Faculty Roster Draft

Scientific discovery aimed at improving healthcare, through interdisciplinary research and education, is an important goal of the faculty in the Roy J. Carver Department of Biomedical Engineering. In collaboration with faculty across campus, the faculty are currently researching a diverse range of topics within the field.

Biomaterials, Mechanobiology, and Tissue Engineering

Edward Sander, PhD

  • 3D Biomimetic In Vitro Systems
  • Mechanobiology and Soft Tissue Mechanics
  • Image-based Multi-scale Computational Modeling
  • Synthentic Biology


Our lab is focused on integrating experiment with theory to understand the dynamic and multi-scale mechanical interplay between cell-cell and cell-matrix interactions in forming and remodeling tissues. Multi-scale mechanical interactions are scale-spanning physical interactions between cells, the extracellular matrix (ECM), and the tissue, and they are critical to all phases of a tissue’s life cycle (i.e., development, growth, homeostasis, aging, and disease). One of our main interests is in using ideas from multi-scale mechanics, mechanobiology,and tissue engineering to engineer in vitro models of healing wounds in order to develop better therapies for traumatic injuries, such as burns and joint contractures.

James Ankrum, PhD

  • Mesenchymal Stromal Cells
  • Organoid Development for Metabolism Research
  • Immune Modulation Strategies


Cell-based therapies have the potential to restore function to a broad range of diseased and damaged tissues. However, this potential can only be realized if cells can be reliably delivered to the target tissue and remain functional. Our lab is focused on developing bioengineering strategies to overcome challenges in delivery and control of cell phenotype after transplantation. Using a combination of chemistry and biomaterials we create tools that allow us to influence cell phenotype even after transplantation. These platform technologies have numerous applications. We are currently focused on understanding and tailoring mesenchymal stromal cell (MSC) based therapy to inflammatory conditions.

Cardiovascular Biomechanics

Suresh M.L. Raghavan

  • Mechanics of soft tissue
  • Heart valve Prosthesis
  • Cardiovascular biomechanics


The mission of the BioMechanics Of Soft Tissues (BioMOST) division is to contribute to the understanding, diagnosis, and treatment of diseases of the soft tissue structures in the human body by drawing upon principles in engineering mechanics. The division employs biomechanical experimentation, mathematical modeling, and computational simulations to address issues of interest in the cardiovascular and pulmonary systems.  

Sarah Vigmostad

  • Coronary blood flow dynamics
  • Heart valve mechanics
  • Cardiovascular implant design and analysis


Coronary blood flow dynamics; heart valve mechanics; cardiovascular implant design and analysis; RBC dynamics for analysis of blood damage; vocal cord dynamics

Regenerative Engineering

Kristan Worthington

  • Stem Cells
  • Neuroregeneration
  • 3D-Printed Biomaterials
  • Photopolymerization


Polymeric biomaterials are powerful tools for advancing modern medicine. However, understanding the way these materials interact with human cells and tissue is critical to their success. To that end, our lab characterizes and harnesses interactions between polymeric materials and biological systems. We apply this knowledge to the creation of materials with precise structural, mechanical, and chemical properties that meet the needs of applications involving soft tissue, including the nervous system.

Michael A. Mackey

  • Highlight
  • Highlight
  • Highlight


Live cell imaging; modeling biomedical reaction pathways in living cells

Computational Genomics

Terry A. Braun

  • Bioinformatics/Genomics
  • Software Design/Algorithms
  • Machine Learning
  • Visual and Hearing Science/Disease
  • Cancer Genomics


Evaluating variants of uncertain significance remains a challenge in the era of decreasing sequencing costs. Combining genomic resources, phenotypic, clinical and imaging data, molecular data, software systems, and machine learning offers new opportunities to impact genomics and its application to disease. Software and simulations continue of provide methods for modeling the challenges in understanding how genomic alterations impact the systems and networks in biology. My lab specializes in developing bioinformatics software and algorithms to address these challenges.

Thomas L. Casavant

  • Bioinformatics
  • Computational biology
  • Genome sequence analysis
  • Computer architecture
  • Parallel processing



Bioinformatics; computational biology; genome sequence analysis; software tools for human disease mutation identification

Michael Schnieders

  • Next generation theory and tools for biomolecular x-ray crystallography
  • Prediction of the structure, thermodynamics and solubility of drug tablets
  • Personalized medicine: from genome sequencing to molecular phenotypes
  • Biomolecular electrostatics and hig


Our lab is focused on molecular biophysics theory and high performance computational algorithms that are needed to reduce the time and cost of engineering drugs and organic biomaterials. A complementary goal is to help open the door to personalized medicine by developing tools to map genetic information onto molecular phenotypes.  Learn more

Human Simulation & Computational Biomechanics

Karim Abdel-Malek

  • Human simulation
  • Human system integration
  • Injury prediction


Human simulation: human systems integration; injury prediction; human modeling; virtual reality; personal protective equipment simulation; sports simulation

Imaging & Biological Systems

Sajan Goud Lingala

  • High speed MRI methods
  • Inverse Problems
  • Rapid dynamic MRI of moving organs
  • Quantitative MRI for tumor characterization


The Laboratory of Quantitative and Dynamic Magnetic Resonance Imaging focuses on the development of novel MRI acquisition, reconstruction, and processing methods that enables rapid and informative MRI applications. Current application areas include dynamic MRI of moving organs (eg. upper-airway dynamics during speaking, free breathing cardiopulmonary MRI), and tumor characterization using quantitative MRI biomarkers. Our lab has access to state of the art research dedicated MRI scanners at the Magnetic Resonance Research Facility, and also to clinical scanners at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. We collaborate with several research and clinical faculty from the Departments of RadiologyCommunication Sciences and Disorders, and Iowa Institute of Biomedical Imaging.

Joseph M. Reinhardt

  • Medical image analysis
  • Pulmonary imaging
  • Machine learning


My lab focuses on using unique imaging protocols, image processing and image analysis, and machine learning to understand the respiratory system.  We use CT imaging to study normal lung anatomy and biomechanics and to observe the changes that occur during diseases such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, in an effort to better understand disease progression and build predictive models that might be used to guide therapy.

Musculoskeletal Biomechanics

Nicole M. Grosland

  • Computation Modeling (FEA)
  • Medical Device Design
  • Spinal Biomechanics


The emphasis of my work has been a collaborative effort directed at computational modeling  and experimental testing of anatomic structures.   A primary objective has been to automate the development of patient- /  subject- specific models using a combination of imaging and modeling techniques, with particular emphasis on finite element modeling.  A primary goal has been to investigate the response to, as well as the design of, medical implants and devices. 

Tae-Hong Lim

  • Musculoskeletal Biomechanics
  • Drug Delivery


In-vivo physiological forces in the spinal have been considered critical for better understanding the cause and treatment of low back pain problems but remains unknown yet.  I have been conducting computational and experimental studies to investigate the roles of spinal muscles in stabilizing the spine via follower load mechanism.  In addition, I have been developing a method for treating pains in musculoskeletal joints including low back based on the sustained release of pain reliever from a drug delivery device injected into the painful joint.

David G. Wilder

  • Injury prevention
  • Spine biomechanics & ergonomics
  • Whole-body vibration exposure
  • Posture
  • Standards development


Low back problems are well-recognized as a public health consequence of vibration exposure.  While national and international human vibration exposure standards are the core of prevention strategies, there are important gaps in our knowledge of the interaction between human postural configuration and vibration that may hinder the optimization of human interactions with vehicles, heavy equipment, aircraft and watercraft. Two particular areas are the physiological effects of these conditions on seated, healthy people and supine, injured people. 


I investigate the effects of subtle and gross differences in posture and postural support on the response of the seated or supine human to typical whole-body vibration/repetitive mechanical shock conditions.  I have worked on optimizing the interactions between the human spine and its physical environment, including the effect of treatment interventions (of the person or the physical environment), while taking into account the passive and active: stiffness, damping and mass characteristics as well as the limitations of the components involved. I have conducted work ranging from translational, biomechanics/ergonomics research to developing international consensus standards on human exposure to vibration / repetitive mechanical shock (impact) conditions. These consensus standards can serve as de-facto design constraints that can be used to minimize the risk of developing musculoskeletal disorders in those physical environments. 


The standards that I have helped develop at the national (American National Standards Institute or ANSI) and international (International Standards Organization or ISO) since 1998, can be described as “soft law” that benefits people around the world.