Under the direction of Dr. Zuyi (Jacky) Huang, the Biological & Environmental Systems Engineering lab (BESEL) is developing integrated mathematical modeling and experimental techniques for complicated biological and environmental systems to combat disease-causing microorganisms and optimize the design of environmentally friendly biofuels. While BESEL projects integrate disciplines of Chemical Engineering, Civil Engineering, Biomedical Engineering, Biology and Chemistry, emphasis is given to the following research areas:
- Computational approaches to identify inhibitors for drug targets that are responsible for human diseases (e.g., cancers, viruses, and infections);
- Systems biology approaches to study metabolisms of foodborne pathogens;
- Development of mathematical models for optimizing T cell growth and for reducing side effects of immunotherapy;
- Big data analysis of pathogens, viruses, and diseases;
- Design of sediment microbial fuel cells (for STEM OutReach).
Students in the lab focus on the investigation of novel experiment design, and model development and systems analysis methods. They are encouraged to apply integrated experimental and modeling techniques to practical projects that solve challenging issues faced by the society in human health and environmental sustainability. Programs in R, MATLAB and ICM docking are used by students in their research. High computing performance clusters and multiple-core workstation in the lab equip students with enough computing power in their research.