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Elizabeth Vargis

Elizabeth Vargis

Assistant Professor

Educational Background:

BS Bioengineering -UC Berkeley
MS & Ph.D. Biomedical Engineering -Vanderbilt University
Postdoctoral -Knoxville -Oak Ridge National Lab



Contact Information

Office Location: ENGR 402M
Phone: 435-797-0618
Email: elizabeth.vargis@usu.edu

I am an Assistant Professor of Biological Engineering at Utah State University. I am also the faculty advisor for the Biomedical Engineering Society and Society of Women Engineers student groups. I received a BS in Bioengineering from UC Berkeley, while working at the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab with Dr. G. Shyamala Harris. I then moved south and east to get an MS and PhD in Biomedical Engineering from Vanderbilt University, with Dr. Rick Haselton (MS) and Dr. Anita Mahadevan-Jansen (PhD). 

Staying in the south, I completed my postdoctoral appointment at the Oak Ridge National Lab in the Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences and at UT Knoxville at the Joint Institute of Biological Sciences with Drs. Pat Collier and Scott Retterer before arriving at Utah State University in August 2013. I live in Logan, UT with my partner, daughter and dogs. In our ever-shrinking free time, we hike, eat, dance, and eat some more.

My laboratory has two "thrusts." With one, my students and I grow cells and tissues in our lab and watch how they act; sometimes manipulating them to hopefully figure out how to cure or prevent disease. The other is biophotonics – laser spectroscopy. In this capacity, we build models of a disease and use biophotonics to test it. We shine a light on different types of nanoparticles and then we see what is absorbed and shot back to us and how that changes based on disease, based on the type of particles we use, and based on if the nanoparticles attach to certain cells. The light literally "sheds light" into how the disease will work. The students that study under me work in all these areas and more – everything from detecting cell surface markers for blood cancers to projects with an eventual department of defense applications.

LGBTQ Ally on Campus.

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