Brian T. Cunningham




Brian T. Cunningham is the Willett Professor of Engineering in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and in the Department of Bioengineering, where he also serves as the Director of the Micro and Nanotechnology Laboratory, and as Director of the NSF Center for Innovative Instrumentation Technology.  His research is in the development of biosensors and detection instruments for pharmaceutical high throughput screening, disease diagnostics, point-of-care testing, life science research, and environmental monitoring. 


Fellow of AAAS (2016); Donald Biggar Willett Professor of Engineering, College of Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (2015); Technical Achievement Award, IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society (EMBS) (2014); National Academy of Inventors (2014); Fellow, Optical Society of America (2014); Massachusetts Excellence Award, SRU Biosystems, Small Business Institute for Excellence in Commerce (2013); Distinguished Lecturer, IEEE Sensors Council (2013); Chairperson, NIH Study Section on Instrument and System Development (2012-2014); Fellow, American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE) (2012); Fellow, IEEE (2012); Technical Achievement Award, IEEE Sensors Council, "For the invention, development, and commercialization of sensors and detection instruments based on photonic crystals,” (2010); Innovation Award Top Candidate, Association for Laboratory Automation (2009); Grainger Program in Emerging Technologies Grant for “Nanofilter-based Infrared Spectroscopic Imaging” (co-awarded with Prof. Rohit Bhargava) (2008); Xerox Award for Faculty Research (2008); 3M Nontenured Faculty Grant (2007); Best Patent Award (for “Flexural Plate Wave Sensor and Array”), Draper Laboratory (2006).


  • 2017
    • R.E. Scherr, K.D. Laugero, D.J. Graham, B.T. Cunningham, L. Jahns, K.R. Lora, M. Reicks, and A.R. Mobley, Innovative techniques for evaluating behavioral nutrition interventions. Advances in Nutrition, 8, 113-125, 2017.
    • H. Inan, M. Poyraz, F. Inci, M.A. Lifson, M. Baday, B.T. Cunningham, and U. Demirci, Photonic Crystals: Emerging biosensors for point-of-care applications. Chemical Society Reviews, Vol. 46, p. 366-388, 2017.
  • 2016
    • Y. Zhuo, J.S. Choi, T. Marin, H. Yu, B.A. Harley, and B.T. Cunningham, Quantitative imaging of cell membrane-associated mass density using photonic crystal enhanced microscopy (PCEM). Progress in Quantum Electronics, 50, 1-18, 2016.
    • Q. Huang, J. Peh, P.J. Hergenrother, and B.T. Cunningham, Porous photonic crystal external cavity laser biosensor. Applied Physics Letters, 109, 7, 071103-071105, 2016.
    • Y. Wan, J. Carlson, B. Kesler, W. Peng, P. Su, S. Al-Mulla, S.J. Lim, A. Smith, J. Dallesasse, and B.T. Cunningham, Compact characterization of liquid absorption and emission spectra using linear variable filters integrated with a CMOS imaging camera. Nature Scientific Reports, DOI:10.1038/srep29117, 2016.
    • H. Yu, H. Le, E. Kaale, K.D. Long, T. Layoff, S.C. Lumetta, and B.T. Cunningham, Characterization of drug authenticity using thin layer chromatography imaging with a mobile phone. Journal of Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Analysis, 125, 85-93, 2016.
    • L. Kwon, K.D. Long, Y. Wan, H. Yu, and B.T. Cunningham, Medical diagnostics with mobile devices: Comparison of intrinsic and extrinsic sensing. Biotechnology Advances, 34, 291-304, 2016.
    • H.-Y. Wu, L. Liu, M. Lu, and B.T. Cunningham, Lasing emission from plasmic nano-dome arrays. Advanced Optical Materials, 4, 5, 708-714, 2016.
    • G. See, M. Naughton, L. Xu, P.J.A. Kenis, and B.T. Cunningham, Enhanced emission of quantum dots embedded within the high-index dielectric regions of photonic crystal slabs. Applied Physics Letters, 2016, 108, 17, 171108-171110.
  • 2015
    • G.L. Damhorst, C. Duarte-Guevara, W. Chen, T. Ghonge, B.T. Cunningham, and R. Bashir, Smartphone-imaged HIV-1 reverse transcription loop-mediated isothermal amplification (RT-LAMP) on a chip from whole blood. Engineering, 2015, 1, 3, 324-335. DOI:10.15302/J-ENG-2015072.
    • See, G. G.; Xu, L.; Naughton, M. S.; Tang, T. T.; Bonita, Y.; Joo, J.; Trefonas, P.; Deshpande, K.; Kenis, P. J. A.; Nuzzo, R. G.; Cunningham, B. T., Region Specific Enhancement of Quantum Dot Emission Using Interleaved Two-Dimensional Photonic Crystals. Applied Optics 2015, 54, (9), 2302-2308, DOI:10.1364/Ao.54.002302.

  • 2014
    • Zhuo, Y.; Hu, H.; Chen, W. L.; Lu, M.; Tian, L. M.; Yu, H. J.; Long, K. D.; Chow, E.; King, W. P.; Singamaneni, S.; Cunningham, B. T., Single Nanoparticle Detection Using Photonic Crystal Enhanced Microscopy. Analyst 2014, 139, (5), 1007-1015, DOI:10.1039/C3an02295a.

    • Hu, H.; Zhuo, Y.; Oruc, M. E.; Cunningham, B. T.; King, W. P., Nanofluidic Channels of Arbitrary Shapes Fabricated by Tip-Based Nanofabrication. Nanotechnology 2014, 25, (45), DOI:Artn 455301 DOI:10.1088/0957-4484/25/45/455301.

  • 2013
    • Kwon, B.; Seong, M.; Liu, J. N.; Rosenberger, M. R.; Schulmerich, M. V.; Bhargava, R.; Cunningham, B. T.; King, W. P., Large Infrared Absorptance of Bimaterial Microcantilevers Based on Silicon High Contrast Grating. Journal of Applied Physics 2013, 114, (15), DOI: 10.1063/1.4825313.

  • 2011
    • Chan, L. L.; George, S.; Ahmad, I.; Gosangari, S. L.; Abbasi, A.; Cunningham, B. T.; Watkin, K. L., Cytotoxicity Effects of Amoora Rohituka and Chittagonga on Breast and Pancreatic Cancer Cells. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2011 (Article ID 860605), 8 pages.

    • Liu, J. N.; Schulmerich, M. V.; Bhargava, R.; Cunningham, B. T., Optimally Designed Narrowband Guided-Mode Resonance Reflectance Filters for Mid-Infrared Spectroscopy. Optics Express 2011, 19, (24), 24182-24197.


The Communications Office maintains the information included in Beckman Institute's online directory listings. In order to update your directory listing, please submit the following information to

  • a short bio including information on your educational background and your field
  • any honors and awards you may have received
  • a description of your research (approximately 200-400 words)
  • a list of recent representative publications
  • a photo of yourself (you can submit one or we can take one for you)