About This Strategic Research Area


The Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECpE) aims to be a leader in combining biology, physics, mathematics, and engineering concepts to make advancements at the intersection of these disciplines.

The department’s research in this area focuses on:

  • Bioinformatics and systems biology
    • Genome sequencing and assembly
    • Integrated modeling of metabolic networks
  • BioMEMS, Biosensing and Bio-optics
    • Bio-inspired devices and systems, particularly involving sensors and biomimetics
    • Design, fabrication, and measurement of high-throughput microscale and nanoscale devices
    • Lab-on-a-chip microsystems
    • Novel organic solar cells
  • Bioimaging
    • Diagnostic and therapeutic effectiveness of medical ultrasound technology for tissue engineering
    • Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) signal processing

This research has applications in the areas of agriculture, bioinformatics, genetics, medicine, and systems biology.


  • Liang Dong developed lab-on-a-chip technology for studying microscopic nematodes, which was featured on the cover of Lab-on-a-Chip.
  • Santosh Pandey won an NSF Career Award to study the interactions of pathogens with plant roots at the microscale level using bio-microfluidics.
  • ECpE researchers, led by department chair David C. Jiles, partnered with the Steptoe Group, LLC, to work on deep brain transcranial magnetic stimulation and transcranial ultrasound stimulation to treat or diagnose traumatic brain injuries, post-traumatic stress disorder, and depression.
  • Srinivas Aluru elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and the Institute for Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) for contributions to computational biology.
  • Julie Dickerson won the Iowa Women in Technology, Women of Innovation Award for contributions applying fuzzy theory to bioinformatics.
  • Liang Dong won NSF Career Award to develop nanoscale photonic chips for environmental monitoring, biochemical defense, and lab-on-a-chip technologies.
  • Santosh Pandey and Liang Dong awarded funding for developing microfluidics for lab-on-a-chip applications.


Faculty in This Area

  • Timothy Bigelow
  • Sumit Chaudhary (secondary area)
  • Julie Dickerson (group chair)
  • Aleksandar Dogandzic (secondary area)
  • Liang Dong
  • Nicola Elia (secondary area)
  • Jaeyoun Kim (secondary area)
  • Meng Lu
  • Nathan Neihart (secondary area)
  • Santosh Pandey
  • Namrata Vaswani


Bioengineering Research Centers, Institutes, and Laboratories


Iowa State researchers are creating an ultrasound therapy system to help eliminate cancer.

Research Projects and Publications

For complete information on research projects and publications in this area, consult individual faculty members’ websites, our graduate student thesis archives, and individual research center and laboratory websites.

Graduate Student Research Areas

Bioengineering research at Iowa State encompasses the following core areas of graduate study in electrical and computer engineering: