Academics — 02 May 2011

Babak received his graduate degrees from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. From 2000 to 2001 he was with Nanovation Technologies Inc. as a device designer and a product manager working on integrated photonics. He joined the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology at Harvard University as a postdoctoral research fellow in 2001. At Harvard, he was involved in research on developing novel nanofabrication technologies, self-assembled systems, low-cost biosensing, and using organics for electronics and MEMS. He joined the UW Electrical Engineering Department as a faculty member in October 2003. He is currently the Associate Director of the Micro-scale Life Sciences Center at the University of Washington. Babak is a founding member of the American Academy of Nanomedicine; a senior member of the IEEE; and a member of the American Association for Advancement of Science, American Chemical Society, Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology, and Sigma Xi.

Honors and Awards

  • United States National Academy of Engineering’s Frontiers of Engineering
    (2009: selected attendee, 2010: selected member of the organizing committee)
  • McMorrow Innovation Professorship (2009-2012)
  • Emerald Literati Network 2009 Awards for Excellence
  • Nokia Foundation Visiting Professor 2008-2009
  • Time Magazine Best Invention of the Year 2008
    Work on functional contacts chosen as one of the Best Inventions of the Year 2008
  • Emerging Innovator of the Year Award 2008
    Univ. of Washington School of Medicine
  • Exhibition at the London Museum of Science 2008
    Our research group’s work on constructing lens microsystems has been reported by hundreds of news organizations including: ABC, BBC, CBC, CBS, CNN, NBC, NPR, Discovery Channel, The Economist, Business Week, Washington Post, The Times, Guardian, Daily Telegraph, Independent, Yahoo!, MIT Technology Review, EE Times, IEEE Spectrum, The Chronicle of Higher Education, Popular Mechanics, Focus, Le Monde, El Pais, Wired, etc.
    In April 2008, the London Museum of Science put a prototype lens from our group on display for public viewing for the first time.
  • MIT Technology Review 35 Young Innovator Award 2007
    Selected by the MIT Technology Review Magazine as one of the top 35 innovators in the world under the age of 35. (TR35)
  • Spanion Best Student Paper Award (Ehsan Saeedi) of the 3rd IEEE CASE Conference 2007
  • Best student paper award (Sam Kim) of the 2nd IEEE NEMS conference 2007
  • National Science Foundation (NSF) CAREER Award 2007
  • Selected as a Rising Star Investigator in genomics by the Genome Technology Magazine (cover of the Dec/Jan 2007 issue)
  • Nominated for the Faculty Service Award
    Electrical Engineering Department, University of Washington, May 2008
  • Nominated for the Outstanding Research Advisor Award 2006 and 2007, 2008 (received)
    Electrical Engineering Department, University of Washington
  • Selected to participate in the National Academies Keck Future Initiative 2005
    “The Genomic Revolution: Implication for Treatment and Control of Infectious Disease”
  • Selected to participate in the National Academies Keck Future Initiative 2004
    “Designing Nanostructures at the Interface Between Biomedical and Physical Systems”
  • Nominated for the Outstanding Teaching Award 2004
    Electrical Engineering Department, University of Washington
  • Distinguished Achievement Award 2000
    Electrical Engineering Department, University of Michigan
  • First prize, Kharazmi Award 1991
    For design of a single-pilot single-engine airplane
  • Bronze medal, 22nd International Physics Olympiad 1991

Research Interests

1. Research at the interface between biology and electrical engineering (developing tools for the study of biology at the single cell level, functional contact lenses, ultra-low-cost genome sequencing technology, direct conversion of molecular recognition and binding events to electrical signals, using biomolecules for self-assembling engineered structures, hybrid biological/solid-state devices and systems, low-cost biomedical devices, ultra-low cost biodetection, analysis of complex mixtures of molecules, multiplexed sensing)

2. Engineered Self-assembly(design and construction of self-assembled structures and devices in the micro and nano-scales, self-assembly as an engineering concept, self-assembly across the size-scale, self-assembly for heterogeneous system integration, self-packaging, developing self-assembly as a method for mass manufacturing)

3. Nanotechnology(design and fabrication of nano-scale electronic, photonic, and mechanical devices; investigation of novel nano-scale phenomena for device design in the nano-scale, nanoelectrochemistry)

4. MEMS (large area and low-cost microfabrication; green microfabrication; biodegradable micro devices; micro devices for human performance augmentation; novel human-machine interfaces)


Harvard University, Postdoctoral Fellowship (Chemistry and Chemical Biology)
University of Michigan, PhD (Electrical Engineering)
University of Michigan, MS (Physics)
University of Michigan, MS (Electrical Engineering)
Sharif University of Technology, BS (Electrical Engineering)
University of Washington, BA (English Literature)

Mahmoud Bambouyani

Mahmoud Bambouyani

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Ehsan Afshari

Ehsan Afshari

May 08, 2011
Arjang A. Assad

Arjang A. Assad

May 02, 2011
Mohsen Khatib Rahbar

Mohsen Khatib Rahbar

April 29, 2011
Nasser Khalili

Nasser Khalili

April 28, 2011
Ata Amini

Ata Amini

April 27, 2011
Cyrus Hadavi

Cyrus Hadavi

April 10, 2011
Fariba Ghodsian

Fariba Ghodsian

April 07, 2011
Shirin Dehghan

Shirin Dehghan

March 22, 2011


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