles from synthetic and systems biology, cell fate reprogramming, epigenetics, and immunology. He and his team perform large-scale genome engineering in human and mouse stem cells towards cell therapies and regenerative medicine. The group currently focuses on developing programmable off-the-shelf dendritic cells from human iPSCs as a cancer immunotherapy platform. They are also building universal “personalized” iPSCs as an off-the-shelf cell for making living therapies.
Robotic and Rehabilitation Engineering
The main goals are the development of technological solutions and devices to assist individuals with disabilities and aid the recovery of physical and cognitive functions lost because of disease or injury. New technologies, including advanced brain-machine interfaces, increase mobility, communication, hearing, vision and cognition of affected patients.
The mission of the Professor Atashzar’s lab is to develop human-machine interface technologies, intelligent robotic systems and smart wearables to augment human capabilities beyond natural competence. A particular focus is interactive neuro-rehabilitation robotic and surgical robotic systems.
Professor Smita Rao and her colleagues in the Center of Health and Rehabilitation Research study the effects of exercise in individuals with diabetes, neuropathy, osteoarthritis, and other musculoskeletal conditions. Her research focuses on improving physical therapy and rehabilitation care in these patients.
Advances in miniaturized sensors and actuators, as well as artificial intelligence (AI), have broadened horizons for assistive and rehabilitative technologies. The team of Professor JohnRoss Rizzo, MD, is leveraging these innovations to help patients with conditions such as blindness and stroke, enhancing their ability to interact physically with their environment.
Nano- and Micro- Bioengineering
This branch of engineering involves the development and application of materials and devices to study biological processes and to treat disease at the level of single cells, molecules and atoms. A particular strength at NYU are bio-fluidics and lab-on-a-chip technologies.
Professor Qasaimeh’s group is developing micro and nanotechnologies for healthcare applications. Of special interest are devices for point-of-care diagnostics that use blood samples to detect, for example, metastatic tumor cells or fetal cells for genetic analysis. His research elucidates how cancer cells migrate in the body and how white blood cells respond to infections.
Taking advantage of state-of-art nanotechnologies and fabricating fascinating functional biomaterials and integrated biosystems, Professor Weiqiang Chen’s laboratory addresses numerous important problems in fundamental biology as well as clinical applications in disease diagnosis and treatment.
Professor Sohmyung Ha’s lab aims at advancing the engineering and applications of silicon integrated technology interfacing with biology. This is approached in a variety of forms, ranging from implantable biomedical devices to unobtrusive wearable sensors.
The research in the Professor Yong-Ak (Rafael) Song’s group at NYU-AD lies at the interface between biology, physics and engineering. More specifically, their research is focused on applying microfluidics and nanofluidics to broad range of challenges in bioscience and medicine.
We are involved in inventing cutting-edge photonic techniques for detecting individual virus particles. We recently detected single Influenza A virus in-vitro and is pushing its patented Whispering Gallery Mode Biosensor to higher sensitivity in order to detect single HIV virions.
Hoagang Cai’s lab advancec nanotechnology for biological and biomedical applications. Employing nanolithographic technology, his group creates designer biomaterials and metasurfaces with unprecedented precision and functionality. Applications range from studying T-cell activation in cancer treatment to photo-stimulation in optogenetics and brain research.
Nanomedicine is a fast-emerging field that focuses on the development and application of nanomaterials to diagnose and treat diseases. Professor Nathalie Pinkerton’s team focuses on the creation of functional soft materials via scalable synthetic processes. To that end they employ tools from chemical and materials engineering, nanotechnology, chemistry, and biology. Their work leads to a better understanding of nanomaterial behavior in biological systems and, for example, more sensitive contrast agents for medical imaging.
Jin Kim Montclare’s lab is performing groundbreaking research in engineering proteins to mimic nature and, in some cases, work better than nature. Her team works to customize artificial proteins with the aim of targeting human disorders, drug delivery and tissue regeneration as well as create nanomaterials for electronics. Applications of this multidisciplinary research in chemistry and genetic engineering range from new vehicles for drug delivery to treating breast cancer.
Neuroengineering is a multidisciplinary field that involves the use of engineering technology to study and influence neurodegenerative diseases and function of the brain. Research at NYU is primarily focused on interfacing with the nervous system either by novel non-invasive imaging methods or the development of implantable technology and materials.
The research in Professor Sage Chen’s lab aims to find solutions for real-time brain-machine interfaces, pain management, and psychiatric disorders. Developing a better understanding of memory and sleep is another goal. To accomplish all this, they advance and integrate the fields of computational neuroscience, neural engineering, and machine learning.
Todd Hudson is a computational neuroscientist whose research focuses on modeling sensory and motor systems, particularly eye and arm movements in healthy and disease states. He received his training at the Clarence Graham Memorial Laboratory of Visual Science at Columbia University, and co-founded Tactile Navigation Tools, LLC, a company that develops navigation aids for the visually impaired.
Professor Khalil Ramadi and his team develop innovative approaches for the modulation of neural activity throughout the body. The goal is to come up with novel therapies for neurologic, metabolic, and immune disorders. They combine mechanical, electrical, materials, and bio-engineering toolkits in the design of minimally invasive technologies.
Despite their centrality to everyday life, the neural underpinnings of motor sequences in human speech are poorly understood. Prof. Long’s group seeks to identify the relevant brain processing centers involved in communication. To accomplish this, they focus on three distinct types of behaviors and models: song production in the zebra finch, counter-singing in Alston’s brown mice, and human speech.
Professor Rose Faghih group develops biomedical signal processing and control algorithms for human-technology interactions and monitoring. These state-of-the-art tools are employed for prognosis, diagnosis, and treatment of pathological conditions related to neuro-endocrine and neuro-psychiatric disorders.
The team of Professor Shy Shoham works at the interface of neuroscience and engineering, developing and applying modern bidirectional neural interfaces for observing and controlling neural population activity patterns. Their goal is to better understand sensory-motor information coding and to advance medical neurotechnology.
How is language produced and perceived in the human brain? What are the network dynamics that allow us to fluently communicate? These questions are still poorly understood and collaborations between scientists, clinicians, and engineers are crucial for making progress in this fascinating field. Adeen Flinker and his team are using unique human neurosurgical recordings and advanced data processing algorithms to elucidate these questions.
Cell and Immuno Bioengineering
This emerging area involves the application of engineering tools and principles to quantitatively study the immune system in health and diseases. The overarching goal is the development of therapeutic interventions for precisely controlling and modulating a patient's immune response, e.g. to fight cancer.
Professor Liam Holt and his team are investigating how perturbations to the physical properties of the cell interior through mechanical forces impact cell and developmental biology. They apply this knowledge to improve ways to treat cancer and neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s.
Professor Jeremy Teo and his LIBRA team study the mechanobiology of single immune cells and the implications of microenvironmental cues in down-stream immune biology. They are interested in depicting the mechanisms of these signals and modulating the immune outcome using bioengineering strategies. The overall goal is the development of technologies for translational therapeutics.
To respond to a changing environment, cells have to express the right genes at the right time. Prof. Timothy Lionnet’s lab tries to understand how exactly this is achieved and how robust responses emerge from random molecular events. Getting insights into these biomolecular processes will ultimately provide new tools to tackle, for example, wound healing, cancer, and many other diseases.