IBE 2020 Call for Abstracts

IBE is now accepting abstract submissions for its 2020 Annual Conference, March 19-21, 2020, at the University of Georgia Conference Center in Athens, Georgia.

Submissions are due December 20, 2019.



Categories for submissions include:

  1. Engineered Microbial Communities for Energy and the Environment
    Session Chair: Abhijeet P. Borole, The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, aborole@utk.edu
    Microbial communities are the catalysts used by nature to run the ecosystem bioeconomy. Trading of intermediates, management of toxins, exchange of nutrients are key features which impart robustness to these ecosystems. Synthetic biologists are moving from engineering single microbes towards understanding and characterizing multi-microbe communities, but we have only scratched the tip of the iceberg in this new and upcoming field. This session aims to bring experts in the area of quorum sensing, synthetic co-cultures, host-microbe interactions and complex biofilms to understand the mechanisms at play in microbial communities and explore applications. Engineered microbial communities can be instrumental in production of bioenergy, cleaning up pollution, sustainable agriculture and developing solutions to human, animal and plant health issues. We invite abstracts from researchers involved in understanding these systems including development of new tools for characterizing complex communities to development of engineered communities and systems for solving energy and environmental problems.

  2. Educating Elucidating Biological Engineering Students for Work at the Nexus of Science, Engineering and Society
    Session Chairs: Maxine Jonas, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, jonas_m@mit.edu
    Joachim Walther, University of Georgia, jwalther@uga.edu
    This biological engineering education technical session focuses on educational practices and research specifically illustrating the convergence of biological science and engineering approaches alongside societal considerations and professional skills.Abstracts focused on multi-disciplinary group projects, hands-on classes,program /course design, pedagogical approaches, professional skills, ethics, assessment development / implementation, and active learning practices are particularly encouraged.

  3. Ethics and Policy Issues in Agriculture and Environment
    Session Chair: Kathleen Liang, North Carolina A&T, cliang@ncat.edu
    There has been increasing attention to the needs of understanding the relationships and impacts of equity and ethics in food policies. Agriculture issues have evolved into an integrated paradigm that includes social, economic, and environmental impacts. This session invites presentations that investigate, examine, or analyze purposes, reasons, factors or consequences that relate to ethics and policy issues in agriculture and food systems from both production and consumption perspectives.

  4. Metabolic Engineering and Synthetic Biology
    Session Chairs: Yajun Yan, University of Georgia, Yajunyan@uga.edu
    Ryan Summers, University of Alabama, rmsummers@eng.ua.edu
    Metabolic Engineering and Synthetic Biology emerged as two independent fields. However, driven by shared research interests, overlaps and synergies between these two fields are having been developed, especially in the area of engineering cell factories to produce value-added substances. This session aims to exchange and discuss the research progress at the frontier and interface of these two fields. We invites abstracts from researchers involved in metabolic pathway engineering, cellular engineering, and synthetic biology tools and approaches development for the microbial production of fuels, bulk chemicals, commodity chemicals, natural products, etc.

  5. Biology-Inspired Self-Healing, Anti-microbial Materials and Surfaces
    Session Chair: Shreyas Rao, University of Alabama, srao3@eng.ua.edu
    The session will focus on the following themes in the area of biomimetic materials and biointerfaces: (i) Bioinspired and biomimetic materials including functional biopolymer surfaces, nano-biomolecule interface, non-fouling, antimicrobial, and stimuli-responsive materials; (ii) Device-tissue interactions, biofilms, cell adhesion, interfacial bioresponses, clinical and translational applications; (iii) Advances in material synthesis, development, and biointerfacial studies with the aim of catalyzing the advent of the next generation of smart bioinspired materials.

  6. Smart Biomimetic Materials and Biointerfaces
    Session Chairs: Hitesh Handa, University of Georgia, hhanda@uga.edu
    Elizabeth Brisbois, Univ of Central Florida, Elizabeth.brisbois@ucf.edu
    The session will focus on the following themes in the area of biomimetic materials and biointerfaces: (i) Bioinspired and biomimetic materials including functional biopolymer surfaces, nano-biomolecule interface, non-fouling, antimicrobial, and stimuli-responsive materials; (ii) Device-tissue interactions, biofilms, cell adhesion, interfacial bioresponses, clinical and translational applications; (iii) Advances in material synthesis, development, and biointerfacial studies with the aim of catalyzing the advent of the next generation of smart bioinspired materials.

  7. Interaction of Nanomaterials and Biological Systems
    Session Chair: Heather Hunt, University of Missouri, hunthk@missouri.edu
    Nanotechnology is an enabling technology that deals with nano-meter sized (<100 nm) objects. Nanomaterials are at the leading edge of nanoscience and technology as they exist in the same size domain as proteins and other biomolecules that make them suitable for biotagging and labelling thereby opening up opportunities to utilize them in novel therapeutic, diagnostic, imaging, tissue engineering as well as wide range of environmental monitoring applications. As the role of nanomaterials in biology, medicine and environment continues to grow, the number of situations in which they will be in contact with biological systems will indisputable increase. The session invites abstracts related to the area of nanomaterial synthesis, nanomaterial interactions, bio-nanocomposites, functional bionanomaterials and their applications in biological, biomedical and environmental sciences including but limited to drug delivery, nanomedicine, biofertilizers, plant pathology and environmental monitoring.

  8. Biology-Inspired Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine
    Session Chairs: Cheryl Gomillion, University of Georgia, ctgomillion@uga.edu
    Tissue engineering refers to the use of cells, materials and biochemical factors to improve or replace biological functions by employing sets of methods to replace or repair damaged or diseased tissues with natural, synthetic or semisynthetic tissue mimics that will offer the desired functionality. Regenerative medicine tried to supplant tissue or organs that have been harmed by disease or trauma through cellular treatments, engineering tissues, advanced therapeutics and artificial organs. The session invites abstracts related to all areas of tissue engineering and regenerative medicine including but not limited to cell culturing, isolation, cell seeding, cell harvesting, scaffolds for tissue engineering, bone grafting, bone tissue engineering, bone scaffolds, cellular therapies, artificial organs, regenerative medicine and clinical translation of these approaches.

  9. Biology-Inspired Therapeutics and Drug Delivery Systems
    Session Chairs: Melissa Moss, University of South Carolina, mossme@cec.sc.edu
    Drug delivery refers to approaches, formulations, technologies, and systems for transporting a pharmaceutical compound in the body as needed to safely achieve its desired therapeutic effect. It may involve scientific site-targeting within the body, or it might involve facilitating systemic pharmacokinetics and is typically concerned with both quantity and duration ofdrugpresence. The session invites abstracts related to all areas of therapeutics including but not limited to specific diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, common neurological disorders, cancer therapy, diabetes, etc. with particular focus, on treatment, pharmocokinetics, drugs delivery systems and molecular medicine.

  10. Tools and Decision Support for Smart Agriculture
    Session Chairs: Aditya Singh, University of Florida, aditya01@ufl.edu
    Eban Bean, University of Florida, ezbean@ufl.edu
    Advances in mechatronics, imaging, sensors and information science are fueling research that improves our understanding of complex agricultural processes (including environmental and climate issues). Smart systems are convergent tools that blend these various technologies with modeling (forecast and retrospective), connecting data across the supply chain and enabling new decision support systems that did not exist one decade ago. This session invites abstracts that present results of studies showing how advanced in genetics, sensors, data science, modeling of complex systems, and/or robotics are enhancing the agricultural ecosystem.

  11. Minimizing Impact of Non-point Runoff on Natural Systems
    Session Chair: Diana Vanegas, Clemson University, dvanega@clemson.edu
    Non-point run off is a significant source of environmental pollution in agricultural sites. It occurs when agrochemical pollutants (such as pesticides residues, phosphorous, nitrogen and potassium from chemical fertilizers and animal waste, pathogenic bacteria and trace metals) are dispersed in the environment through run off, and can trigger negative health effects in unintentionally exposed populations. The session invites abstracts in areas related to (i) fate and transport of agricultural pollutants, (ii) toxicity of agrochemicals and their degradation products, (iii) monitoring systems for agricultural pollutants, and (iv) physical and biological processes that mitigate runoff, and impact on human health, natural ecology, and biodiversity.

  12. Novel Approaches to Biological Sensing and Diagnostics
    Session Chair: Ramaraja Ramasamy, University of Georgia, rama@uga.edu
    Biological sensing refers to the use of a biological recognition element for detection and/or quantification of an analyte through optical, electrochemical, electronic, gravimetric transduction of signal in a device called biosensor. The biological recognition element could be an enzyme, antibodies, nuclei acids, cell receptors, viruses, organelles or microorganism that interact or bind selectively with the analyte. The analyte could be a chemical or biological species of clinical or environmental importance. This session invites abstracts that research topics that focus on the development and application of a broad range biological sensor technology for applications relating to agriculture, biological sciences, the environment, and medicine.

  13. Sustainable Bio-derived Fuels, Chemicals and Materials
    Session Chair: Sudhagar Mani, University of Georgia, smani@uga.edu
    Living systems such as plants, trees, microbes, animals or previously lived organisms and their byproducts (e.g. manure) can be used to produce fuels, energy, materials and chemicals. Modern technologies and tools offer means to generate diverse stream of products from biomass sources in a sustainable manner with significantly low environmental, ecological and social impacts. This session invites abstracts on broad range of sustainable biomass topics including biofuels, bio-derived materials and chemicals and their associated conversion technologies, techno-economic analysis and life cycle analysis.

  14. Tackling Human Induced Climate Change Using Living Systems
    Session Chairs: Sudhagar Mani, University of Georgia, smani@uga.edu
    Tom Richard, Penn State University, tlr20@psu.edu
    Nearly all trajectories toward stabilizing the climate require massive negative emissions, starting soon and increasing to the scale of the fossil fuel industry in a few decades. The most cost effective negative emissions strategies all rely on photosynthesis – a 3.5 billion year old biotechnology powered by solar energy that converts dilute CO2 from the atmosphere into concentrated forms. Ecosystems can store this carbon to varying degrees in soil, roots and aboveground biomass; protecting and increasing these natural carbon stocks in forests, grasslands and agricultural cropland is an important part of the climate solution portfolio. Managed ecosystems, including silviculture and agriculture, offer additional options to harvest aboveground biomass for long-lived products such as structural timber, bioplastics, and other biomaterials. Aboveground biomass can also be converted to bioenergy products, generating CO2 that can be concentrated and either stored in geological formations or upgraded to fuels. Some of these different recarbonization options can operate in synergy, while others create conflicts and tradeoffs relative to climate and other environmental goals. This session will explore the breadth of strategies that use living systems to reverse climate change.

  15. Emerging Leaders in Biological Engineering
    Session Chair: Bryan Berger, University of Virginia, bryan.berger@virginia.edu
    This session invites abstracts on broad range of biological engineering topics from early-stage career researchers who are identified as emerging leaders by the Institute of Biological Engineering in their flagship publication Journal of Biological Engineering.

  16. General Topics in Biology-Inspired Engineering
    Session Chair: Eric McLamore, University of Florida, emclamor@ufl.edu
    This session invites abstracts from all areas of biologically relevant engineering including biochemical processes, biomedical engineering, biomaterials, biological corrosion of metals, biomimetic surfaces and processes, genetic engineering, bioenergy conversion and biological sensing and diagnostics. Abstracts are particularly welcome in emerging topics/areas at the convergence of multiple disciplines.