Nano Sensors Group | Illinois

People


Brian P. Cunningham

Brian T. Cunningham

Professor
Dept. of Electrical and Computer Engineering
Dept. of Bioengineering
Micro and Nanotechnology Laboratory
208 N. Wright Street
Urbana, IL 61801
PhD, 1990, MS, 1987, BS, 1986,
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Prior Experience

2000 – 2011

SRU Biosystems, Woburn , MA
Founder, Director
Chief Technical Officer
  • Invented label-free high throughput optical biosensor and readout instrument technology using nanostructured plastic surfaces that are microreplicated from silicon master wafers. Applications include high throughput pharmaceutical compound screening, molecular diagnostics, PCR, electrophoresis, label-free microarrays, proteomics, environmental detection, and whole-cell assays.
  • Company currently employs 40 people, including 9 PhDs. Technology currently surpasses any other label-free method in terms of sensitivity, throughput, and cost-per-assay.
  • Lead product development, application development, and manufacturing of consumable biosensors and instrumentation for biosensor readout. Fielded first commercial prototypes 14 months from initial invention. Full commercial launch in 2003.
  • Responsible for intellectual property, journal publications, conference presentations, market identification, strategic partnership development, investor presentations, team development, and project management while also performing as a technical contributor.

2000-2004

University of Illinois , Champaign , IL
Adjunct Professor, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
  • Co-investigator for DARPA-sponsored Bio-Optical Sensor System (BOSS) Center

1995 – 2000

Draper Laboratory, Cambridge , MA
Principal Member of Technical Staff
Group Leader for MEMS Sensors
Technical Director for Chemical and Biological Sensors

  • Technical leader for group of 30 scientists, engineers, and technicians developing novel miniature sensors and actuators. Responsible for defining and proposing new projects, staff development, and coordination of lab activities.
  • Invented and demonstrated MEMS resonators and resonator arrays capable of measuring biochemical interactions. Led technical team to characterize sensor array performance for several applications, including detection of biological weapons, real-time blood analysis, DNA sequencing, implantable biosensors, and protein analysis. Initiated laboratory activities in this area, which became a $2M/year program.
  • Invented and demonstrated MEMS-based tissue engineered structures capable of supporting liver cell growth through a three-dimensional capillary network. Ultimate goal of project (still active at Draper) is creation of an artificial liver.
  • Responsible for design, fabrication, and characterization of several novel MEMS devices including high performance gyroscopes, accelerometers, on-wafer vacuum packaging, microphones, and optical mirror arrays.

1998 - 2000

Center for Innovative Minimally Invasive Therapy (CIMIT), Boston , MA (www.cimit.org)
Director of Miniature Sensor Advanced Technology Team
Member of Scientific Management Committee
  • Work with team of clinical research physicians at Massachusetts General Hospital to develop novel technical approaches to improve the effectiveness, invasiveness, and cost of health care. Generate collaborative project proposals and lead technical activity in the area of biomedical sensors.
  • Member of multidisciplinary panel that determines technical direction of CIMIT and evaluates project proposals. Member of CIMIT founding committee.

1991 - 1995

Raytheon Electronic Systems Division, Lexington , MA
Senior Project Scientist
  • Developed novel approaches for fabrication of multiple wavelength infrared imaging arrays and silicon MEMS infrared sensors. Demonstrated prototype systems and transfer of technology to manufacturing group.
  • Manager of infrared detector fabrication laboratory. Coordinated process development, readout circuit design, packaging, testing, and transfer of manufacturing. Supervised technical staff of scientists and engineers.

1990 - 1991

Sandia National Laboratory, Albuquerque , NM
Postdoctoral Scientist
  • Compound semiconductor epitaxy of InSb/InAsSb strained-layer heterostructures for infrared sensors.

1987 - 1990

University of Illinois , Urbana , IL
Research Assistant for Prof. G.E. Stillman

  • Epitaxial deposition of III-V semiconductor layers by MOCVD including GaAs, AlGaAs, InP, InGaAs, and GaP. Discovered and characterized the first effective carbon doping source for GaAs and AlGaAs.
  • Applied carbon doping to III-V device structures including HBTs and laser diodes. Demonstrated first carbon-doped base GaAs/AlGaAs HBT.

 

Education

1990
Ph.D. Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Professor: Dr. Gregory E. Stillman
Thesis: Carbon Doping of MOCVD-Grown Compound Semiconductor Epitaxial Layers Using Carbon Tetrachloride
Army Fellowship
Semiconductor Research Corporation Fellowship Award

1987
M.S. Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Professor: Dr. W. Kent Fuchs
Thesis: Fault Characterization and Delay Fault Testing of GaAs Logic Circuits

1986
B.S. Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Highest Honors
Bronze Tablet
James Scholar

 

Other Activities

  • Interim Director, Micro and Nanotechnology Laboratory, 2012-present
  • Director, Bioengineering Graduate Program, 2010-2013
  • Director, NSF Center for Agricultural, Biomedical, and Pharmaceutical Nanotechnology (CABPN) 2009 - present
  • College of Engineering Executive Committee, 2010-2012
  • IEEE Sensors Council, Executive Committee, Secretary and Treasurer, 2008-2009
  • NIH Review Panel, Instrumentation and System Development, ad hoc Member, October 2007, February 2008
  • NIH Review Panel, Instrumentation and System Development, Permanent Member, 2010-2014
  • NSF Review Panel, Biophotonics, May 2000, July 2004, March 2005, December 2006
  • NSF SBIR Review Panel, March 2005
  • ASTAR Review Panel, Biosensors, February 2005
  • NSF Site Review, Biophotonics Center at UC Davis, 2005, 2006, 2010
  • Journal Reviewer for Analytical Chemica Acta, Nanotechnology, Optics Communications, Optics Express, Applied Physics Letters
  • Session Chair, BioMEMS 2002 Conference
  • UIUC Senate, 2005-2007, 2009-2011
  • UIUC ECE Department Fellowship Awards Committee, 2005-present
  • UIUC ECE Department Curriculum Committee, 2005-2007

Awards

  • National Academy of Inventors, 2014
  • Fellow of the Optical Society of America, 2014
  • IEEE Sensors Council Distinguished Lecturer, 2013
  • Chairperson, NIH Study Section on Instrument and System Development, 2012-2014
  • Fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE), 2012
  • Fellow of IEEE, 2012
  • IEEE Sensors Council Technical Achievement Award, 2010
  • Medical Scholars Program Outstanding Advisor Award, 2010
  • Engineering Council Award for Excellence in Advising, 2010
  • Association for Laboratory Automation Innovation Award Top Candidate, 2009
  • Grainger Program in Emerging Technologies Grant, 2008
  • Xerox Award for Faculty Research, 2008
  • Draper Laboratory Best Patent Award, 2006
  • Senior Member of IEEE, 2007
  • Incomplete List of Faculty Rated "Excellent" by Students, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2012