Rashid Bashir is a Pakistani-born American engineer and scientist. He is the Abel Bliss Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Bioengineering at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the Director of the Micro and Nanotechnology Laboratory (a campus wide clean room facility). He is a world leader in BioMEMS, Bionanotechnology, Bio-Sensors and applications of semiconductor processing and nanotechnology to biology and medicine. He received PhD from Purdue University in 1992 at the age of 25.
His research interests include Bionanotechnology, BioMEMS, Lab-on-a-chip, interfacing of biology and engineering from the molecular to the tissue scale, and applications of semiconductor fabrication to Biomedical engineering, all applied to biomedical problems. He has been involved in 2 start-ups that have licensed his technologies (BioVitesse, Inc. and Daktari Diagnostics).
Prof. Bashir’s key technical contributions and achievements lie in the area of BioMEMS and Bionanotechnology, especially in the use of electrical or mechanical-based label-free methods for detection of biological entities on a chip. In addition, he has also made key contributions to 3-D fabrication methods that can be used for tissue engineering and development of cellular systems.
Rashid Bashir completed his BSEE in Dec. 1987 from Texas Tech University, his MSEE from Purdue University in 1989, and his Ph.D. from Purdue University in 1992. From Oct. 1992 to Oct. 1998, he worked at National Semiconductor Corporation in the Analog/Mixed Signal Process Technology Development Group. where he was promoted to Sr. Engineering Manager. He joined Purdue University in Oct. 1998 as an Assistant Professor and was later promoted to Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering and a Courtesy Professor of Biomedical Engineering and Mechanical Engineering. Since joining the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in Oct. 2007, he has been the Abel Bliss Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering & Bioengineering, Director of the Micro and Nanotechnology Laboratory ( a campus-wide clean room facility), and Co-Director of the campus-wide Center for Nanoscale Science and Technology, a “collaboratory” aimed at facilitating center grants and large initiatives around campus in the area of nanotechnology.
Prior to embarking on a highly successful academic career, he spend six years in at National Semiconductor Corporation where he and his group developed and deployed three semiconductor analog process technologies (VIP3, VIP3H, and VIP4H) into manufacturing, and laid the foundations of two other RF BiCMOS technologies. His pioneering contributions were acknowledged by multiple patents and achievement awards at National Semiconductor Corporation.
After spending eight years at Purdue University and being promoted from Assistant Professor to Full Professor, he joined University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign as chaired professor in 2007. He has authored or co-authored over 140 journal papers, over 160 conference papers and conference abstracts, and over 100 invited talks, and has been granted 34 patents. He is coauthor of an edited book and 9 book chapters on the topics of BioMEMS and Bionanotechnology. He has delivered over 100 invited talks at many US and International Institutions. Due to his pioneering contributions to the field of Bionanotechnology and semiconductor fabrication methods to biomedical applications, he has been awarded fellowship of IEEE, APS, AIMBE, and AAAS.
His most significant contributions have been in the development of electrical based biochip sensors and development of micro-mechanical sensors for biological detection. His work has had widespread impact on utilization of BioMEMS technologies for diagnostic applications and micro-scale technologies for cellular characterization. He has developed dielectrophoretic filters for capture of bacteria and applied label free electrical sensing methods for subsequent detection of bacterial growth in MicroFluidic devices. These approaches can have important implications in clinical and pharmaceutical applications where determination of live and dead bacteria is the rate limiting step. This work was licensed to BioVitesse, Inc. Electrical methods were then applied to the detection of white blood cells with the development of a new lysate-based impedance spectroscopy (in collaboration with MGH/Harvard during his sabbatical). This method was found to be more sensitive than ELISA but not requiring any subsequent labeling steps. The work is the basis of a new startup (Daktari, Inc.) and is being applied to detection of CD4+ white blood cells for the global health and detection of AIDs/HIV infection. Prof. Bashir has continued his impact on development of electrical based biosensors by developing selective nanopore channel sensors which showed that short 18mer single stranded DNA molecules (akin to miRNA molecules) cane detected selectively using Solid State Nanopore Sensors that are functionalized with DNA molecules. This new class of hybrid Nanopore sensors combines the power of solid state devices with exquisite selectivity of biological molecules.
Prof. Bashir has also made pioneering contributions towards development of micro-mechanical sensors for biological applications. His group demonstrated the development of nanometer scale thick cantilevers for detection of viruses and also demonstrated that attachment of proteins on these structures can affect their stiffness, which can affect their resonant frequencies. These studies also revealed fundamental insight into the adsorption of proteins on these structures is function of the area of the sensors, and these findings have significant impact on the design of nanoscale mechanical sensors. He extended this work to study physical properties of mammalian cell mass and stiffness. His group most recently developed micromechanical resonant mass sensors for the detection of cell mass versus time for single adherent cell mass and found that the cell growth rate increases with cell mass.
Prof. Bashir has demonstrated his leadership skills by assembling and leading large national grants. He is PI on NSF IGERT on Cellular and Molecular Mechanics and Bionanotechnology at UIUC and PI also on NIH Training Grant on Cancer Nanotechnology at UIUC. He is Campus Lead on NSF Science and Technology Center on Emergent Behavior of Integrated Cellular Systems (headquartered at MIT, with partners at Georgia Tech and UIUC) and a Member of the Executive Committee of the NSF Nanoscale Science and Engineering Engineering at Ohio State University. He also serves on the external advisory board of the NIH-funded BioMEMS Resource Center at Harvard/MGH and the NIH-funded Center for Cancer Nanotechnology Excellence at Stanford University. His contributions to the field of BioMEMS and Bionanotechnology have earned him Associate Editorships of IEEE Transaction of Biomedical Engineering and Biomedical Microdevices, and a membership of the Editorial Board of Biomedical Microdevices, Nanomedicine, Nanotechnology Science and Applications, Experimental Biology and Medicine and Annual Review of Biomedical Engineering.