Department of Biology

Faculty Research

The faculty in the Department of Biology are on the forefront of research. Whether your interests lie in X–ray scattering at Argonne National Laboratory, gene therapy, evolution, cancer research, pathogenic bacteria, crystallography, or computational genomics, there is a lab for your intellectual curiosity at Illinois Tech.

Brain Injuries Explored with Argonne Partnership

An Illinois Tech research team lead by Joseph Orgel, professor of biology and bioengineering, is making strides to help doctors better identify changes in otherwise normal-looking brain neurons in a patient who has experienced head trauma on the university's BioCAT beamline at Argonne National Laboratory.

Howard Lab

Howard Lab

The Howard Lab develops and uses software tools that help researchers determine and analyze the three-dimensional structures of large biomolecules. We also express, purify, and determine the structures of bacterial and eukaryotic proteins.

Irving stands in his lab

Irving Lab

Synchrotron radiation using the BioCAT X-ray beamline at the Advanced Photon Source at Argonne National Laboratory can be a powerful tool to unravel the mechanisms of muscle contraction and regulation, as well as to determine the structure of proteins and their complexes in solution.

Researchers in the Juarez lab work with compounds

Juarez Lab

The Juarez Lab studies the metabolic strategies and host-pathogen interactions of harmful bacteria such as Chlamydia trachomatis, the most prevalent sexually transmitted disease, and Vibrio cholerae, a gastrointestinal pathogen. These studies are essential to the design of selective antibacterial drugs.

Menhart Lab

Menhart Lab

The Menhart Lab characterizes multi-domain proteins, including dystrophin, the product of the largest human gene. This work leads to a fuller understanding of the role of this protein in bridging between the inside of muscle cells and the extracellular matrix.

Miller Lab

Miller Lab

The Miller Lab studies how pest insects adapt to biotech crops and insecticides, and how the interactions with the plants they eat affects the evolution of insects. We use a mixture of population genetics and genomics, transcriptomics, and computer simulations to study these questions.

Joseph Orgel and a student examine tissue sample at Argonne National Laboratory

Orgel Lab

The Orgel Lab investigates fundamental basic science questions related to brain injury and disease, and to connective tissue conditions including heart disease and arthritis. We perform this research at Illinois Tech and in part at the Biophysics Collaborative Access Team (BioCAT) facility, a National Institutes of Health Biotechnology Research Resource.


Pombert Lab

Genomes are about potential. Our work revolves around comparative genomics, with an emphasis on finding the elements that distinguish obligate pathogens from their free-living relatives.

Jialing Xiang examines images with a group of students

Xiang Lab

The Xiang Lab studies cellular signaling and behavior using both genetic and biochemical approaches with cell and animal systems to provide a foundation for diagnosis and treatment of human diseases, such as cancer and diabetes.