The research laboratories described below comprise over 20,000 square feet of facilities in five buildings that contain more than $2 Million of state-of-the-art equipment and instrumentation related to Biological Engineering projects that are funded by federal and state agencies, and the private sector. Research addresses fundamental and applied aspects of integrating the science of biology with the problem solving tools and strategies of engineering. Research areas, as described by the various laboratories, include biomedical, bioenergy, bioenvironmental, and public health sectors. The goal of research conducted in the laboratories described below is the production of new bio-based products, technologies, and services that support current bio-based industries, as well as the creation of new industries and jobs in Utah and nationally.
All of our students are invited into our research labs. The Department of Biological Engineering leads the University in undergraduate research. Here is the schedule of weekly Biological Engineering Research Lab meetings.
Attending a lab meeting that interests you is an ideal way to begin your undergraduate research.
The Algae Processing and Products Facility (APP) was developed to promote ongoing research on algae processing and utilization to produce bioproducts, as well as other bioproduct based research.
The Algae Test and Evaluation (AT&E) pilot facility is under the direction of Dr. Ronald Sims and is located at the site of the City of Logan Water Reclamation Plant (WRP). Research and testing conducted at the AT&E facility addresses algae-based engineered systems for water quality improvement and production of biofuels for power for transportation vehicles, heat, and electricity that can be used by the City of Logan.
Biomaterials and Bioreactors
Research conducted in the Biomaterials and Bioreactors Laboratory applies molecular self-assembly and advanced analytical techniques to detect and direct interfacial phenomenon, with specific projects in molecular imprinting, microcantilever biosensors, lactose-derived surfactants and gels, materials biocompatibility, nanoparticles and bacteria, and biofilms.
Using light-based methods to detect biomarkers (such as proteins or cell surface markers) in biological samples.
Bionanotechnology: Class 1000 Clean Room
Our research in bionanotechnology encompasses tailored solutions from across the biotechnology and nanotechnology spectrum, which intricately combines biological recognition, nanofabrication/nanoassembly, micro/nanofluidics, materials characterization and electrical measurements.
Cell Imaging and Biospectroscopy
Research in the Cellular Engineering Laboratory focuses on cellular engineering, synthetic biological engineering, biosensors and bioremediation. Recent projects include using synthetic biological engineering techniques to improve bioplastic production, developing molecular tools in mycobacteria to create biosensors for use in bioremediation, using natural products as antimicrobials, and monitoring microbial diversity of bioreactors using metagenomic approaches.
The lab works on the analysis of metabolites, regulation of metabolic pathways, and identification of new bioactive molecules for drug discovery.
Research areas include the discovery and identification of bioactive natural products, biosynthetic mechanisms of pharmaceutically important compounds, characterization and development of biocatalysts for structural modification, as well as improvement of useful enzymes using protein engineering approaches.
Spectroscopy and Instrumentation
Thermochemical Biomass Research
Wet Chemistry Lab
General chemistry and new functional (nano)materials are synthesized here
Developing in vitro and ex vivo tissue models to understand normal processes, disease and treatments.