Brian T. Cunningham
Donald Biggar Willett Professor of Engineering
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
2000 – 2011
SRU Biosystems, Woburn , MA
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
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.
University of Illinois , Champaign , IL
Adjunct Professor, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
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
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.
Ph.D. Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Illinois
Professor: Dr. Gregory E. Stillman
Thesis: Carbon Doping of MOCVD-Grown Compound Semiconductor
Epitaxial Layers Using Carbon Tetrachloride
Semiconductor Research Corporation Fellowship Award
M.S. Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Illinois
Professor: Dr. W. Kent Fuchs
Thesis: Fault Characterization and Delay Fault Testing of GaAs
B.S. Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Illinois
Selected Other Activities
- Director, Micro and Nanotechnology Laboratory, 2014-present
- Interim Director, Micro and Nanotechnology Laboratory, 2012-2014
- Director, Bioengineering Graduate Program, 2010-2013
- Director, NSF Center for Agricultural, Biomedical, and Pharmaceutical Nanotechnology (CABPN) 2009 - 2015
- 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
- Chairperson, NIH Study Section on Instrument and System Development, 2012-2014
- 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
- Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society Technical Achievement Award, 2014
- National Academy of Inventors, 2014
- Fellow of the Optical Society of America, 2014
- IEEE Sensors Council Distinguished Lecturer, 2013
- 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