Bashir receives IEEE EMBS Technical Achievement Award

ECE News

Rick Kubetz, College of Engineering

Story Highlights

  • ECE Professor Rashid Bashir received the 2012 IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society (EMBS) Technical Achievement Award.
  • Bashir uses nanotechnology and biological materials to develop medical and clinical applications.
  • Many of his projects involve interdisciplinary work across university departments.

Rashid  Bashir
Rashid Bashir

ECE and Bioengineering Professor Rashid Bashir has been recognized with the 2012 IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society (EMBS) Technical Achievement Award, “for significant contributions to the development of micro and nanoscale biosensors.”

Bashir, an Abel Bliss Professor, directs the Micro and Nanotechnology Laboratory and is affiliated with the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology, the Institute for Genomic Biology, and the Frederick Seitz Materials Research Lab. His research interests include BioMEMS, Lab-on-a-chip, nano-biotechnology, interfacing biology and engineering from molecular to tissue scale, and applications of semiconductor fabrication to biology, all applied to solve biomedical problems.

“This last century could be considered the century of electronics, and this new century is, some people would say, the century of biology and medicine,” Bashir explained. “I’m interested in using nanotechnology, specifically being able to fabricate or build structures at the micro- and nanoscale in silicon using biological materials for medical and clinical applications.

To accomplish these wide-ranging goals, Bashir maintains numerous collaborations with faculty from other campus departments and his research group includes PhD students from ECE, BioE, Mechanical Engineering, Biophysics, and Materials Science. The opportunity to do highly collaborative, interdisciplinary research is a big reason Bashir came to Illinois.

“The kind of work we are doing, which is this interface and integration of nanotechnology and microfluidics with biomedical applications, is an area of research that is inherently interdisciplinary,” he said. “We recognize and believe that we have to have disciplinary strength and excellence, but a lot of the exciting things with applications are happening at the interface of disciplines.

One recent example of interdisciplinary research with a potential impact in biomedicine is Bashir’s project (in collaboration with Hyunjoon Kong in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering) involving a bandage containing living cells that promotes and guides blood vessel growth. Using what the researchers call a microvascular stamp, the bandage can pattern functional blood vessels at a scale not previously seen.

“So, many of our projects do require expertise from these various disciplines, and we have a lot of faculty collaborators from around campus. I’m interested in moving the field forward. That’s the end goal, to do something that advances the science and engineering, and also do something that has an impact.”

At Illinois Bashir has been instrumental is leading a push for center grants, with four earned in the past two years. On some of those grants he is the principal investigator, including an NSF IGERT training grant for cell mechanics and nanotechnology and an NIH training grant in cancer nanotechnology.  In addition to his many previous awards, Bashir was elected a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in December 2011.

IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society (EMBS) is the world's largest international society of biomedical engineers. The organization's 9,100 members reside in some 97 countries around the world. EMBS provides its members with access to the people, practices, information, ideas and opinions that are shaping one of the fastest growing fields in science. Annually, EMBS recognizes outstanding contributions of its members to the Society and the field of biomedical engineering.

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