Omar Tawakol Recognized for Research Contributions

April 15, 2024

Omar Tawakol (BME ’18, Ph.D. BME Candidate) has been selected to receive the 2024 Dr. Bhakta B. & Sushama Rath Endowed Research Award. The award recognizes a graduate student in Armour College of Engineering whose research stands to significantly contribute to our knowledge in engineering, has the potential for significant societal impact on technology, particularly in the USA, and that seeks to address an issue or fulfill a need that has been widely acknowledged by industry experts.

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ICVP Marks Two Years of Successful Testing After Surgical Implantation

April 8, 2024

A first-of-its-kind artificial vision system celebrates two years of successful testing after surgical implantation in an individual with blindness, bringing with it the potential to provide artificial vision to people who have lost their sight.

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WGN9 Reports on ICVP Progress

January 25, 2024

WGN9 featured Robert A. Pritzker Endowed Chair in Engineering Philip R. Troyk, executive director of the Pritzker Institute, to discuss the successful implantation of his first-of-its-kind artificial vision system. Troyk says the team has been pleased by the implant's reliability and stability.

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Philip Troyk Receives Innovative Research Award for Electronics Company

June 13, 2023

Philip Troyk

Robert A. Pritzker Endowed Chair in Engineering Philip R. Troyk, executive director of the Pritzker Institute, has been awarded the Chicago Council on Science and Technology’s (C2ST) inaugural Innovative Research Award for his work with Sigenics, Inc., a company that specializes in customized electronic design, which Troyk founded in 2000.

The award is presented to an organization or individual that has had a significant impact on the advancement of research and discovery over the last two years and will continue to have a great impact on the field.

Read more here.

Ruth Negru Receives Travel Award to Present Research

Ruth Negru with research poster

April 11, 2023

Ruth Negru (Ph.D. BME Candidate), a Pritzker fellow, received a travel award for the Tissue Engineering Regenerative Medicine International Society Americas Conference (TERMIS-AM) conference in Boston. Through the support of the travel award and her Pritzker fellowship, Negru attended and presented two posters titled “Salt Effects on Hydrogel Nanoparticle Emulsion Stability en Masse” and “Biocompatible PEG Diacrylate and Fluorescein Disodium Salt (FDS) Hydrogel Nanocomposite Emulsion for Adipocyte Drug Delivery Platform” on her doctoral work. Negru’s adviser is Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering Marcella Vaicik.

Negru also recently attended the Society for Biomaterials conference in San Diego where she gave an oral research presentation on her work titled “Hydrogel Nanocomposite Emulsion for siRNA Drug Delivery into Adipocytes.”

ICSSE Joins Pritzker Institute as Affiliated Center

Professor of Chemistry Rong Wang

December 6, 2022

The International Center for Sensor Science and Engineering (ICSSE) performs basic and applied research in developing chemical and biological sensing systems with novel materials and unique sensing platforms. The center provides state-of-the-art facilities and expertise in sensor research. The research aims to benefit society through a cleaner environment, more efficient energy usage, earlier diagnosis and effective treatment of diseases, and safer food. ICSSE is now one of five Pritzker Institute centers. Professor of Chemistry Rong Wang is the center’s director.

Omar Tawakol Wins Student Paper Competition

July 28, 2022

Omar Tawakol

Omar Tawakol (Biomedical Engineering Ph.D. Candidate) received first place in the Vodovnik Student Paper Competition at the 2022 International Functional Electrical Stimulation Society conference for his paper titled, “In-Vivo Testing of a Novel Wireless Intraspinal Microstimulation Interface for Restoration of Motor Function Following Spinal Cord Injury.”

The Vodovnik Student Paper Competition has been held annually since 2000, in honor of the late Dr. Lojze Vodovnik.

Recovery of function following a spinal cord injury remains a daunting medical challenge, and over half of people with spinal cord injuries do not recover the ability to walk. Tawakol’s paper describes preclinical studies of a device that aims to restore walking using a wireless stimulator implanted in the spinal cord. 

Tawakol is a member of the Laboratory of Neural Prosthetic Research at Illinois Institute of Technology, led by Executive Director of the Pritzker Institute of Biomedical Science and Engineering and Robert A. Pritzker Endowed Chair in Engineering Philip Troyk. 

Read more here. 

Decoding Genetics with the Help of Supercomputers

February 25, 2022

With a $2.1 million, five-year funding renewal from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS), the Pritzker Institute's Jeff Wereszczynski and his team of graduate students and postdoctoral researchers are advancing their exploration of the role of biomolecules in genetic expression. The group, which specializes in computational biophysics, is utilizing supercomputers to run simulations of molecular dynamics, conducting research that could one day have implications for the treatment of many human disorders and diseases, including cardiovascular, autoimmune, and neurological disorders along with multiple forms of cancer.  

Read more here.

First Successful Implantation of Revolutionary Wireless Visual Prosthesis Brain Implant

February 16, 2022

Philip R. Troyk, executive director of the Pritzker Institute of Biomedical Science and Engineering, led a multi-institution team in developing the Intracortical Visual Prosthesis (ICVP), an implant that bypasses the retina and optic nerves to connect directly to the brain’s visual cortex. It has been successfully surgically implanted in the ICVP study’s first participant at Rush University Medical Center this week. This surgery is part of a Phase I Feasibility Study of an Intracortical Visual Prosthesis for People With Blindness.  

Read more here.

AI Recommends Treatment Options for People with Diabetes to Assist Medical Decision Making

Alumni University - Ali Cinar

February 14, 2022

Hyosung S. R. Cho Endowed Chair in Engineering Ali Cinar is a collaborator on a project that recently received a seed grant from Discovery Partners Institute, which was matched by Illinois Tech, to developing new techniques to identify individuals who are unaware that they may be living with diabetes and then personalize their treatment.

Read more here.

Professor Thomas Irving Honored for 'Distinguished Contributions' to Muscle Diffraction Research

January 26, 2022

Thomas C. Irving, director of the Pritzker Institute's BioCAT, has been named a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the world’s largest multidisciplinary scientific society. Irving, a member of the association, was selected for the award after having been nominated by Illinois Tech Professor of Physics Carlo Segre and subsequently recommended by several other colleagues.  

Read more here.

Bartimaeus Award at the World Congress of Visual Prostheses

Research Peers Select Philip Troyk for Artificial Vision Award

December 9, 2021 

Philip R. Troyk, executive director of the Pritzker Institute of Biomedical Science and Engineering, was awarded the Bartimaeus Award at the World Congress of Visual Prostheses, also known as The Eye and The Chip, in October 2021 for a career of groundbreaking contributions to the field of artificial vision.

Read more here.

Governor Pritzker Announces New Funding for Critical Biotech Lab Space and Microgrid Enhancements

October 14, 2021 

During a visit to Illinois Institute of Technology’s Mies Campus in Chicago, Governor J. B. Pritzker announced that the State of Illinois would be providing $1.5 million to the Pritzker Institute of Biomedical Science and Engineering to renovate its wet lab facilities and establish the Neurotissue and Organoid Innovation Laboratory (NOIL). In addition, $5 million in funding was announced to enhance the campus microgrid.

Read more here.

Philip Troyk Discusses Prosthetic Vision with EE Times On Air Podcast

October 8, 2021 

Philip Troyk discusses the near-reality of artificial vision with Brian Santo, EE Times editor-in-chief in this podcast episode. 

Listen here.

Philip Troyk Appointed to Lead International Standard-Making Recommendations for Human Augmentation

September 14, 2021 

In fall 2021 Philip Troyk started his appointment as co-convenor of a human augmentation working group formed by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), tasked with forming the foundation for standards that will determine how digital devices that are used to enhance people’s bodies are regulated.  

Read more here.

Biomedical Engineering Professor Awarded $2.5 Million Grant to Prevent Vision Loss in Diabetes Patients

July 31, 2021 

Illinois Institute of Technology Professor of Biomedical Engineering Jennifer Kang-Mieler has received a second research project grant (R01) from the National Institutes of Health to study diabetic retinopathy, a side effect afflicting 60 percent of diabetes patients that is a leading cause of blindness. The award is for $2.5 million over five years.

Read more here.

Illinois Tech’s BME Senior Design Expo

May 7, 2021

Illinois Tech’s BME Senior Design Expo

The Biomedical Engineering undergraduate student team working on the Pritzker Institute of Biomedical Science and Engineering Exploratory Initiative Program entitled, “Intraoperative assessment of surgical margins in cancer resection surgery through fluorescence topography" wins first-place prize at Illinois Tech’s BME Senior Design Expo (Pictured from left to right {in first image}: Brooke Villinski, Jennifer Vorjohan, Allyson Trang, Sophia Nelson). The surgical specimen imager the team built is now being shipped to the University Medical Center Groningen in the Netherlands where it will be tested in a clinical trial (ICON: NCT03134846) being led by Head and Neck Cancer Surgeon, Dr. Max Witjes.

Illinois Tech’s BME Senior Design Expo

Alumni University- Ali Cinar

May 4, 2021 

Alumni University invites members of the Illinois Tech community to learn more about the work of and virtually meet some of our university staff, faculty and researchers.

Join us on May 4 from 5:30 - 6:30 pm CDT to learn more about developments and new research on diabetes with Ali Cinar, Ph.D. 

Watch recording here. 

Chemistry Professor Uses Science to Help Improve Others’ Quality of Life

April 16, 2021 

What if your toothbrush could detect a gum infection, helping to prevent the need for dental surgery? Or if silk cocoons from silkworms could help restore vital tissue in the female body?

These are just two of the latest scientific advancements underway in Professor of Chemistry Rong Wang’s research lab.

Read more here. 

Alumni University- Philip Troyk

April 13, 2021 

Illinois Tech and the Intracortical Visual Prosthesis (ICVP) - a 20-Year Quest for a Wireless Brain Interface with Philip Troyk, Ph.D. Virtual lecture.

Watch a recording here. 

Yongyi Yang Named to 2021 Class of IEEE Fellows

April 7, 2021 

Illinois Institute of Technology Harris Perlstein Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Professor of Biomedical Engineering Yongyi Yang has been named a fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE).

The distinction is awarded to fewer than 0.1 percent of voting members annually and requires the member to have conducted research with major societal impacts that extend outside their specialty. 

Read more here.

RES-MATCH Virtual Expo

March 12, 2021 

The Pritzker Institute of Biomedical Science and Engineering presents the RES-MATCH Expo, hosted virtually on Friday, March 12, 12:45 - 1:45 pm to showcase the work of students who participated in the RES-MATCH program during the Fall 2020 Semester.

 Zoom Link

Pritzker Institute Celebrates Black History Month 

February 12, 2021

The Pritzker Institute of Biomedical Science and Engineering celebrates Black History Month by acknowledging the contributions of Black researchers in biomedical science and engineering. Read more about influential Black biomedical researchers.

Robert A. Pritzker Endowed Chair Investiture Ceremony

February 1, 2021

Executive director of the Pritzker Institute of Biomedical Science and Engineering, professor of biomedical engineering, and affiliated professor in Stuart School of Business Philip R. Troyk was honored with the Robert A. Pritzker Endowed Chair in Engineering. Watch a virtual ceremony which was held to celebrate the investiture.

Thomas Irving Receives $8.6 Million Grant for BioCAT

Thomas Irving

February 1, 2021 

A team of researchers led by Professor of Biology and Physics Thomas Irving has received an $8.6 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to continue operating the Biophysics Collaborative Access Team (BioCAT) facility at the Advanced Photon Source (APS) at Argonne National Laboratory for the next five years. These critical funds will enable the team to continue biomedical research projects with implications for the engineering of future health solutions, including potential advancements related to the prevention and treatment of COVID-19.

“The BioCAT facility has unique capabilities, and our new funding allows us to continue to provide them to the communities that rely on them,” says Irving, who has been running BioCAT since 2001. The facility launched in 1997, and provides access to the most intense X-ray beams in the Western Hemisphere for the study of non-crystalline biological materials such as muscle, connective tissue, amyloids, viruses, proteins, and other large biological molecules and their complexes.

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Philip Troyk Leads First-of-Its-Kind Visual Prosthesis Brain Implant to a Clinical Trial

September 1, 2020

Alumni University - Phil Troyk

The National Institutes of Health has awarded Illinois Tech researchers $2.5 million for the first year of a three-year project that includes implanting their new type of wireless visual prosthesis system in volunteers. Funding will be provided as part of the NIH’s The Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies® (BRAIN) Initiative.

The implant system was developed by a multi-institutional team led by Philip R. Troyk—executive director of the Pritzker Institute of Biomedical Science and Engineering, professor of biomedical engineering, and affiliated professor in Stuart School of Business—and represents the culmination of nearly three decades of Illinois Tech research dedicated to ultimately providing artificial sight to those with blindness due to eye disease or trauma.

Read More, Watch Video

Pritzker Institute Welcomes New Faculty Steering Committee Members

June 10, 2020

Three Illinois Tech faculty have been named to the newly created Pritzker Institute Faculty Steering Committee, executive director Phil Troyk announced.

The committee will be comprised of the following members:

Natacha DePaola

Natacha DePaola

Dean, Armour College of Engineering
Professor of Biomedical Engineering

John Georgiadis

John Georgiadis

Chair, Department of Biomedical Engineering
Professor of Biomedical Engineering

Jialing Xiang

Jialing Xiang

Interim Chair, Department of Biology
Professor of Biology

The role of the Faculty Steering Committee is to advise and provide guidance about activities of the institute for alignment with its mission, assess directions of institute activities, evaluate institute membership, and serve as a strategic assessment group for advising the executive director.

Austeja Staneviciute Named 2020 Pritzker Fellow

May 15, 2020

Austeja Staneviciute

Austeja Staneviciute, who graduated from Illinois Tech in Spring 2020 with a B.S in biomedical engineering and M.S in chemical engineering, has been named a 2020 Pritzker Fellow. Her Ph.D. work will focus on the development of a 3D in vitro mesenchymal stem cell laden tissue model to aid in the restoration of the bone/cartilage interface. She will continue her research with Dr. Marcella Vaicik & Dr. Georgia Papavasiliou.

In addition, the National Science Foundation awarded Staneviciute with its prestigious graduate research fellowship, based on demonstrated potential for significant achievements in science and engineering research. The award provides three years of financial support within a five-year fellowship period.

Pritzker Institute Brings Heart Waveform Measurements to Students by Remote Laboratory

Heart Waveform Measurements

May 1, 2020

During the COVID-19 crisis of the Spring 2020 academic semester, BME undergraduate students, Sophia Nelson, Chandrika Haldar, and Claudio LoBraico were disappointed that they were not able to use the Illinois Tech laboratories due to the necessity of learning remotely.

The Pritzker Institute met this challenge by creating remote electrocardiogram (ECG) laboratory kits. Unlike other educational kits which are merely “plug and play,” the Pritzker Institute kit requires the student to fabricate an ECG measuring electronic circuit from individual components, debugging the circuit to obtain full operation.

The students received all of the components for fabricating the ECG circuit, electrodes for measuring the ECG from their wrists, and a small portable oscilloscope for waveform display. With some remote video troubleshooting assistance, the students not only successfully measured their own ECG waveforms, but also performed some other experiments they designed themselves. They expressed that they learned much more than they typically do in other, more programmed, on-site lab courses. This may suggest a new model for providing insightful lab experiences across courses within Biomedical Engineering.

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Christpher Chen Lectureship Scheduled for Fall 2020

April 1, 2020

Christopher Chen

Christopher Chen, a biomedical engineering professor at Boston University, is the 2019 Pritzker Distinguished Lecture speaker.

The lecture has been postponed to fall 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The lecture – titled “Seminar Title- Engineering Niches to Control Biological Function: How Simple is Complex Enough?” – is free and open to the Illinois Tech community.

Through the efforts of the family and friends of Robert A. Pritzker (IE ’46, Hon. Ph.D. ’84) and the Pritzker Institute of Biomedical Science and Engineering, the Biomedical Engineering Society Distinguished Lecturer Award was renamed in 2007 as a tribute to Robert A. Pritzker. The lectureship was designed to honor Pritzker’s dedication to the advancement of the biological engineering field. The purpose of the lecture is to critically review a field of biomedical engineering and offer a vision of its future.

Pritzker Institute Launches Exploratory Initiative Program (EIP) for Faculty

February 21, 2020

The Pritzker Institute encourages all Illinois Tech faculty to apply for the new Exploratory Initiative Program (EIP) for the spring 2020 semester. Funding would support initiatives within biomedical science or engineering to facilitate or enhance research.

The EIP aims to identify and explore new possibilities for sustained faculty-support programs within the Pritzker Institute. The institute is seeking creative ideas for increasing the quality and quantity of biomedical science and engineering research at Illinois Tech. The outcomes of the initiatives funded during the spring 2020 academic semester will be assessed and considered for continuation in future academic years. Preference will be given to proposals that are highly strategic and demonstrate a likely pathway to future translational research. Proposed initiatives may directly benefit individual research, although preference will be given to those that embrace team-based research.

Click here for more information about EIP

Philip Troyk, Natacha DePaola Advocate on Capitol Hill for Increased Research Funding

Philip Troyk, Natacha DePaola Advocate on Capitol Hill for Increased Research Funding

February 15, 2020

Pritzker Institute Executive Director Philip Troyk and Armour College of Engineering Dean Natacha DePaola visited Capitol Hill Feb. 10-11.

Troyk and DePaola, both fellows of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering, visited the offices of Illinois Sens. Dick Durbin and Tammy Duckworth, and Chicago Congressmen Bobby Rush and Danny Davis.

Philip Troyk visits Capitol Hill

They talked about Illinois Tech’s innovative education and research programs. They also advocated for increasing the funding of the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation in order to compensate for eroded buying power of their budgets over the past decade. Their message was welcomed and their visits were warmly received.

Res-Match Event Kicks Off Program to Match Undergrad Students With Faculty Research

January 23, 2020

Res-Match Event Kicks Off Program to Match Undergrad Students With Faculty Research

More than 120 people attended the kick-off of the first Res-Match event, sponsored by the Pritzker Institute of Biomedical Science, on Jan. 23, 2020 at the University Tech Park atrium.

The Res-Match program matches undergraduate Illinois Tech students with faculty members who have research needs. Twenty-two faculty gave 38 quick, one-minute presentations using one slide.

Afterwards, students applied to the research projects that most interested them. Once recommended by the project faculty member, a faculty selection committee will review projects and students for pairing.

“For the first time at Illinois Tech, the RES-MATCH program provides students the opportunity to connect with faculty members for conducting research through an exciting event and an organized matching process," says Philip Troyk, executive director of the Pritzker Institute and professor of biomedical engineering. 

The Pritzker Institute will invest more than $30,000 to support the projects. Students who successfully complete the RES-MATCH research program will receive a $500 research award, and the corresponding faculty member will receive $500 for their laboratory.

Click here for more about student projects

Click here for more information

Click here to watch the full video of the RES-MATCH event

Philip R. Troyk Appointed as Executive Director of Pritzker Institute

November 4, 2019

Alumni University - Phil Troyk

Philip R. Troyk, Associate Dean of Armour College of Engineering and Professor of Biomedical Engineering, has been named executive director of the Pritzker Institute of Biomedical Science and Engineering.

Internationally recognized as a leader in the field of neural interface design through the use of implantable electronic devices and systems, Troyk will help guide all aspects of the Pritzker Institute's research portfolio. From his work on the implementation of an intracortical visual prosthesis to give sight to the visually impaired, to his research involving sensors for prosthetic limb control, Troyk’s research is on the forefront of some of the most significant biomedical advances of our time.

Troyk also serves as chair of the Bioengineering of Neuroscience, Vision, and Low Vision Technologies (BNVT) Study Section for the Center for Scientific Review, part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). In this leadership role, Troyk helps guide balanced discussions and application decisions as part of an extensive peer-review process, contributing to the NIH mission of promoting discoveries that improve health and save lives.

2018 Pritzker Distinguished Lecturer: Rashid Bashir

“BioMEMS and Biomedical Nanotechnology: From Lab on Chip to Printing Cellular Machines”

2018 Pritzker Distinguished Lecturer: Rashid Bashir

Rashid Bashir
Department of Bioengineering
Carle Illinois College of Medicine
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Friday, April 13, 2018
1:50 p.m. – Wishnick Hall 113
Reception to follow

Integration of biology, medicine, and fabrication methods at the micro and nano scale offers tremendous opportunities for solving important problems in biology and medicine and to enable a wide range of applications in diagnostics, therapeutics, and tissue engineering. Microfluidics and Lab-on-Chip can be very beneficial to realize practical applications in detection of disease markers, counting of specific cells from whole blood, and for identification of pathogens, at point-of-care. The use of small sample size and electrical methods for sensitive analysis of target entities can result in easy to use, one-time-use assays that can be used at point-of-care. In this talk, we will present our work on detection of T cells for diagnostics of HIV AIDs for global health, development of a CBC (Complete Blood Cell) analysis on a chip, electrical detection of multiplexed nucleic acid amplification reactions, and detection of epigenetic markers on DNA at the single molecule level. While the above mentioned devices are built with PDMS or silicon using microfabrication approaches, bio-printing with stereolithography can be a very powerful technology to produce bio-hybrid devices made of polymers and cells such as biological machines and soft robotics. Such complex cellular systems will be a major challenge for the next decade and beyond, requiring knowledge from tissue engineering, synthetic biology, micro-fabrication and nanotechnology, systems biology, and developmental biology. As these “biological machines” increase in capabilities, exhibit emergent behavior, and potentially reveal the ability for self-assembly and self-repair, questions can arise about the ethical implications of this work. These devices could have potential applications in drug delivery, power generation, and other biomimetic systems.

This event is free and open to the IIT Community