Pitt | Swanson Engineering
Bioengineering Research Overview

Bioengineering research at the University of Pittsburgh incorporates the application of engineering and biologic principles, methods, and technology in two broad areas: scientific inquires into fundamental biological phenomena; development of instrumentation, materials, devices, and systems relative to application in the biological sciences and medicine. Active, externally funded areas of research include: computer processing of biologically derived signals; computer analysis of radiographic, ultrasonic, and nuclear magnetic resonance images; development of prostheses, artificial organs, and implantable sensors; development of medically related instrumentation; mathematical modeling of physiological systems; tissue engineering; environmental control technology using biological and physical chemical techniques; biomaterials and biocompatibility; musculoskeletal biomechanics and sports medicine; cardiovascular biomechanics; and, rehabilitation biomechanics.


The Department has recently undertaken a major organizational thrust in Translational Research. Translational Research at Pittsburgh aims to improve patient care and accelerate the delivery of healthcare technology from academia to the patient via a Bedside to Bench to Business to Bedside (B4) paradigm.


Name Department Research Interest
Abramowitch, Steven Bioengineering Elucidating the processes of injury, disease, and healing of connective tissues through an understanding of tissue mechanics and the complex relationships between composition, structure, and function.
Aizenstein, Howard Psychiatry Using functional MRI to relate depression in the elderly to neuroanatomy.
Almarza, Alejandro Dental Medicine-Oral Biology Temporomandibular Joint Cartilage and Bone Regeneration and Biomechanics. Functional tissue engineering techniques; development of novel bioreactors; identifying appropriate stem cell sources; genetic manipulation of cells to promote regeneration; and quantification of joint movement.
Anderson, Carolyn Pharmacology and Chemical Biology Development of novel molecular imaging agents that target cancer and cancer metastasis. Clinical interests include translating novel PET agents for cancer imaging into humans.
Antaki, James CMU/Bioengineering Implantable prosthetic organs, instruments for minimally invasive surgery.
Ataai, Mohammad Chemical/Petroleum Engineering Bioprocess engineering, cell culture, viral vectors for gene therapy.
Badylak, Stephen Surgery Tissue engineering and wound healing, biomaterial/tissue interactions.
Bae, Kyong Tae Radiology Research focuses on quantitative and physiologic imaging and computer applications in diagnostic imaging.
Bai, Mingfeng Med-Radiology/Bioengineering In vitro and in vivo biomedical imaging of cancers and Alzheimer's disease
Balaban, Carey Otolaryngology Anatomy, neurophysiology and neurochemistry of vestibular function.
Banerjee, Ipsita Chemical and Petroleum Engineering Stem cell differentiation, tissue engineering, systems biology, gene/protein network modeling, cell population dynamics modeling.
Batista, Aaron Bioengineering Neurophysiology of sensory-motor coordination, brain-machine interfaces.
Beniash, Elia Dental Medicine-Oral Biology Biomineralization, with primary focus dental tissues.
Boninger, Michael Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Assistive technology, upper extremity pain, wheelchairs, telerehabilitation.
Borovetz, Harvey Bioengineering Cardiovascular organ replacements for adult and pediatric patients.
Brienza, David Rehab Science and Technology Soft tissue mechanics, wheelchair seating, pressure ulcer prevention.
Brigham, John Civil Engineering Development of efficient computational methods for the representation of multiphysics and multiscale systems, solution strategies for inverse problems associated with nondestructive and noninvasive testing, and numerical modeling of biological systems.
Brown, Bryan Bioengineering Inductive, Scaffold Based Regenerative Medicine, Host Innate Immune Interactions in Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine
Chakraborty, Dev Bioengineering/Radiology  
Cham, Rakié Bioengineering Postural control, gross movement biomechanics, gait, falls, ergonomics.
Chambers, April Bioengineering Gait biomechanics, injury prevention, ergonomics, fatigue, prosthetics, human performance enhancement engineering
Chan, Kevin Ophthalmology Mechanistic processes for microstructural reorganization and functional recovery in vivo during visual brain plasticity and regeneration
Chan, Chuen Civil & Environmental Engineering Structural, metabolic and functional imaging of the visual system in health and disease.
Chu, Constance Orthopedic Surgery Growth factor releasing polymers to enhance repair, tissue engineered cartilage disks.
Chun, Youngjae Mechanical Engineering Artificial biomaterials, bio-hybrid composites, endovascular devices, diagnostic vascular implants, and micro-bio-systems, as well as fundamental device-associated biocompatibility and development of experimental methods.
Collinger, Jennifer Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Neurorehabilitation and brain-computer interfacing.
Cooper, Gregory Surgery Translational-related research based on tissue engineering for the Department of Surgery, Division of Plastic Surgery. He is Director of the Craniofacial Biology Laboratory at Children's Hospital.
Cooper, Rory Rehab Science and Technology Rehabilitation engineering, biomechanics, assistive devices, and rehabilitation robotics.
Corcoran, Timothy Medicine Aerosol drug delivery, fluid mechanics, nuclear medicine, cystic fibrosis.
Cui, Xinyan (Tracy) Bioengineering Neural tissue engineering, electrode/tissue interface, bioactive conducting polymer.
Datta, Moni Bioengineering Bone tissue engineering and renewable energy science
Davidson, Lance Bioengineering Reverse Engineering Morphogenesis: From Cell Motility & ECM to Tissue Mechanics.
Debski, Richard Bioengineering Biomechanics of shoulder & knee, soft tissue injuries & repair, robotics.
Ding, Dan Rehab Science and Technology Assistive device instrumentation and monitoring; wheelchair modeling, control, test, and evaluation; rehabilitation robotics; virtual reality.
Duncan, Andrew Pathology Elucidating mechanisms that control hepatic polyploidy and aneuploidy, as well as how these processes affect human disease.
Falo, Louis Dermatology Melanoma and nonmelanoma skin cancers. Clinical trials of novel immune therapies for psoriasis and cutaneous T cell lymphomas.
Farrokhi, Shawn Physical Therapy Lower extremity dysfunction and joint pathology, identifying factors that contribute to altered patellofemoral joint mechanics in persons with patellofemoral pain (PFP) and osteoarthritis.
Federspiel, William Bioengineering Artificial lung, cardiovascular devices, biotransport, tissue engineering.
Friberg, Thomas Ophthalmology Bio-mechanical properties of ocular tissues and how they are altered in diseases and disorders.
Fu, Jiantao Bioengineering Medical Image Analysis
Furman, Joseph Otolaryngology Improving the testing methods relating to balance system abnormalities, increasing the understanding of human inner ear (vestibular) function, and enhancing the rehabilitation of people with inner ear disease.
Galeotti, John Bioengineering Real-time in-situ holographic projection of tomographic data, adding capabilities to medical robot controllers, improving existing computer-integrated surgical systems, and enabling new levels of computer disease diagnosis.
Gandhi, Neeraj (Raj) Bioengineering Neural basis of coordinated eye and head motion.
Gao, Jin Bioengineering Tissue engineering for vital organ, drug and gene delivery.
Gaunt, Robert Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Sensorimotor learning, neural coding, neuroprosthetics, functional electrical stimulation, neuromuscular control and rehabilitation.
Gerlach, Jörg Surgery Bioreactor, hybrid organs, bio-artificial liver, stem cells.
Gilbert, Thomas W. Surgery Extracellular matrix scaffolds, tissue engineering, trachea, lung, heart, congenital defects, bioreactor development
Goitz, Robert Orthopedic Surgery Orthopedic surgery, upper extremity, biomechanics, compressive neuropathies.
Gronenborn, Angela Structural Biology Biomolecular structure and its correlation to function in transcription factor complexes, HIV-1 proteins, and signaling proteins.
He, Qiuhong Radiology Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopic imaging of cancer.
Hirschman, Alan Bioengineering Medical product development and educating new product entrepreneurs.
Hostler, David Emergency Medicine Resuscitation, hypothermia, environmental physiology, first responder safety
Huard, Johnny Orthopedic Surgery Gene therapy, tissue engineering/regeneration, muscle-derived stem cells.
Hung, Tin-Kan Bioengineering Computational fluid mechanics and biomechanics.
Huppert, Theodore Radiology Development and testing of physiologically plausible models of cerebral physiology and the application of these models to human imaging experiments; development of new MRI, optical, EEG, and MEG methods.
Ibrahim, Tamer Bioengineering Antenna design for MRI & biological implantable devices; computational electromagnetics.
Isenberg, Jeffery S. Medicine Enhancing tissue blood flow, perfusion and wound healing, and stem from his background as a reconstructive microsurgeon.
Ishikawa, Hiroshi Ophthalmology Image analysis methods for assessment of retina using various ocular imaging modalities.
Janowski, Ronald Cook MyoSite Inc. Research and product development
Kagemann, Lawrence Ophthalmology Functional and structural imaging of the eye, including hemodynamic and metabolic measurements. Spectral domain and swept-source optical coherence tomography, expanding its applications to blood flow and oximetry in the retina, and non-invasive direct measurement of aqueous outflow in the anterior segment of the eye.
Kalinski, Pawel Medicine Role of prostanoids and proinflammatory factors in the regulation of the immune cell entry into cancer.
Kameneva, Marina Surgery Biorheology, hemorheology, hemodynamics and mechanical blood trauma in artificial organs.
Kellum, John Critical Care Medicine Critical care nephrology, sepsis and multi-organ failure, and clinical epidemiology
Khanwilkar, Pratap Bioengineering Translational research to help identify and develop potential medical therapies.
Kim, Seong-Gi Radiology Development of in vivo NMR techniques which provide information on function, physiology, and anatomy.
Kim, Kang Medicine Development of imaging research in the Center for Ultrasound Molecular Imaging and Therapeutics; high resolution nonlinear ultrasound elasticity imaging; high resolution thermal strain imaging; molecular contrast imaging.
Kim, Seonggi Med-Radiology/Bioengineering fMRI
Klein-Seetharaman, Judith Structural Biology Structure and dynamics of retinal membrane receptors and negatively charged proteins.
Kochanek, Patrick Med-Critical Care Medicine/Bioengineering Neuro-critical care, resuscitation, and traumatic brain injury
Koontz, Alicia Rehabilitation Science and Technology Rehabilitation biomechanics, upper limb injury prevention, assistive technology, and functional electrical stimulation.
Kumta, Prashant Bioengineering Nanostructured materials; non-viral gene and protein delivery, energy storage systems, mineralized tissue engineering.
Lathrop, Kira Opthalmology Imaging, microscopy, image analysis and quantitation, the Palisades of Vogt, optical coherence tomography.
Lavasani, Mitra Surgery Muscle-derived stem cells (MDSCs) transplantation to enhance axonal/glial regeneration and provide functional recovery to peripheral nervous system (PNS) injuries in murine experimental models
Laymon, Charles Radiology Imaging instrumentation, and algorithm and methods development
Leuba, Sanford Cell Biology and Physiology Single-molecule approaches for the study of molecular motors and chromatin fibers in the nucleus.
Li, Song Pharmacy Development of lipid- and polymer-based nanodelivery systems for targeted delivery of various types of therapeutics including nucleic acids (genes, siRNA, and peptide nucleic acids), proteins, and small molecules (e.g., anticancer agents and antioxidants).
Little, Steven Chemical and Petroleum Engineering Drug delivery, biomimetics, immunotherapeutics, tissue engineering, biomaterials, synthetic systems.
Liu, Yang Medicine Biomedical optics; optical spectroscopy and imaging for cancer diagnosis, surveillance and prevention.
Lotze, Michael Surgery Tumor immunology, biomarkers, intracellular signaling, multicolor flow cytometry.
Loughlin, Patrick Bioengineering Non-stationary signal processing, analysis/modeling of human postural control.
Lund, Laura Freshmen Engineering  
Mahboobin, Arash Bioengineering Computational biomechanics, human postural control, time-varying signals and systems, and hybrid-optimization.
Maiti, Spandan Bioengineering Computational mechanics and materials science, multiscale and multiphysics techniques applied to physical and biological systems.
Malandro, Marc Bioengineering Technology management and commercialization
Mao, Zhi-Hong Electrical and Computer Engineering Networked control in neural systems, transportation systems, electric power systems, and economic systems.
Marra, Kacey Surgery Nerve regeneration, polymeric conduits, microspheres/hydrogels, stem cells.
McMahon, Patrick Bioengineering Dr. McMahon provides comprehensive care for shoulder and elbow problems and treatment for basic knee injuries.
Menegazzi, James Emergency Medicine Resuscitation from cardiac arrest, ventricular fibrillation, ventilation adjuncts, emergency medicine.
Miller, Mark Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science Mechanical behavior of all structures in the human shoulder, human gait and strength related to the repair of hip fractures; influence of the mechanical environment on the growth of bone in lengthening procedures and the effect of stress on diffusion in nonlinear materials.
Moalli, Pamela Obstetrics, Gynecology & Reproductive Sciences Pathophysiology and treatment of pelvic organ prolapse.
Modo, Michael Radiology Stem cell therapy, such as neural stem cells, stem cell repair, stem cell differentiation, immunological aspects of cell therapy.
Musahl, Volker Orthopaedic Surgery Sports medicine; comprehensive care of injuries to the knee, shoulder, elbow, hip, and ankle.
Oudega, Martin Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Spinal cord injury; secondary damage; neuroprotection; axon regeneration; axon myelination; behavioral restoration; glial scar; growth inhibitors; chondroitin sulfate proteoglycans; cell transplantation; neurotrophins; deoxyribozymes; Schwann cells; bone marrow stromal cells; stem cells; viral vectors; light microscopy; fluorexcence microscopy; electron microscopy.
Patzer, John Bioengineering Tissue engineering for artificial liver, implantable glucose sensors.
Pearlman, Jon Health & Rehab Sciences Assistive technology design, technology transfer, failure testing and implication on AT design on health and satisfaction of end-users.
Pettegrew, Jay Psychiatry Magnetic resonance imaging and spectroscopy to study diseases of the brain.
Phillippi, Julie Cardiothoracic Surgery Understanding the cellular and molecular mechanisms of ascending aortic aneurysms in patients with bicuspid aortic valve and other heritable disorders.
Pinkus, Rosa Medicine Ethical components in practical bioengineering, modeling learning of ethics.
Pinsky, Michael Critical Care Medicine Complexity modeling of physiological signals to define health and disease. Use of programmable multi-site pacing to optimize LV contraction synchrony. Effectiveness of hemodynamic monitoring to drive resuscitation from circulatory shock
Pitt, Bruce Environmental and Occupational Health Pulmonary endothelial cell biology, metal ion homeostasis, NO, oxidants.
Pu, Jianto Radiology Interface between computer science and biomedicine with focus on biomedical image analysis, biomedical informatics, computer-aided detection/diagnosis, computer graphics and vision, machine learning, and human-computer interaction.
Qian, Yongxian Radiology Development of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) pulse sequences, image reconstructions and novel probing mechanisms; Clinical applications to knee osteoarthritis, brain tumors and neurological disorders.
Redfern, Mark Engineering Office of the Dean Postural control, vestibular disorders in elderly, visual/proprioceptive cues.
Rizzo, Piervincenzo Civil and Environmental Engineering In-the-field nondestructive testing/evaluation, structural health monitoring, signal processing and automatic pattern recognition for real-time prognosis of structural and biological materials, and implementation of embedded sensor network for the health monitoring of civil, mechanical and aerospace structures.
Robertson, Anne Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science Continuum mechanics, with emphasis on Newtonian and non-Newtonian fluid dynamics, cerebral vascular disease, and constitutive modeling of soft biological tissues.
Roy, Partha Bioengineering Cancer biology, cytoskeleton and cell migration, angiogenesis, cell signaling, optical manipulation of proteins
Rubin, J. Peter Surgery Adipose stem cell biology and applications to regenerative medicine.
Russel, Alan Radiology Exploiting the rich interface of chemistry, biology and materials.
Salama, Guy Medicine Cardiac Arrhythmia Mechanisms, 3-D imaging of electrical activity.
Sant, Shilpa Pharmaceutical Sciences To develop tissue-engineered tumor models that recreate the three-dimensional structure, cell-cell/cell-ECM interaction, stromal environments, and signalling cues present in vivo.
Samosky, Joseph Anesthesiology Creating bridges between medicine and engineering, helping to develop solutions at the interface of clinical medicine, technology, and education.
Schaefer, Andrew Industrial Engineering Disease progression and optimal treatment plans for end stage liver disease, sepsis, and HIV.
Schatten, Gerald Obstetrics, Gynecology & Reproductive Sciences. Developmental, reproductive and molecular medicine research from preconception through birth
Schaub, Richard Bioengineering Clinical use of artificial organ technologies.
Schmidt, David Otolaryngology  
Schuman, Joel Ophthalmology Ocular imaging for early detection of glaucoma and glaucoma progression, aqueous humor outflow and aqueous dynamics, laser-tissue interactions in the eye and electronic health records in ophthalmology.
Schwartz, Andrew Neurobiology Neurobiology, motor neurophysiolgy, neural prosthetics, chronic microelectrodes.
Sell, Timothy Sports Medicine and Nutrition Injury prevention and control, knee injury biomechanics, accelerometers, ACL injuries
Sfeir, Charles Dental Medicine-Oral Biology Role of extracellular matrix in tissue engineering and biomineralization; The use of bioceramic nanoparticles in non-viral DNA gene delivery.
Shroff, Sanjeev Bioengineering Mechano-energetic function of the heart, underlying cellular processes.
Sigal, Ian Ophthalmology Ocular biomechanics, simulation/modeling, methods for multivariate analysis, statistical shape analysis and geometric morphometrics
Simon, Marc A. Bioengineering, Surgery Cardiology; right ventricular structure and function; ventricular assist devices, cardiac resynchronization therapy.
Simpson, Richard Rehabilitation Science and Technology Rehabilitation robotics, assistive technology, human-computer interaction .
Smith, Matthew Ophthalmology Neurophysiology of vision, eye movements, and perception, chronic microelectrode recordings, neural prosthetics, computational neuroscience
Smithgall, Thomas Med-Microbiology and Molecular/Bioengineering Antiretroviral and antineoplastic drug recovery and high-throughput assay design
Smithgall, Matthew Med-Opthalmology/Bioengineering Visual Neuroscience/Neural Engineering
Sowa, Gwendolyn Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Research on disk and spine deterioration and the mechanisms of back pain
Sparto, Patrick Physical Therapy Effects of aging and vestibular disease on postural control.
Star, Alexander Chemistry/Bioengineering (I )synthesis and characterization of nanomaterials, (ii) nano-bio-sensors, and (iii) nanotoxicology/drug delivery
Stetten, George Bioengineering In situ image guided intervention, image analysis, open-source software.
Sun, Mingui Neurological Surgery Neurophysiology, detection/localization of electrical generators in the brain.
Sundd, Prithu Medicine/Bioengineering Elucidating the mechanism of WBC recruitment to sites of inflammation, role of inflammation in the complications associated with SCD and ALI
Taboas, Juan Oral Biology Tissue engineering of multiphasic skeletal and craniofacial tissues; microtissue fabrication with photo-patterning, biomaterial scaffolds, and microfluidic bioreactors.
Tai, Changfeng Urology Bladder and sphincter functions in normal and neurological disorder condition, modeling analysis of electrical nerve stimulation, and restoring locomotion function after spinal cord injury by electrical stimulation of lumbar spinal cord
Tarin, Tatum Urology His research in Pittsburgh included harvesting human muscle from organ donors in an effort to harvest stem cells for the treatment of urologic disease
Tashman, Scott Orthopaedic Surgery Kinematics, dynamics of human movement, medical imaging, musculoskeletal modeling and instrumentation design.
Teichert, Tobias Med-Psychiatry/Bioengineering Building an ultrasoundbased non-invasive localized brain-drug delivery system for non-human primates
Tsui, Fu Med-Biomedical Informatics/Intelligent systems Machine learning, biosurveillance, time series, signal processing
Tobita, Kimimasa Developmental Biology Cardiovascular development, cardiac morphogenesis, mechanical load, tissue engineering, myocardial graft.
Torres-Oviedo, Gelsy Bioengineering Device-induced locomotor adaptation in adults and children to natural walking.
Tuan, Rocky Orthopedic Surgery Development, growth and health of the musculoskeletal system, stem cell biology, and engineering-based technologies to regenerate and/or restore function to diseased and damaged musculoskeletal tissues.
Turner, Robert Neurobiology Motor physiology of basal ganglia, thalamus and cortex, Parkinson's disease, dystonia, deep brain stimulation, skill learning.
Tyler-Kabara, Elizabeth Neurological Surgery Cerebral palsy, spasticity; dystonia; movement disorders; pediatric spinal disorders.
Vazquez, Alberto Radiology Role and properties of dynamic neuro-vascular and neuro-metabolic couplings in normal brain function, as well as impact of pathologies on these processes using optical (two-photon microscopy, fluorescence microscopy), magnetic resonance and electrophysiological methods.
Velikokhatnyi, Oleg Bioengineering Materials engineering (alternative energy sources and biomaterials).
Vipperman, Jeffrey Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science Joint motion simulators and control. Numerical modeling of blast-induced traumatic brain injury.
Vodovotz, Yoram Surgery Study of regenerative medicine to understand how we can facilitate the body's ability to heal itself. Mathematical modeling to unify and gain insight into the biological interactions that characterize inflammatory conditions (e.g., septic or hemorrhagic shock, wound healing).
Vorp, David Bioengineering Mechanics of vascular disease, tissue-engineered blood vessels, stem cells.
Wagner, William Surgery Cardiovascular tissue engineering, blood interactions with artificial surfaces.
Walter, Schneider Psychology/Med-Neurological Surgery/Bioengineering Brain imaging and behavioral training, computer methods, physics diffusion
Wang, James Orthopaedic Surgery Cell mechanobiology, contraction vs wound healing, functional tissue engineering.
Wang, Yadong Bioengineering Polymeric materials, non-viral gene delivery, hybrid structures, bio-inspired materials, tissue engineering.
Wang, Wei Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Bioengineering, neuroprosthetics, neurophysiology, developing virtual reality (VR) rehabilitation platforms.
Waters, Jonathan Anesthesiology Transfusion management, fluid resuscitation and acid-base theory.
Wearden, Peter MED - Cardiothoracic Surgery Development of internal and external ventricular assist devices (VAD) for young children.
Weber, Douglas Bioengineering Neural engineering and prosthetics, functional electrical simulation, neural decoding.
Weinbaum, Justin Bioengineering Interdisciplinary tissue engineering research that exploits the cell-instructive properties of matricellular proteins.
Wells, Alan Pathology Biochemistry and mechanics of cell motility in tumors, wounds, and organogenesis.
Wiener, Erik Radiology Contrast agents for MRI applied to the detection of cancer.
Wipf, Peter Pharmaceutical Science/Chemistry Synthetic Organic, Medicinal, heterocyclic and computational chemistry
Witte, Frank Bioengineering International collaborator on NSF ERC Grant.
Woo, Savio Bioengineering Tendon/ligament mechanics, homeostasis, functional tissue engineering, robotics.
Yeh, Joanne Structural Biology 3-D structural elucidation of biomacromolecules and methodologies development to enhance structural-functional studies
Yun, Minhee Electrical and Computer Engineering Design, fabrication, and development of nanowire sensors for the detection of chemical and biomolecules based on conductometric sensing. Design and development of microbial fuel cells (MFC) for practical use. Ultra low-noise carbon nanotube engineering for photo detector applications. MEMS and Semiconductor device fabrication and development.
Zenati, Marco Surgery Advanced medical robotics, model-guided therapy, cardiac tissue engineering, implantable cardiac sensors, minimally invasive surgery, arrhythmia surgery.
Zhang, Xudong Orthopaedic Surgery Biomechanical modeling/simulation; musculoskeletal biomechanics; micro-scale and nano-scale biomechanics; biologically inspired robots, models, and solutions; computer-assisted surgery and rehabilitation; digital human modeling for computer aided ergonomics; virtual reality and simulation in medicine; motor control theory.
Zheng, Bin Radiology Focuses on mammography, CAD of breast cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), biomedical imaging processing and computer-aided diagnosis.
Zhou, Leming Health Information Management Mathematical modeling, algorithm development, sequence alignments, data mining, data integration, information security and privacy, and high performance computing.

These institutions and departments are affiliated with the Bioengineering Department, sharing faculty who advise our graduate students, teach courses, and play other central roles in our department.