Research areas

Our research is concentrated in five areas:

  • Biogeochemistry and Environmental Bioscience
  • Bioinformatics
  • Biological Materials
  • Biomimicry
  • Biomedical Science and Bioengineering

Biogeochemistry and Environmental Bioscience

Biogeochemistry examines the roles that biological activities have in modulating elemental cycles, as well as the roles that prevailing chemical conditions have on biology.  Research ranges from surveying the biogeochemical cycling of elements to applied questions (e.g., how can biological activities be economically exploited?; how do ecosystems respond to anthropogenic disturbances?). Environmental Bioscience is an exceptionally broad field that spans from basic ecology/evolution to bioremediation and habitat restoration. IB students in environmental bioscience study everything from pollination biology, life history evolution, microbial community ecology to applied issues (e.g., oil spills, mine discharge, groundwater contamination, stream pollution, habitat destruction, and brownfields).



BioinformaticsBioinformatics is defined as an “interdisciplinary field that combines computer science, statistics, mathematics, and engineering to analyze and interpret biological data.” The massive growth of whole genome genetic data has also grown the need to interpret these data and to draw meaning from the wealth of organisms that are being assayed across the globe.


Biological Materials

Biological materials play key roles in organism function – from influencing how the cytoskeleton transports materials within cells to production of blue colors without using pigments in diverse animals to explaining how nearly invisible spider webs can stop fast flying insects in mid-air.  Investigating biological materials integrates biology, engineering and materials science and often spans the biological hierarchy. Biological materials research also has important implications for health, technology and Biomimicry.



The unparalleled diversity of processes, materials, and resources, in the natural, world offer design solutions for societal challenges ranging from medicine to traffic to economy to sustainable urban growth. But successful translation of designs from nature requires a new way of thinking about the relationship between university research, education and community partners such as government and industry. Students in Integrated Biosciences studying biomimicry can leverage university expertise in biomimetic research to collaborate with regional partners who have developed a business model using Biomimicry as the foundation for the Great Lakes region to become the world’s leader in sustainable innovation, both economically and educationally, powered by technologies inspired from the natural world around us.


Biomedical Science and Bioengineering

Research in this area is focused on investigation, innovation, and translation of scientific discoveries to enhance patient care. This involves designing devices that can be efficiently used to monitor patient’s conditions, developing imaging techniques for early diagnosis and to monitor treatment outcome, or investigating novel drug delivery systems and nanomedicine to effectively treat different pathological conditions. Research areas include (but are not limited to): developing and testing new therapies for patients who suffer diseases that result in the loss of healthy tissue using stem cells, regenerative medicine; developing biomaterials to facilitate tissue repair; understanding cardiovascular dynamics and developing pioneering surgical and device treatments for heart failure; understanding brain function and disease conditions and developing effective interventions and stimulation to facilitate repair; computational modeling to design new devices and therapy.

Faculty from The University of Akron