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Research

Biomedical engineering involves the application of engineering principles to problems in medicine and biology that develop new knowledge, advanced sensors and devices and improved health care.

Because of the multidisciplinary nature of the biomedical engineering research projects, the faculty of the F. Joseph Halcomb III, M.D. Department of Biomedical Engineering collaborates with investigators in many units across the University of Kentucky campus, including the Colleges of Engineering, Medicine, Dentistry, Pharmacy and Arts & Science; the Centers for Minimally Invasive Surgery, Magnetic Resonance Imaging and Spectroscopy and Membrane Science and the Advanced Science and Technology Commercialization Center and Institute For Sustainable Manufacturing.

Choose from the following links to learn more about UK BME research.

Facilities

Learn about where we are housed.


Laboratories

Find a description of our research labs.


Publications

Find citations of research publications from our labs.


Undergraduate Research

Undergraduates have the opportunity to work side-by-side with biomedical engineering faculty and graduate students on innovative, pioneering research projects.


Seminars

These seminars cover topics in biomedical engineering and related fields. 

Research News

From left: Asa O'Neal and Harrison Yang. The Wildcats were selected from a pool of 1,353 undergraduates nominated by 446 institutions. Photos provided.

Asa O’Neal, in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, and Harrison Yang, in the F. Joseph Halcomb III, M.D. Department of Biomedical Engineering, are 2024-25 recipients of the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship. 

143 current UK scientists and scholars were included on the list compiled by Stanford University in a partnership with Elsevier, and 22 of those included are UK Pigman College of Engineering faculty. 

Caigang Zhu, assistant professor of biomedical engineering, develops new optical technology to provide personalized radiotherapy for head and neck cancer and breast cancer.

Caigang Zhu, assistant professor in the F. Joseph Halcomb III, M.D. Department of Biomedical Engineering, is working to develop new techniques for radiation treatment to improve survival rates of patients with a specific type of cancer.

Headshot of Caigang Zhu

Caigang Zhu, an assistant professor in the F. Joseph Halcomb III, M.D. Department of Biomedical Engineering, has been awarded $2,067,823 over five years from the National Institutes of Health for his work on optical metabolic spectroscopy and imaging tools for cancer research.

The paper titled, "A Wearable Fiber-Free Optical Sensor for Continuous Monitoring of Cerebral Blood Flow in Freely Behaving Mice," was authored by eight UK researchers in the colleges of engineering and medicine. 

Caigang Zhu, an assistant professor of biomedical engineering, has received a National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering Trailblazer R21 Award for developing novel optical metabolic strategies to provide personalized radiotherapy for breast cancer patients. 

Headshot of Caigang Zhu

Caigang Zhu, assistant professor in the F. Joseph Halcomb III, M.D. Department of Biomedical Engineering, was awarded $50,000 through the Cancer Center Support Grant Pilot award at the Markey Cancer Center to develop personalized radiotherapy for breast cancer patients.

Ramkumar T. Annamalai, assistant professor in the F. Joseph Halcomb III, M.D. Department of Biomedical Engineering, is awarded $350,322 through the competitive NIH Exploratory/Developmental Research Grant Program (R21) to develop a nanomedicine-based therapy for nonunion fractures.

Samanah Rabienia Haratbar and Mehrana Mohtasebi received awards in the Von Allmen Center for Entrepreneurship’s 5th Annual "60-second Poster Pitch" Competition on April 5th, at the 17th Annual CCTS Spring Conference.

Ramkumar T. Annamalai, assistant professor in the University of Kentucky F. Joseph Halcomb III, M.D. Department of Biomedical Engineering, has been awarded a two-year competitive grant in the basic research category from the Orthopedic Trauma Association (OTA).

Caigang Zhu delivered an invited talk at Photonic Media to introduce his work on a point-of-care metabolic platform for cancer research. 

Faculty from the UK Departments of Surgery and Biomedical Engineering provided general reviews of past and ongoing collaborative research initiatives at a special Surgery Grand Rounds presentation in November.

Fanny Chapelin's proposal titled “Magnetic Resonance imaging of tumor-associated macrophage changes with therapy” was selected for an Institutional Research Grant by the American Cancer Society (ACS-IRG).

Fanny Chapelin, Ph.D. (left) and Aman Khurana, M.D. (right)

The “TILT” alliance was recently created to support translational and clinical research in transplant/immunology related to the use of cell immunotherapy.

Fanny Chapelin, Ph.D. (left) and Aman Khurana, M.D. (right)

Chapelin and Khurana saw their original work on Ultrasound Liver Imaging Reporting And Data System awarded third place for early-career research award at "Society of Radiologists in Ultrasound" 2020.

The American Heart Association fellowship is given to enhance the integrated research and clinical training of promising graduate students.

Annamalai’s project titled “Immunomodulatory Therapy for Bone Regeneration" has been awarded approximately $809,586 for up to three years.

The patent is titled, “Electrical Double Layer in Nanopores for Detection and Identification of Molecules and Submolecular Units.”

Annamalai's project is titled “Effect of mechanical strain on myokine secretion and its role in diabetic bone disease.”

A major focus in Sunderam’s lab is how sleep is affected in disorders of the brain--specifically epilepsy and Alzheimer’s disease--and whether improving sleep can produce beneficial outcomes.

The collaborative project includes biomedical engineering associate professor Sridhar Sunderam.

The Kentucky-West Virginia Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (KY-WV LSAMP), spearheaded by UK, is responsible for the program.

Assistant professor Martha Grady will lead the project titled "Quantitative Mechanical Phenotyping of Bacterial Biofilms on Implant Surfaces."

Ai-Ling Lin is an associate professor at UK's Sanders-Brown Center on Aging and College of Medicine with a joint appointment in BME.

In 2020, his team has been awarded four grants from the National Institutes of Health that total nearly $5.7 million. 

In 2020, his team has been awarded four grants from the National Institutes of Health that total nearly $5.7 million. 

Yu researches near-infrared diffuse optical spectroscopy/tomography through his Biomedical Optics Lab.

Associate professor Sheng Tong joined the F. Joseph Halcomb III, M.D., Department of Biomedical Engineering this past fall. Prior to arriving in Lexington, Tong was a research associate professor in the Department of Bioengineering at Rice University.

Tong’s research synergistically combines nanobiotechnology, drug and gene delivery, and cancer therapy. He is currently focusing on developing genome editing approaches for cancer immune checkpoint blockade therapies. 

A unique partnership between an engineer and a scientist at the University of Kentucky has produced data that is challenging prevailing wisdom about a potentially life-threatening parasite's behavior and revealing possible targets for treatment.

When Mark Suckow (pronounced SOO-koh) interviewed with University of Kentucky vice president for research Lisa Cassis for the position of attending veterinarian, he posed a simple question: could he do more? 

Professor Guoqiang Yu (Ph.D.) of the F. Joseph Halcomb III, M.D. Department of Biomedical Engineering has been awarded a two-year, $420,750 R21 grant from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).