Do you have news to share?

We are eager to share M-CNTC Trainee and Faculty accomplishments with the M-CNTC community and the NCI Alliance. Please contact the Program Manager with your news and highlights:

Program Manager

Laura A. Miller
Micro and Nanotechnology Laboratory
1256 MNTL, MC-249
208 North Wright Street
Urbana, Illinois, 61801 USA

Phone: (217) 244-7092
Fax: (217) 244-6375


News Archive

Illinois-Tsinghua Nanotechnology Symposium to be jointly held with the CNST 12th Annual Nanotechnology Workshop | Download Poster

The Illinois-Tsinghua connection began in Summer 2012 when members of the faculty and administration at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign visited Tsinghua University and the Tsinghua-Foxconn Nanotechnology Research Center in Beijing, China, directed by Dr. Shoushan Fan. Dr. Fan and his group developed carbon nanotube-based technology that is being used in liquid crystal displays, an example of their success in conducting translational research and establishing commercial partnerships. During the visit, discussions led to the idea of holding a joint nanotechnology event at Illinois to identify complementary strengths and explore possibilities for collaborations. The 2014 joint symposium is the result of those efforts by the University of Illinois and Tsinghua University.

Find out more and register >>

NCI Alliance for Nanotechnology in Cancer Annual PI Meeting

The 2013 Annual PI Meering was held on the NIH Campus in Bethesda, Maryland September 17-19, 2013. Trainee Qian Yin attended the event and presented her research poster. 


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2013 GEM4 Summer Institute

July 29 - August 9, 2013

The 2013 Summer Institute was a success! Faculty, graduate students, and researchers representing 18 international and domestic universities participated in the 2013 Summer Institute at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign July 29-August 9, 2013. During the two-week institute, attendees participated in lectures and hands-on training in engineering and physical science laboratory techniques by experts in the field. Topics covered included cancer nanotechnology, cell mechanics, molecular biology, micro fabrication, and NanoBio devices. Participants heard from faculty professionals from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and 7 other institutions including UC Berkeley, Carnegie Mellon, UT Austin, Georgia Tech, and the University of Pennsylvania.


2013 Annual Symposium

May 2, 2013

The third annual M-CNTC Symposium was held in conjunction with the 11th Annual CNST Nanotechnology Workshop at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Trainees presented talks and posters to a to wide audience from industry and academia.


NSF grant will establish dedicated nanoBIO node to Network for Computational Nanotechnology

TAs part of its ongoing efforts to improve the U.S. infrastructure for research and education in nanotechnology, a team of researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, along with other university partners, has received a five-year $700,000/year grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to establish a dedicated nanoBIO node to the Network for Computational Nanotechnology (NCN), as part of a comprehensive plan with nation-wide reach to support nanoBIO research and education.

"The urgency to contain health care costs and improve services, the imperatives to provide safe and plentiful food supplies, and the need for efficient bio-fuel production as part of a sustainable energy strategy all point to biology as the pivotal science of the future, and nanotechnology as the enabler," explained Umberto Ravaioli, a professor of electrical and computer engineering and principal investigator for the project. "Our goal is to build a bridge between engineering and biology; to create tools that introduce computation and visualization to make various biological processes interesting for engineering students. Read more >>


Rohit Bhargava Selected for 2013 Craver Award

The Coblentz Society is pleased to announce that Professor Rohit Bhargava, Professor of Bioengineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has been selected as the recipient of the 2013 Craver Award. In 2006, The Coblentz Society created an award to recognize the efforts of young professional spectroscopists that have made significant contributions in applied analytical vibrational spectroscopy. Read more >>


$100-Million Pledge to College of Engineering at Illinois

The Grainger Foundation, Lake Forest, Illinois, has pledged $100 million to support the College of Engineering through establishment of the Grainger Engineering Breakthroughs Initiative. The contribution is made in memory and honor of William W. Grainger, a 1919 Illinois graduate in Electrical Engineering, and the founder of W.W. Grainger, Inc. Read more >>


Bashir Among Researchers Leading Nanopore Effort

When Oxford Nanopore Technology (ONT) announced agreements with four American and three British universities to license DNA sensing technology and to fund future research, the University of Illinois was one of the four thanks to Beckman Institute researchers Jean-Pierre Leburton, Aleksei Aksimentiev, and Rashid Bashir, as well as their collaborators and campus support facilities. Read more >>


The face of nanotechnology at Illinois, CNST promotes interdisciplinary collaboration

Illinois' Center for Nanoscale Science and Technology (CNST) works to provide training and to foster collaboration in nanotechnology at the intersection of engineering and biology.

Why should engineers need to learn about biology?

According to Irfan Ahmad, executive director of CNST, the national academies have identified the 21st century as the century of biology.

"So that means that we are mimicking biology; we are trying to come up with techniques, tools, processes which we learn from biology." However, Ahmad acknowledges that "Some of us who were trained as engineers did not have good grounding in the biological or life science aspects." So this is a void CNST is trying to fill. Read more >>


Ryan Bailey Named Top Young Innovator

Chemistry professor and M-CNTC Trainee adviser, Ryan Bailey, was chosen as one of the world's top young innovators by Technology Review, the world's oldest technology magazine. Selected by the editors of the magazine published by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the TR35 recognizes the world's top innovators under the age of 35 for their contributions to biomedicine, energy, the Web, computing and materials, among other emerging fields. The 2012 honorees were selected from more than 250 nominations. Full story >>


Congratulations to Rashid Bashir, a 2012 EMBS Award Recipient

Rashid Bashir, M-CNTC PI, was awarded the 2012 IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology (EMBS) Technical Achievement Award for Significant Contributions to the Development of Micro and Nanoscale Biosensors. Please join me in congratulating Dr. Bashir on his accomplishment!


Training the Next Generation Workforce: Biosensing-Bioactuation-Bionanotechnology Summer Institute 2012 (B3SI)

Nicknamed B3SI by the planners, the two-week-long BioSensing BioActuation BioNanotechnology Summer Institute 2012, held at the Micro and Nanotechnology Laboratory (MNTL) from July 30–August 10, 2012, was intended to train participants at the intersection of biology and engineering and to foster networking with other researchers. The three main sponsoring projects were the CMMB IGERT (Cellular and Molecular Mechanics and BioNanotechnology Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship), the M-CNTC (Midwest Cancer Nanotechnology Training Center), and the BioSensing, BioActuation grant. Full story >>

Nanoscience and Technology on WILL Radio AM 580

Irfan S. Ahmad, Ph.D., Executive Director, Center for Nanoscale Science and Technology, and Yi Lu, Ph.D., Jay and Ann Schenck Professor of Chemistry, were guests on WILL Radio's Focus with host David Inge on Wednesday, June 20, 2012. Listen to the Podcast >>


Giving life to the problem - students spend semester break in Ghana

A team of 20 University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign graduate students and faculty got quite a bit of sun this past semester break – but in quite the unconventional way. As part of a trip organized through the Global Health Initiative (GHI) at the University of Illinois, the group took a two week trip to Ghana in January to tour and observe the country's health care system. One of these graduate students was NSF IGERT-CMMB Trainee, Erich Lidstone. Erich gave a seminar presentation about his experience in Ghana. Read more >>


Advanced Materials Team designs a bandage that spurs, guides blood vessel growth

Researchers have developed a bandage that stimulates and directs blood vessel growth on the surface of a wound. The bandage, called a "microvascular stamp," contains living cells that deliver growth factors to damaged tissues in a defined pattern. After a week, the pattern of the stamp "is written in blood vessels," the researchers report. A paper describing the new approach, appeared in the January 3, 2012 issue of the journal Advanced Materials. Read more >>


Bashir and Hsia named AAAS Fellows

Rashid BashirK Jimmy HsiaTwo M-CNTC faculty members were among eight University of Illinois faculty members elected as Fellows in the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

“These faculty members embody the spirit of excellence that characterizes Illinois scholarship,” said Phyllis M. Wise, the chancellor of the Urbana campus and a vice president of the university. “Such commitment to quality inspires their colleagues and students, and advances Illinois as a leader in academics, research and innovation.” Read more >>


Brendan HarleyAmerican Cancer Society Honors Illinois Professor

American Cancer Society funded researcher Dr. Brendan Harley, University of Illinois Assistant Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering and the Institute for Genomic Biology, was recently awarded the organization's prestigious President's Award for Research to honor his dedication to both research and public outreach. Read more >>


Cancer Breatkthroughs at Illinois

An effort is underway to establish a cancer-focused community at Illinois. News Stories>>

Save the Date: Cancer Forum and Poster Prize Competition March 6, 2012

The University of Illinois Cancer Center invites all faculty, fellows, students and investigators on all U of I campuses to present posters on cancer-related research. More details will be announced later.

Carle Cancer Center Research Meetings Open to Trainees and Faculty

Trainees and faculty have the opportunity to gain a clinical perspective by attending Carle Cancer Center Research Meetings. These 30 minute meetings are held each Friday at the Carle Cancer Center. Meeting Schedule >>

2011 NCI Alliance Bulletin is now Available

The Illinois M-CNTC was well represented in the 2011 Bulletin. Continue sending Laura Miller, Program Manager, information for next years issue. View Bulletin >>


Logan LiuLiu earns Presidential Early Career Award

Gang Logan Liu, an assistant professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, is among the 94 researchers to receive the 2011 Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE), the highest honor the U.S. government confers upon young investigators establishing their independent research careers. Read more >>



Image of BookNew Book: Nanopores | Buy the Book

Rashid Bashir (ECE and BioE) is coeditor of a new book that examines the emerging research directions surrounding nanopores such as genome sequencing and early disease detection using biomarker identification. Read more >>


Global Health Initiative

Greg Damhorst (MD/PhD student in BioE) has lead the Global Health Initiative effort on campus. The Global Health Initiative at the University of Illinois aims to:

  • Coalesce a research community around global health issues on the Urbana-Champaign campus
  • Create capacity for future interdisciplinary work on global health research
  • Provide first-hand exposure to global health issues for graduate students and faculty
  • Promote a Global Health Center on the Urbana-Champaign campus

Read more about Greg >> | Read more about the Global Health Initiative >>


Taekjip HaHa Wins 2011 Ho-Am Prize in Science

Congratulations to Taekjip Ha on winning the prestigious Ho-Am Prize in Science! The Ho-Am Prizes are widely regarded as the Korean equivalent of the Nobel Prizes. Ha was recognized for his pioneering application of fluorescence resonance energy transfer techniques to reveal the behavior and physical characteristics of single biomolecules. Read more >>


Applications are now being accepted for the 2012 Summer Institute

Participate in two weeks of lectures and hands-on laboratory modules covering nanotechnology, mechanobiology, cancer, biosensing, and dynamic control of engineered systems. Applications are due Friday, March 30, 2012.

Who should Apply? The Summer Institute is open to senior undergraduates, graduate students, post docs, and faculty members from engineering, physical sciences, and biological sciences who are interested in state-of-the-art interdisciplinary research at the intersection of engineering and biology. .



Stephen BoppartCongratulations to Steve Boppart who was named Bliss Professor!

Chairs and named professorships recognize faculty members who have demonstrated leadership in their technical areas and contribute significantly to the reputation of the college and the University.




Image of BookNew Book: Mechanobiology of Cell-Cell and Cell-Matrix Interactions | Buy the Book

Amy Wagoner Johnson (MechSE) and Brendan Harley (ChemE) are coeditors of a new book that focuses on characterization and modeling of interactions between cells and their local extracellular environment. Read more >>



Congratulations to Ross DeVolder!

Ross Xin DrewRoss won a Best Poster award in the 2011 CNST Annual Workshop Poster Competition!

Thank you to all faculty and trainees for your participation in this event.  This was a great representation of M-CNTC trainee and faculty contributions to BioNanotechnology!




The BioNanotechnology Summer Institute 2011 will be held on the Unversity of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign campus July 25-August 5, 2011.

Participants will participants hear from an exciting lineup of UIUC and external speaker and receive hands-on laboratory training in the basics of biological and engineering/physical science experimental methods. Applications will be accepted soon.


A total of 10 Trainees have been appointed and are currently conducting research at the intersection of biology and engineering!

More information on each of these trainees and their projects can be found by clicking the Trainees tab above.

Societal Implications of Nanotechnology in Addressing Grand Global Challenges by Dr. Irfan S. Ahmad

Friday, February 3, 2012
12:00-1:00 p.m.
204 Agricultural Engineering Sciences Building


Save the Date: Cancer Forum and Poster Prize Competition March 6, 2012

The University of Illinois Cancer Center invites all faculty, fellows, students and investigators on all U of I campuses to present posters on cancer-related research. More details will be announced later.

NanoScience and Emerging Technology in Cancer Research Conference

Dates: December 10-11, 2011
Location: UCSD Moore’s Cancer Center; La Jolla, CA

This symposium will focus on new technology from the engineering and physical sciences being developed for cancer research and treatment.  Topics will include (a) targeted and untargeted nanoparticles for drug delivery and enhanced radiation therapy; (b) imaging and targeting agents and technology; (c) externally or environmentally triggered and guided nanoparticles for local delivery of therapeutics; (d) nanoscience based novel radiology, pathology, and surgical tools.  There will be a panel discussion of technology which can be rapidly translated into clinical trials and science which has the greatest long range potential clinical impact.  The conference is organized by the national network of the NIC NCI CNTE (Cancer Nanotechnology Training Center).

Stephen A. Boppart Presented at Carle

Medicine Grand Rounds
"Primary Care Imaging"
Tuesday, November 15, 2011 from 12:15 – 1:15 p.m.
Carle Forum Pollard Auditorium
611 W. Park St., Urbana, IL

NCI Alliance for Nanotechnology in Cancer Annual PI Meeting

The 2011 Annual PI Meering was held in Boston, Massachusetts September 21-23, 2011. Trainees Li Tang and Brian Wong attended the event and presented posters. Brian won a Best Poster Award.



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M-CNTC PI and Trainee Meeting 2011

The second annual M-CNTC PI and Trainee Meeting was held on September 2, 2011. View Meeting Overview Slides and Pictures.

BioNanotechnology Summer Institute 2011

The BioNanotechnology Summer Institute 2011 introduced participants to the basics of biological and engineering/physical science experimental methods using a hands-on approach in the laboratory.

M-CNTC PI and Trainee Meeting 2010

The first annual M-CNTC PI and Trainee Meeting was held on January 18, 2011. View Meeting Overview Slides and Pictures.

Bridging the Gaps: Grand Challenges and Promising Practices in Interdisciplinary Research and Education in Biology, Engineering, and Health Science

This interdisciplinary innovation workshop is a prelude to the Innovation Summit to be held on April 13-14, 2011.

NCI Alliance for Nanotechnology in Cancer Kick-off Meeting

The Kick-off Meeting was held in Bethesda, Maryland November 15-17, 2010. M-CNTC PIs and Program Managers met and exchanged information with the NCI Alliance community.

NCI Alliance Kick-off Meeting November 2010

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