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Director: Leyla Esfandiari, Ph.D.


Dr. Esfandiari joined the College of Engineering and Applied Science at the University of Cincinnati as an Assistant Professor with a dual appointment in Electrical Engineering and Biomedical Engineering. She completed her doctoral degree in Bioengineering from the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) with an emphasis on the development of a highly sensitive biomolecular nanopore-based sensor. Also, she obtained her Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from California State University.


While at UCLA, Esfandiari also conducted research at California Nano-System Institution (CNSI), School of Medicine Neuroscience and Orthopedic Surgery Departments. During her academic training, Esfandiari has spent time giving back by leading and training graduate and undergraduate students. Besides her academic experiences, she has 4 years of industrial experience working at Applied Medical Co and Honeywell Inc.


Dr. Esfandiari has a multidisciplinary research background in micro/nano-scale devices, surface and bio-conjugation chemistry, and cell and molecular biology.



  • Ph.D. in Bioengineering, University of California Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA (2009-2014)

  • Master of Science in Biomedical Engineering, University of California Irvine, Irvine, CA (2006-2008)

  • Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering, California State University, Long Beach, CA (2002-2006)

Awards & Achievements

  • William E. Restemeyer Teaching Excellence Award, University of Cincinnati (Apr 2017)

  • 2nd Place in the Micro and Nanotechnology in Medicine Conference Paper Competition (IEEE- EMB) (Dec 2016)

  • Strategic Collaborative Research Award-University of Cincinnati (2015)

  • Faculty Development Awards-University of Cincinnati (Aug 2016)

  • UCLA Graduate Division Unrestricted fellowship (2009 - 2014)

  • Received National Science Foundation Fellowship on Cell Mechanics at UIUC (Jul 2007)

  • UC Irvine Kleist Fellowship (Sep 2006 - Jun 2007)

  • Final Candidate of Rhodes Scholarship (Aug 2006)

  • Academic Achievement Award from Association of Professors and Scholars of Iranian Heritage (May 2006)

  • Boeing Scholarship (Sep 2004 - May 2006)

Selected Invited Talks

  • September 5th, 2018, “3D smart scaffolds for stem-cell based regenerative medicine”, Center for Stem Cell & Organoid Medicine (CuSTOM) Seminar, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, Cincinnati, OH. 

  • May 4th, 2018, “Rapid isolation of artificial liposomes and exosomes extracted from plasma of healthy donors utilizing a novel insulator-based dielectrophoretic device”, International Society of Extracellular Vesicles, 2018 ISEV meeting, Barcelona, Spain.

  • December 11th, 2017, “Electrokinetic micro-devices for rapid, label-free, and highly sensitive detection of circulating cancer biomarkers”, Auckland Bioengineering Institute, University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand.

  • December 14th, 2017, “Electrokinetic micro-devices for rapid, label-free, and highly sensitive detection of circulating cancer biomarkers”, Victoria University of Wellington, Callaghan Institute, Wellington, New Zealand.

  • September 18th, 2017, Department of Electrical Engineering, University of British Colombia (UBC), Vancouver, Canada.

  • June 22nd,2017, Department of Micro and Nanotechnology, Technical University of Denmark (DTU), Copenhagen, Denmark.

  • May 4th, 2017, New Technologies for Molecular Epidemiology Workshop, Department of Environmental Health, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH.

  • Feb 7th, 2017, Molgen Seminar Series, Department of Molecular Genetics, Biochemistry, and Microbiology, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH.

  • Jan 5th 2017, 2nd Annual UC Community Retreat: Innovation, Technology and Workforce, Cincinnati, OH.

  • Nov 11th 2016, Department of Bioengineering, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL.

  • Aug 23rd 2016, 16th International Conference on Nanotechnology (IEEE-Nano), Sendai, Japan.

  • Sep 22nd 2014, European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL), Heidelberg, Germany.

  • Mar 28th 2014, Illumina Inc, San Diego, CA.

  • Mar 3rd 2014, University of Warwick, UK.

  • Jan 30th 2014, University at Buffalo, State University of New York, USA.

Professional Affiliations

  • Active Member, UC Undergraduate Women In Science and Engineering (WISE)

  • Member, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)

  • Member, IEEE-Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society (IEEE-EMBS)

  • Member, American Chemical Society (ACS)

  • Member, Biomedical Engineering Society (BMES)

  • Member, Biophysical Society

  • Member, International Society of Extracellular Vesicles (ISEV)

  • Member, Women in Science and Engineering

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