Bioengineering and Detection at LLNL

Friday, October 30, 2020 -
2:00pm to 3:00pm
Elizabeth K. Wheeler, Ph.D.

Deputy Director, Center for Bioengineering

Materials Engineering Division 

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory


Bioengineering and Detection at LLNL


Lawrence Livermore National Lab has a long history of developing and deploying bioengineering platforms for pathogen detection. The beginning of this talk will provide an overview of some of LLNL’s PCR based approaches. However, to be flexible for the emerging unknown threat, it is critical to understand the human response.  The second half of this talk will show some of the in vivo and ex vivo engineered human micro systems that are at the convergence of engineering, computing and biology. A deeper dive into our instrumented, human, ex vivo, model platform that is currently being applied to cancer as a case study will be presented. As expected, the culturing methods have a dramatic impact on the cancer development.  By adjusting the biological and environmental complexity we are able to close the gap between our instrumented engineered platform and the in vivo model.


Elizabeth Wheeler is the deputy director of the Center for Bioengineering and a deputy division leader in the Materials Engineering Division at LLNL. She has a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering. The majority of her career has focused on integrating biology and engineering to yield new platforms or flexible devices for Homeland Security or medical applications. She has worked on numerous multidisciplinary teams that have field tested technology developed at LLNL.  Currently she is the Principal Investigator (PI) for a Strategic Initiative focused on bioprinting an instrumented tumor with immune components to generate data for computational models and the PI for a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) funded DNA Tagged Reagents for Aerosol Experiments (DNATrax) project.