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Samir Iqbal, Ph.D., PE, FRSC


Principal Investigator



School of Medicine

University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, Edinburg, Texas, USA



College of Engineering

University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, Edinburg, Texas, USA


Ph.D. 2007, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana, USA
B.E. 1996, N.E.D. University of Engineering and Technology, Karachi, Pakistan


  • Distinguished Lecturer, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Nanotechnology Council (IEEE-NTC), 2018.

  • Distinguished Lecturer, IEEE — Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society (IEEE-EMBS), 2016-18.

  • Education Award, Tarrant County Asian American Chamber of Commerce, Arlington, Texas, 2017.

  • Presidential Research Fellow, University of Texas at Arlington, 2017-18. $20,000 Prize.

  • Fellow, The NANOSMAT Society, UK, 2017.

  • Fellow, Royal Society of Chemistry, UK, 2016.

  • Excellence in Research Award, UT-Arlington College of Engineering, 2016. $5,000 Prize.

  • Best Research Advisor Award 2015, Sigma Xi.

  • Outstanding ACES Mentor Award 2014, Sigma Xi.

  • Recognized Professor, Phi Kappa Phi, 2011.

  • Best Poster Award at "From DNA-Inspired Physics to Physics-Inspired Biology{ Conference, The Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics, Trieste, Italy, 2009.

  • CAREER Award, National Science Foundation, 2009: “Nanoelectronic Microfluidic Biochip for Ultrasensitive Detection of Selective Protein Biomarkers.”  Grant $468,000.

  • NSF Award to present at the 2nd International Conference on Bioengineering and Nanotechnology in Santa Barbara, California, USA, 2006.  The award covered travel and registration for selected abstracts. 

  • 2003-2004 Magoon Award for Excellence in Teaching.  Award carried cash prize, certificate and a citation.  Awardees were chosen from the teaching assistants of 13 engineering schools.

  • 1990 Merit Scholarship in Bachelor’s of Science from Punjab University, Lahore, Pakistan.



  • Fellowship to attend and present at the Micro Nano Technology (MNT) Special Interest Group (SIG) and High Impact Technology Exchange Conference (HI-TEC), Salt Lake City, UT, USA (July 18 – 20, 2017).

  • Faculty Fellow, US Air Force Research Labs, Human Effectiveness Directorate, 2015.

  • President's Award for Excellence in Teaching, UT-Arlington Department of Electrical Engineering Nominee, 2014.

  • Fellowship to attend the European Summit for Clinical Nanomedicine 2013, Basel, Switzerland.

  • Eminent Engineer, Tau Beta Pi, National Engineering Honor Society, 2013

  • Best Academic Advisor 2012-13, UT-Arlington, Honorable Mention, 2013.

  • President's Award for Excellence in Teaching, College of Engineering Nominee, 2013.

  • Fellowships, NSF National Center for Nanotechnology Applications and Career Knowledge (NACK) Network, Center for Nanotechnology Education and Utilization (CNEU), Penn State University:

    • Nanotechnology Course Resources Workshop: Processing & Materials, 2013

    • Nanotechnology Course Resources II: Patterning, Characterization & Applications Workshop, 2012

    • 2012 Micro Nano Technology Conference

  • NSF Fellowship for "NSF Summer Institute: The Materials Genome: Current Practice and Future Promise" at Northwestern University, Evanston, IL, USA, 2013.

  • NSF Fellowship for "Short Course on Materiomics – Merging Biology and Engineering in Multiscale Structures and Materials" at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Massachusetts, USA, 2012.

  • NSF Fellowship for "NSF Summer Institute: Cancer Nanotechnology: Analysis, Imaging and Treatment over Multiple Scales" at the Methodist Hospital Research Institute, Houston, Texas, USA, 2011.

  • NSF Fellowship to present at the "Symposium on Undergraduate Nano-Education: Addressing the Challenges of Nanoscale Science & Engineering Education" at SUNY-Albany, New York, USA, 2009.

  • NSF Fellowship to present at "NCLT Best Practices in Nano-Education," Alabama A&M University, Huntsville, Alabama, USA, 2008.

  • NSF Fellowship for "Summer Institute on Nanomechanics, Nanomaterials and Micro/ Nanomanufacturing" at Northwestern University, Evanston, IL, USA, 2008.

Current Studens

Current Students

Mohammad Abdallah

Mohammad completed his undergraduate studies in Electrical Engineering from UTA in 2009. He is currently working on his Ph.D in Electrical Engineering.

He has been inspired to apply his knowledge of Electrical Engineering to solve unmet medical needs of patients around the world and help improve their health day by day.

Graduate Student, Electrical Engineering

Muhammad Usman Raza

Usman is from Lahore, Pakistan, the capital of culture and food. He completed his undergraduate studies in Electronics Engineering from the Ghulam Ishaq Khan Institute in Pakistan. Afterwards, he worked at PTCL and DESCON and also taught at the COMSATS Institute of Information Technology in Lahore.

In 2013, he joined UTA for his doctoral studies in Electrical Engineering. 
The objective of his research is to fabricate novel biosensors for biological analyte detection. His focus area is nanopore and micropore based biosensors in various configurations for biological analyte detection and simulation.

In his free time, he likes to read about world history and biographical accounts of notable personalities. He also loves to travel and explore new places.

Graduate Student, Electrical Engineering

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Waqas Ali

Waqas did his undergrad in Electrical Engineering from University of Engineering and Technology, Lahore, Pakistan in 2007.  He taught at COMSATS Institute of Information Technology in the same city before joining UTA in 2010 for his Ph.D.  His research is focused on the fabrication of nano-devices for biomedical applications.

He likes to play cricket, badminton, and snooker and challenges himself with weight training. 

Graduate Student, Electrical Engineering

Waseem earned his doctorate from UTA in Spring of 2012. He had his B.S. in Electrical Engineering from University of Engineering and Technology, Lahore, Pakistan. His research was on the detection of cancer at molecular and cellular scale using solid-state nano and micropores.


He joined Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology as a post-doc in Fall of 2012.  Now he is an Assistant Professor at Florida Atlantic University.

Md. Motasim Bellah

Motasim completed his B.S. from Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET), Dhaka, Bangladesh, and is now in direct Ph.D. at UTA. 

He is devising new electrical interfaces to disease biomarkers.

He is a good player of table tennis (ping-pong) and badminton. He also like music, fiction and math. He enjoys exploring new places with friends.

Graduate Student, Electrical Engineering

Hung Chang, Ph.D.

Hung Chang graduated with his Ph.D. from Purdue University and joined Arizona State University as a Research Assistant Professor.  He joined our group as a Research Scientist in 2009. His research is focused on Biomedical Devices, Bioinstrumentation and Nano-Electro-Mechanical Systems (NEMS).

Research Scientist

Mohammad Raziul Hasan

Raziul completed his B.Sc. in Electrical and Electronic Engineering from Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology, Dhaka, Bangladesh before joining United International University (also in Dhaka) as a lecturer.  He also worked as Quantitative Software Developer at Stochastic Logic Ltd. before joining UTA in direct PhD program in Fall of 2011. His research is focused on nanopores and quantification of cell behavior.

He likes music, sports and loves traveling and photography.

Graduate Student, Electrical Engineering

Arif Iftakher

Arif did his BS in Electrical and Electronics Engineering from Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology, Dhaka, Bangladesh and joined us for his direct Ph.D. 

His research is focused on modeling nano-scale interactions and development of novel opto-to-electronic devices.

He likes music, sports, hiking and is an avid photographer.  He believes “Never limit the challenges, challenge the limits".

Graduate Student, Electrical Engineering

Azhar Ilyas

Azhar did his BS in Electrical Engineering from University of Engineering and Technology, Lahore, Pakistan. He joined UTA Electrical Engineering department in August 2009 in the direct Ph.D. program.

He is very interested in Applied Mathematics and is working on applications of Artificial Photosynthesis in Photovoltaic cells.

He is a very good basketball player. He is very athletic as well. He loves to play cards with his friends in his spare time. He likes travelling and soft rock.

Graduate Student, Electrical Engineering

Muhymin Islam

Muhymin is in direct Ph.D. program. Before joining us in August 2010, he completed his BS in Electrical Engineering from Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET), Dhaka, Bangladesh.  His research focuses on biosensors for molecular detection.

He never misses any opportunity to play football or cricket and likes to explore new places. He loves music and books.

He believes, "Unless we dream how dream will come true - let’s make our world better than the best." 

Graduate Student, Electrical Engineering

Nuzhat Mansur

Nuzhat is in direct Ph.D. program since 2011. Before that she completed her Bachelor's in Electrical and Electronic Engineering from Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology, Dhaka, Bangladesh.  She worked as an Operation and Maintenance Engineer in Orascom Telecom Bangladesh Ltd. before joining UTA. Her current research focuses on the modeling of nanopore behavior. 

She loves reading and traveling. She also enjoys the company of friends and family.

Graduate Student, Electrical Engineering

Wan Yuan, M.D., Ph.D.

Wan got Bachelor’s degree in Medicine and Master’s degree in Science from Southeast University in 2004 and 2007. He earned his doctorate from UTA in Spring 2012.  He has joined Queensland University as a post-doctoral research associate.

His pre-doctoral research focused on polyacrylamide gel based DNA microarrays. During Ph.D. he studied cancer cell detection strategies. He used his medical background to bring research in bioengineering very close to the clinical medicine. 

Joseph Billo

Joe completed his B.S. in Electrical Engineering at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX. He joined UTA in January of 2010 and graduated with his MS (Electrical Engineering) in May 2012.  His research focused in software development for data analysis and theoretical understanding of nanopore shrinking processes. He joined Texas Instruments in Fall 2012.

Joe likes creative hobbies such as cooking, painting, writing, and amateur programming.  He also enjoys comedic musicals and operas.

M.S. (Electrical Engineering)

Swati Goyal

Swati graduated with her degree in Dec 2009.  Herthesis was on the development of low-abundant protein enrichment and electrical detection of DNA. 

She was our expert on polymer microfluidics among many other interesting directions.  She is now with Life Technologies, CA.

MS (Bioengineering)

Madiha Hanif

Madiha joined the Bio-engineering department at UTA in August 2010.

Currently, she is in the 5-year program to earn a Bachelor's degree in Biology and a Master's degree in Bio-medical Engineering.

Her research interests include tissue engineering with the use of biotechnology, microdevices as bio-reactors, and cross-disciplinary technologies for the early detection of cancer.

Undergraduate Student, Bio-Engineering

Wintana Kahsai

Wintana did her 5-years BS/MS Bioengineering in Spring 2012. Her research focused on self-assembled nano and microfluidic structures.

MS (Bioengineering)

Kelly McClurg

Kelly graduated from Texas A&M University in May 2009 with a B.S. in Biomedical Engineering.  She worked with us for a year as a MavGrad Engineering Fellow. 


Her undergraduate research emphasis was on biomaterials and tissue engineering. and she developed electrically-addressable DNA-protein interaction detection platform which could be used for high-throughput screening.

Kelly enjoys outdoor activities including biking, swimming, and hiking.  She is a regular at IronMan triathlons. 

MS (Materials Science and Engineering)

Mohammud Noor "Shawon"

Shawon finished his Masters with thesis in Electrical Engineering in Dec 2009.  His thesis focused on electrical detection of DNA.


He was our resident expert on Scanning electron Microscopy, FIB/E-beam Lithography and many other things.

MS (Electrical Engineering)

Sasank Peri

Sasank completed his Bachelor of Technology in Biomedical Engineering from Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University, Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, India. He joined the UTA Bioengineering department in Fall 2014. He is currently in the masters program and will be working towards his Ph.D.

His research interests include tissue engineering, biomaterials, microfabrication technology, and development of point-of-care devices for the early detection of cancer.

He loves listening to music and enjoys playing badminton.

Graduate Student, Bio-Medical Engineering

Uyen (Wenny) Pham

Wenny is doing her 5 year Bioengineering (BS-to-MS) program.  She plans to do MD-PhD before she is 28. 

Her areas of interest are tissue engineering, genetics, and immunology.  She hopes to continue research in nanomedicine and nanosurgery.

She loves reading medical books, to learn about new technologies, and travels for helping in third-world countries. 

She believes that “the reason we fall down is to learn to pick ourselves up again.”  This is a quote that Dr. Spurlock, her physics instructor at UTA told her when she decided to change her major from pre-medicine to bioengineering.

Undergraduate Student, Bioengineering

Priyanka Ramachandran

Priyanka got her MS in Bioengineering in Dec 2009.  Her thesis work spanned around electronic detection of proteins.  She has taken up a research position at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. 


She played an instrumental role in the lab outreach activities giving talks and demonstrations at Summer camps for school kids at UTA.

MS (Bioengineering)

Ahmed Shahid

Ahmed did his 5-year BS/MS in Bioengineering.  He worked on using photosynthetic  elements of plants as efficient photo-to-electric converters.  He also contributed in developing new measurement algorithms. 

He gained extensive expertise in circuit design, software development for data acquisition/analysis and biochemistry.

MS (Bioengineering)

Nahum A. Torres

Nahum proudly served eight years in the US Army and continued pursuing his education while serving. He received his B.S. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Texas at Arlington in 2009, and is continuing in direct Ph.D. program in Department of Electrical Engineering.  He worked in our lab as a MavGrad Engineering Fellow for about a year. 


His work focused on novel pathogen detection systems (Bio-defense).  He is now focusing on robotics in Prof. Dan Popa's lab.


He has a keen interest for natural sciences and hence his love for animals and nature. He has taken care of a variety of pets and currently maintains a “Discus” fish (Symphysodon aequifasciatus) aquarium. He enjoys music and the outdoors. 

Graduate Student, Electrical Engineering

Divya Vidyala

Divya did her Bachelor of Technology in Biomedical Engineering from Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University, Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, India and joined UTA Bioengineering department in Fall 2009.  She defended her thesis in Summer of 2011 and graduated with a Master's degree.


Her thesis focused biocompatible nanolayered coatings of MEMS structures.

MS (Bioengineering)

Adegbenro Adewumi (Bill)

Bill is currently working on his Bachelor's degree in Electrical Engineering with a minor in mathematics.  A native of Texas, Bill is a member of Honors College and undertook a calculus project in 2008.  He plans to continue to Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering.

Bill worked with us on data analysis from nano-electrode fabrication project.

When not busy with academic and research work, Bill enjoys Christian music, world politics and soccer. 

BS (Electrical Engineering)

Chaudhry M A Arafat

Arafat joined UTA in 2009 for his Bachelor's in Electrical Engineering.  His work in the lab was focused on developing algorithms and hardware for electrical data acquisition at the bio-nano interface.

He was an active member of PTK International Honor Society, Sigma Pi Alpha Honors Community and was on Dean’s List of TCC for Outstanding Scholastic Achievement. He was also a winner of 2011 EE UG scholarship.

He is now working for a major telecommunication company.

BS (Electrical Engineering)

Melissa Johnson

Melissa worked with us for about 2 years as a Biology major (with minor in Chemistry).  She developed virus imaging techniques and worked on vhip-based cell/molecular biology. 

Undergraduate Student, Biology

Raza Khan

Raza was an Honors student at UTA during his bachelor's at UTA. He worked on developing algorithms and assembling hardware for electrical data acquisition issues at the bio-nano interface. His work was presented at BMES conference.  He was an active member of HKN and Tau Beta Phi honor societies.


He is now in direct PhD program at Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN.

BS (Electrical Engineering)

Raja Raheel Khanzada

Raheel is currently working on his bachelor’s degree in Bio-Engineering with a minor in Computer Science.

His focus is on various imaging techniques in the bio-medical field. He also helps to design new materials that needed in the medical field.

He loves to go out with friends, listen and make music, debate, and challenge himself with weight training. ​

Undergraduate Student, Bio-Engineering

Rachel MacCarron

Rachel worked in our lab in Summer 2009.  She has graduated with her Bachelor's degree in Electrical Engineering from Texas Christian University.


She was a Project Manager of the TCU Senior Design Team, and a member of the TCU Honors Program.


Her work on nanopore measurement system was presented at Biomedical Engineering Society Annual Fall Scientific Meeting 2009 in Pittsburgh, PA. 

BS (Electrical Engineering)

Adeel Sajid

Adeel joined UTA in fall 2012 and is currently doing his Bachelors in Biology & Interdisciplinary Studies (INTS) and plans to graduate in May 2016. He intends on pursuing a career in medicine. 

Since December 2013, he has been a part of the NanoBioLab assisting in various projects. He is interested in the early detection of tumor cells and their interaction with various nanoscale technologies. He is also involved with the translation and commercialization of some of this technology into practical clinical applications. 

His hobbies include community service, soccer, fitness, and traveling.

Undergraduate Student, Biology & INTS

Mohammed W. Salem

Muhammed was an undergraduate in our lab in 2007-08.  He developed basics experiments on PDMS based microfluidics.  He went on to become a McNair Scholar at UTA, and graduated Cum Laude in December 2008.

BS (Electrical Engineering)

Madeline Teig

Madeline is currently an undergraduate working on her MS in the 5-year Biomedical Engineering program.  She worked in our lab during Fall 2009 as a "Texas Youth in Technology" fellow. 


She always been interested in math and medicine, and wishes to continue her career as a researcher.


She has a great interest in music by mixing and playing piano. Some of Madeline’s hobbies are traveling, camping, and playing tennis.

Undergraduate Student, Bioengineering

Francisco Villarreal

Frankie is pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering with a Minor in Mathematics and is active in various organizations at UTA.

He joined the NanoBioLab in Spring 2015 contributing to image analysis of metastatic cells as well as helping in various other research projects. He aspires to make a positive impact on society through engineering whether it be through tackling health obstacles or energy crises.

Frankie follows the principle that a healthy mind is best accompanied by a healthy body. He keeps his body healthy through proper nutrition and exercise, and keeps his mind healthy through leadership and engineering!

Undergraduate Student, Electrical Engineering

Debarshi (Dave) Banerjee

Dave worked in our lab during Summer of 2008 when he was a senior at West Plano Senior High.  developed a software tool in LabView for continuous acquisition of current-voltage data of nano-devices and on-the-fly-plotting and comparison. He also worked on PDMS microfluidics.

A prolific violin player, he was a member of Chamber Orchestra and of Greater Dallas Youth Orchestra (GDYO).

Dave joined Texas A&M for his pre-med. 

High School, Plano West Class of 2009

Diane Manry

Diane worked with us in the Summer of 2009 when she was a senior at the Oakridge High School.  A gifted artist, she created many illustrations and sketches depicting many of our research project.  Her work was extensively used in our outreach activities.  She also helped with Engineering summer camp demonstrations and presentations.


Diane joined Princeton for her BS in Fall 2011. She is a very avid reader and can often be found perusing the aisles of Barnes & Noble.  An amateur artist, she enjoys whatever time she can spend oil-painting while listening to music.  She also plays the piano and loves to ski and to travel anywhere and everywhere. Interested in a wide variety of subjects, Diane is uncertain about her future and is planning on spending whatever free time she has this coming year exploring possible career paths.

Freshman, Princeton University

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