inventor pitch competition Presenters


Greg Payne
Professor, Fischell Department of Bioengineering and the Institute for Bioscience and Biotechnology Research

Gregory F. Payne received his bachelor's and master's degrees from Cornell University and his Ph.D. from the University of Michigan. After completing postdoctoral studies at Cornell University, he joined the faculty of the University of Maryland in 1986 where he is currently a professor jointly appointed in the Institute for Bioscience and Biotechnology Research and the Fischell Department of Bioengineering.  His group does research at the intersection of material science, biology, and information sciences, and his focus is to create interfaces between biology and electronics.  His work is internationally recognized by invitations to be keynote speaker at several scientific conferences and he currently holds guest or chair professor positions at several universities around the world.  He has published over 200 peer-reviewed papers, reviews, books and book chapters.  He is currently principal investigator of a prestigious million-dollar materials genome project awarded by the National Science Foundation with the aim of understanding how electronic devices can be better interfaced to access biological information.


Reza Ghodssi
Professor, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Fischell Department of Bioengineering, and the Institute for Systems Research
Ryan Huiszoon
Ph.D. Student, Fischell Department of Bioengineering

Reza Ghodssi is the Herbert Rabin Distinguished Chair in Engineering, director of the Institute for Systems Research (ISR) and director of the MEMS Sensors and Actuators Lab in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and ISR at the University of Maryland. He is also affiliated with the Fischell Department of Bioengineering, the Maryland NanoCenter, the University of Maryland Energy Research Center, and the Materials Science and Engineering Department at UMD. Ghodssi's research interests are in the design and development of microfabrication technologies and processes in micro/nano/bio devices and systems for chemical and biological sensing, small-scale energy conversion and harvesting with a strong emphasis toward health monitoring applications.

Ryan C. Huiszoon is a Ph.D student in bioengineering at UMD. He works in the MEMS Sensors and Actuators Lab on developing sensors for the monitoring and treatment of bacterial biofilm in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, with Professor Reza Ghodssi.


Yu Chen
Associate Professor, Fischell Department of Bioengineering
Qinggong Tang
Postdoctoral Associate, Fischell Department of Bioengineering

Yu Chen received his bachelor’s degree in physics from Peking University in Beijing in 1997 and his Ph.D. in bioengineering from the University of Pennsylvania in 2003. His research interests include optical coherence tomography, laminar optical tomography, multi-photon microscopy, development of novel quantitative optical sensing and imaging devices for clinical translation, and preclinical and clinical applications of optical technologies in imaging brain function, renal physiology, cancer therapy, and tissue engineering. He received a National Science Foundation CAREER Award in 2012. Chen has been an associate editor of Medical Physics and a guest editor of the IEEE Journal of Selected Topics on Quantum Electronics and the SPIE Journal of Neurophotonics. He is a member of IEEE, SPIE and the Optical Society of America, and he has served as conference program chair and general chair for the OSA Conference on Lasers and Electro-Optics (CLEO): Applications and Technologies.

Qinggong Tang received his Ph.D. from the Fischell Department of Bioengineering in 2017. He is currently a  postdoctoral associate in Yu Chen's lab. His research interests include biophotonics, optical coherence tomography, fluorescence imaging sytems, and their applications in neuroscience and cancer research.


Daniel Lathrop
Professor, Department of Physics, Department of Geology, and the Institute for Research in Electronics and Applied Physics
Itamar Shani
Postdoctoral Associate, Institute for Research in Electronics and Applied Physics

Daniel Lathrop is a Fellow of the American Physical Society. His research in the Nonlinear Dynamics Group focuses on turbulent fluid flows, geomagnetism, and experiments on superfluid helium. In addition to being a professor of physics, Lathrop is also a professor of geology. Lathrop received a B.A. in physics from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1987, and a Ph.D. in physics from the University of Texas at Austin in 1991. He then served at Yale University as a postdoctoral fellow, research affiliate, and lecturer, and as assistant professor at Emory University. He joined the University of Maryland in 1997, the year he received a Presidential Early Career Award from the National Science Foundation.

Itamar Shani works with Professor Daniel Lathrop on the hardware of machine learning accelerators. He received his Ph.D. in physics in 2015 from the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel.