Professor of Biomedical Engineering
Director, IDMET - Illinois Tech Digital Medical Engineering and Technology Research and Education Center
Director, 3DEXPERIENCE Education Center of Excellence in the Life Sciences, USA
Natacha DePaola has over three decades of combined experience in biomedical engineering research, education, and academic leadership. Her research investigates the role of physical mechanisms on cellular behavior stressing its importance in the understanding of human disease, the development of new therapies, and the engineering of functional tissues and devices. DePaola is committed to excellence in engineering education and the empowerment of a diverse and agile workforce to succeed in today’s rapidly changing technological-driven industry and society. She has received various awards and recognitions, is a Fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE), member of eight other professional societies, and serves or has served in various public and private (academic and non-academic) advisory committees or boards. DePaola is a co-inventor of multiple biotechnologies focused on the development of instrumentation for biomedical research and diagnostics. DePaola holds a Ph.D. in medical engineering/medical physics from the Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts Institute of Technology program in Health Sciences and Technology. She has held academic and research appointments at Columbia University (NY), Northwestern University (IL), Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (NY), and the Albany Medical College Center for Cardiovascular Sciences (NY). DePaola has dedicated part of her professional activities to promoting academia–industry interactions. She currently leads the Illinois Tech-Dassault Systèmes partnership focused in the development of educational solutions and the application of advanced digital tools in biomedical engineering research.
John G. Georgiadis
Chair of the Department of Biomedical Engineering
R. A. Pritzker Professor of Biomedical Engineering
John Georgiadis’ research expertise lies in the intersection of biotransport phenomena, biomechanics, and quantitative medical imaging. His research group is contributing to the development of new methods for in vivo MRI and ultrasound elastography applied to the mechanical characterization of soft tissues, such as the human brain, skeletal muscle, and lungs. The common thread through these investigations is the judicious coupling between high performance computing and experiment in the pursuit of connecting tissue structure with function and reaching causal explanations of clinical relevance, rather than merely developing correlations. Georgiadis received his Diploma from the National Technical University of Athens, Greece, and his master’s and doctorate degrees from UCLA, all in mechanical engineering. He was a faculty member at Duke University (1987-1992) and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (1992-2015). Since 2015, he has been the Chair of the Department of Biomedical Engineering and R. A. Pritzker Professor at the Illinois Institute of Technology.
Chair of the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering
Professor of Chemical Engineering
Sohail Murad is professor in and chair of the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering at Illinois Institute of Technology. Prior to this he was Head of Chemical Engineering at University of Illinois at Chicago, where he joined the faculty in 1979 after receiving a Ph.D. from Cornell University, Ithaca, NY. He spent 1981-82 at Exxon Research and Engineering Company at Florham Park, New Jersey. He was an ARO Research Fellow at the Ballistics Research Laboratory in 1985. He is the author of over 150 archival research publications and book chapters. He is or has been a member of the Editorial Advisory Board of Computer Applications in Engineering Education, Scientific Journals International, and Research Letters in Chemical Engineering. His research is focused on membrane-based separations, computational molecular modeling of fluids on membrane surfaces and pores, and on heat and mass flows in nanosystems. It has been funded by the US National Science Foundation, US Department of Energy, US Army Research Office, American Chemical Society, IBM, Dow Chemical Company, Sun Microsystems, Microsoft, and other private and public funding agencies. He is an elected fellow of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, and member of several other professional societies. He holds honorary faculty positions at Nanjing University (China), Petra University (Jordan), and University of Karachi (Pakistan). He has given many keynote talks at national and international symposia, and has served on panels of the National Science Foundation, Department of Energy, Department of Defense, and Environmental Protection Agency.
Senior Lecturer of Biomedical Engineering
Director of Student Success for Armour College of Engineering
Bonnie Haferkamp received her bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from Iowa State University in 1984 and her master’s in biology from Illinois Institute of Technology, in 2007. Then, after almost 25 years of industrial experience working with major corporations (Dames & Moore, Wesley-Jessen Corp., Analysts International Corporation, The NutraSweet Company, Abbott Laboratories, Gensym Corp., Siemens Energy & Automation Inc., and Rockwell Automation Inc.) occupying both engineering and management leadership roles, Haferkamp pursued her doctorate degree in biology at Illinois Tech, graduating in 2011 and joining the faculty in the Department of Biomedical Engineering in 2012.
Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering
Abhinav Bhushan received his bachelor’s in engineering from MNREC Allahabad and his master’s and Ph.D. degrees from Louisiana State University, all in mechanical engineering. He was an NIH K30 scholar at the Clinical and Translational Science Center at the University of California Davis through which he obtained a master’s degree in advanced clinical research. He finished his postdoctoral training at California Davis and Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School/Shriners Boston. His research expertise lies in the development of microfluidic tissue engineering platforms and chemical/biological sensors. He has an interest in bringing scientific discoveries to the market and he recently participated in the NSF I-CORPS program. Bhushan is also passionate about student success, loves to develop out-of-the-box learning opportunities, and enjoys exploring fun ways of communicating science.
Head of Machine Shop and Coordinator of Student Fabrication and Design Studio
Craig Johnson runs the Robert B. Kyts Design Studio and Machine Shop in Armour College, which supports both the academic and research enterprise of Illinois Tech. He assists engineering students with design and fabrication projects and serves as instructor in summer courses focused on manufacturing using various fabrication techniques.
Johnson is an expert in computer aided design (CAD) and fabrication with precision computer numerical control (CNC) machines. Over the years, Johnson has worked on projects for research and academic institutions and for major corporations (Boeing, Argonne National Laboratory, Fermilab, California Institute of Technology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Michigan State University, University of Arizona, University of Chicago, University of Florida , University of Notre Dame, Museum of Science and Industry, Brookfield Zoo, Alion Science and Technology Corporation, Microprobes for Life Science, Sigenics Inc.). Many of his fabricated parts are on display at the National Air and Space Museum, and many components he made have been seen at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Dusable Museum, University of Chicago Oriental Institute, and Fermilab.
Dylan Sokol is an application specialist and graduate student at Illinois Institute of Technology. He is currently pursuing a Master of Science in Biomedical Engineering. He received a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering at Illinois Tech in 2019. As an application specialist, Sokol works with faculty and students to develop research and educational modules using 3DEXPERIENCE. As part of his work doing research with 3DEXPERIENCE, he has worked on projects including a virtual magnetic resonance elastography (MRE) and a COVID-19 adhesion project, among many others. He has developed several modules to help students and faculty learn how to use 3DEXPERIENCE. Currently he is involved with several projects simulating pulmonary function.
Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Biomedical Engineering
Stacey Cahoon concurrently completed a Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Engineering and a Bachelor of Arts in Engineering Science under a joint program between Benedictine University and Illinois Institute of Technology. During her undergraduate studies, she participated in several research projects involving combating disease and improving quality of life, while advancing other technological skills such as 3D modeling and computer programming. Currently, Cahoon is pursuing her doctoral studies in biomedical engineering at Illinois Tech, with a focus on tissue biomechanics. One of the primary skills she uses to measure the mechanical properties of tissue is rheometry. As part of Illinois Tech Digital Medical Engineering and Technology (IDMET) Research and Education Center, she has designed an educational model simulating the function of a rheometer for other students and researchers to understand how it estimates material properties.
Graduate student in the Department of Biomedical Engineering
Parth Patel earned his Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Engineering and Master of Biomedical Imaging and Signals at Illinois Institute of Technology, and he is currently a graduate student at Illinois Tech working on his Master of Engineering in biomedical engineering. Over his time at Illinois Tech, he has worked on a variety of research projects including integrated imaging hardware and software for prosthetic socket design, laser speckle imaging, haptic rendering of the human brain driven by magnetic resonance elastography data, sustained treatment with anti-VEGF agents for retinal diseases drug delivery system injector, fluorescence imaging using Monte Carlo simulations in MATLAB, and modeling the mechanical strength of a SARS-CoV-2-S1-spike protein and it binding with epithelial cells using MATLAB and 3DEXPERIENCE. Patel was also part of the team that received a People’s Choice Award in 2016 in a project for IPRO II on developing a new imaging strategy to detect smuggled nuclear materials. He has been a teaching assistant for various classes at Illinois Tech including Quantitative Physiology, Introduction to MATLAB Programming, bioinstrumentation labs, and physiology labs. Patel completed advanced training in biomedical engineering in India in 2018 which included training in servicing and troubleshooting various medical devices such as ultrasounds, electrosurgery devices, syringe pumps, urine analyzers, oxygen concentrators, defibrillators, electrocardiogram (ECG) machines, and electroencephalogram (EEG) machines. He has joined the IDMET to work on projects related to the pulmonary system and is currently working on a portable assisted ventilator environment.
Graduate student in the Department of Biomedical Engineering
Tri Huynh is a student in the Accelerated Master’s Program in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Illinois Institute of Technology. His degree focus is on imaging and signal processing. Beside courseworks, he also has experience in researching with ultrasound, haptic devices, and 3D model reconstruction. In addition to learning experience, he has been an employee at the Academic Resource Center since 2018 with the goal of helping other students overcome academic challenges. As an engineering student, Huynh wants to implement his skills and knowledge into biomedical applications to improve the quality of life for people in society. As a member of the Illinois Tech Digital Medical Engineering and Technology (IDMET) Research and Education Center team, he hopes to keep improving his skills and abilities by applying the 3DEXPERIENCE platform into medical applications with the goal of providing more efficient healthcare for the community.
IDMET members include working professionals in the life sciences and health care industry who share IDMET’s vision. This group of individual affiliated members includes IDMET alumni and other professionals with an interest in IDMET's work and willingness to contribute to its mission. Individual professional partners participate in IDMET projects and events, mentor IDMET students, facilitate student internships and employment, and contribute their expertise in an advisory capacity to the planning and building of strategic partnerships for IDMET.
Carlota Molhoek Baleri
R&D Engineer at Aortyx
Illinois Tech graduate (M.S. BME ’20)
Carlota Molhoek Baleri graduated with a degree in Mechanical and Industrial Engineering in 2017 at Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC). After that, she started her master’s in Automation and Control Engineering while working as a Hardware Service Engineer at Hewlett Packard (HP). Molhoek Baleri joined Illinois Tech in 2019 as a master’s student from UPC (an Illinois Tech partner institution in Europe) and conducted her final research project at IDMET. While at Illinois Tech, Molhoek Baleri focused on the study of the mechanical viability of neural implants, completing her master’s degree in May 2020. She is currently working as an R&D Engineer at Aortyx, a company based in Barcelona, Spain, that focuses on the development of a new generation of endovascular devices for treating cardiovascular disease.
Nicolas R. Gallo
R&D Clinical Specialist at ClearPoint Neuro
Illinois Tech graduate (M.S. ECE ’14, Ph.D. BME ’20)
Nicolas R. Gallo received his diploma in engineering physics and master’s in biomedical engineering from the Institute Polytechnique de Grenoble France in 2012 and 2014 respectively. He then joined Illinois Institute of Technology for his master’s in electrical engineering and Ph.D. in biomedical engineering. His research explored various medical physics applications such as drug delivery, human virtual modeling, and quantitative medical imaging. While completing his doctoral work on developing new diagnostics methods for brain MRI and neurodegenerative diseases; Gallo led the development of new research projects at IDMET, acting as a key liaison between IDMET and industry partners. Gallo also led the creation of 3DEXPERIENCE educational modules for life sciences applications. He is currently working at ClearPoint Neuro, a company based in Irvine, California, which focuses on developing the new generation of neurosurgery navigation systems.