News of BESEL

Brittany Macshane joined BESEL as a MS students, September-2017


Brendan Gorman and Ryan Searcy received Villanova Undergraduate Research Fellowship (VURF), June-2017

Brendan's project is "Design of Wetland Microbial Fuel Cell", while Ryan's project is "Full Body Cholesterol Modelling and Therapeutic Options"

Brooks Hopkins and James Reynolds joined BESEL as PhD students, June-2017

Brooks and James are part-time students. Welcome.  Brooks Hopkins, and James

Dr. Huang was invited to give a talk of his inverted-classroom approaches to educate college and high-school students with MATLAB, May-2017

CAST is the largest professional community in process systems engineering of chemical engineering in USA. Dr. Huang gave a presentation  on "Inverted-classroom Approaches to Educate Undergraduate and High-school Students MATLAB in Process Control and Modeling".  The following is the link of  his talk.

Robert Ferrari, Jaclyn Guglielmi and Xianhua Li won the 1st prize in 2017 Sigma Xi Student Research Symposium, April-2017

the team’s research focused on the high demand for cost-effective methods for converting the chemical energy in wastewater into bioenergy. MFCs are capable of producing electricity from wastewater under ambient conditions through the biodegradation of organic compounds by exoelectrogenic microorganisms. One of the biggest challenges for the practical implementation of MFCs in wastewater treatment plants, however, is to successfully scale up MFCs. This study investigated the performance and scalability of MFCs through a combined experimental and computational approach. More detail can be found in the following webpage:

Dr. Huang and his colleagues were recognized for outstanding paper, Aug-2016

A team of Villanova University Chemical Engineering faculty have been recognized with the American Society for Engineering Education's (ASEE) Martin Award. “Preparation of Biology Review and Virtual Experiment/Training Videos to Enhance Learning in Biochemical Engineering Courses” was selected as the outstanding Chemical Engineering paper presented at the 2015 ASEE annual conference. A commemorative plaque will be presented at the 2016 ASEE Meeting in June in New Orleans.

Robert Hanes joined BESEL as a part-time PhD student, Aug-2016

Robert will study the metabolism of exoelectrogenic microorganisms in the biofilm of microbial fuel cells. Welcome.  

Xianhua Li finished a CFD project funded by Janssen Pharmaceuticals, July-2016

With the help of Drs. Kelly and Huang, Xianhua Li developed computational fluid dynamics (CFD) platform to study optimal operation parameters of biorectors Ambr15 and Ambr250.  

Xianhua Li and Dr. Huang gave presentations in AIChE 2015, Nov-2015

The titles for the two talks are " Investigation of the Antibiotics-Triggered Perturbation in the Metabolism of Pseudomonas aeruginosa via a Metabolic Modeling Approach" and "A Kinetic Model-Based Approach to Identify Malfunctioned Components in Signal Transduction Pathways from Data". 

Xianhua Li and Nick Ribaudo's first paper on identifying malfunctioned components in signal transduction pathways from artificial clinical data was accepted by the journal "BioMed Research International", Oct-2015

We proposed a kinetic-model based approach to infer the malfunctioned reactions/molecules by quantifying the similarity between the profiles shown in the clinical data and the output profiles predicted from the model in which certain reactions/molecules are malfunctioned. This is Xianhua's first journal paper. Congratulations.  

Nick Ribaudo and Dr. Huang gave poster presentations in FOSBE 2015 conference, Aug-2015

Nick introduced the approach developed by us to study the uncertainty in the metabolic networks on microbial biomass growth rate, while Dr. Huang's talk was related to the pertubation in microbial metaobilsm triggered by antibiotics. FOSBE conference is one of the best professional conferences in systems biology.

Dr. Huang attended SICE 2015 Conference and gave talks at five schools in China, July-2015

Dr. Huang gave talks on his research at SICE 2015 conference and at five schools including Tsinghua University and Beijing University of Chemical Technology (in Beijing), South China Sea Institute of Oceanology ( the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Guangzhou), Shanghai Jiaotong University and Shanghai University (Shanghai).

Zhaobin Xu graduated as the first Ph.D. of BESEL, May-2015

Congratulations Nick. He found his first job as a postdoctoral researcher at Tsinghua University in Beijing, the top 1 engineering school in China

Nick Ribaudo got the Villanova Undergraduate Research Fellows (VURF) 2015, Apr-2015

Congratulations Nick. He did research on developing a Fluent-based model to simulate 3D microbial fuel cells.

Zhaobin Xu's paper on the influence of environmental nutrients on biofilm formation was accepted by the journal "BioMed Research International", Mar-2015

We proposed the first systems-biology approach to quantify P. aeruginosa biofilm formation upon the change of nutrient availability of amino acids, ferrous ions, sulfate, and phosphate, in the environment.  BioMed Research International is an open-access journal with an impact factor of 2.706.

Brett Davis joined BESEL as a MS student, Jan-2015

Welcome Brett.

Zhaobin Xu's paper on modeling the kinetics of acute phase proteins was published in the journal "Processes", Jan-2015

We developed this first comprehensive model to predict the dynamics of acute phase protein expression in IL-6-stimulated HepG2 cells (a human hepatoma cell line). The model was used as an in-silico platform for screenig potential drug targets to regulate the secretion of haptoglobin, fibrinogen, and albumin. We got invited to contribute this paper to a special issue in Systems Biololgy, i.e., Modeling and Analysis of Signal Transduction Networks, published in the jounal Processes, a new open-access journal.

Xueer Chen graduated as a MS student, Dec-2014 

Xueer finished her thesis titled "Modeling Microbial Fuel Cell in FLUENT with Biofilm Thickness Features". Congratulations. 

Chenyao Zhang's paper on modeling MDC was publised in  Environmental Science & Technology,  Nov-2014 

Our paper titled "A Mathematic Model of Dynamic Behavior of Microbial Desalination Cells" is published in the journal Environmental Science & Technology, the No.1 journal in environmental field and the area of bioelectrochemical systems with an impact factor of 5.481. The paper is based on Chenyao’s senior research project. She is the co-first author of the paper. The major contribution of this paper is that we develop the first mathematical model for microbial desalination cells ( MDCs) in which electricigen bacteria produce electricity from wastewater and the produced electricity in turn removes the salt from saline/sea water.

Xianhua Li joined BESEL as a PhD student, Aug-2014


Dr. Huang organized and Chaired one section in IFAC 2014, South Africa, Aug-2014

Dr. Huang organized and chaired the section "Modeling and Analysis of Biological Networks" in IFAC 2014 World Congress Conference. He gave a talk titled "Modeling Framework for Investigating the Influence of Amino Acids on the Planktonic-Biofilm Transition of Pseudomonas Aeruginosa". IFAC conference is one of the top international conferences in process control and modeling. 

Dr. Huang was selected as an Outstanding Reviewer for the journal Automatica (2012-2013), Aug-2014 

Automatica is the most prestigious journal in process control and modeling. Every year Automatica identifies around 20 names (from a pool of about 2000 reviewers) as outstanding reviewers for the one-year period July 1 - June 30, just preceding the selection. The selection is done following a nomination process that involves the Editors and Associate Editors of Automatica, and is based on outstanding performance an individual shows as a reviewer, consistently during the indicated period.   Dr. Huang was selected as an outstanding reviewer for Automatica for 2013, covering the review period July 1, 2012, to June 30, 2013. 

Kilho Lee's paper accepted by Chemical Engineering Education, Aug-2014

Kilho's paper titled "MATLAB Based Teaching Modules in Biochemical Engineering" was accepted by Chemical Engineering Education. In this paper, we showed a teaching module for solving and analyzing ODE models developed in the field of Systems Biology. Interactive teaching strategies were tried and the effectiveness of these strategies was summarized. The MATLAB programs along with the teaching module can be downloaded here

Clement Ekaputra, a high-school junior, designed PID controllers for microbial fuel cells in BESEL, summer 2014

Clement Ekaputra, a 16 year old senior at Great Valley High School in Malvern, PA, used MATLAB Simulink to model and control the processes within microbial fuel cells. He presented a poster in a symposium for senior college students to present their summer research projects at Villanova University. Based on his research result, a manuscript was submitted to ASEE 2015 to share our experience for educating high school students with mathematical modeling skills. 

Dr. Huang received a seed grant from VCASE, May-2014

Dr. Huang received a seed grant from VCASE to develop a model-based platform for scaling up bioelectrochemical systems for waste water treatment. The grant was used to buy a 12-core high-performance-computing (HPC) workstation to run Fluent-based simulation. 

Dr. Huang received a seed grant from VITAL, May-2014

Dr. Huang received a seed grant from  Villanova Institute for Teaching and Learning (VITAL) to develop flipped-classroom teaching modules on MATLAB-based controller design for the course CHE 4232 Chemical Process Control. 

Charlotte Eberle received Villanova Undergraduate Research Fellowship (VURF), Apr-2014

Charlotte received the VURF award and conducted research on developing a Fluent-based platform to simulate the dynamics of microbial fuel cells. 

Dr. Huang attended ACC conference, Jun-2013

Dr. Huang made a presentation on "Gene target identification for biofilm-associated pathogens: an application to Pseudomonas aeruginosa " in American Control Conference, 2013 (Washingtion DC).

Dr. Huang received a seed grant from VCASE, May-2013

Dr. Huang received a seed grant from VCASE to improve the design and operation of bioelectrochemical systems through an integrated modeling and experimental approach. 

Kilho Lee graduated as a master student, May-2013

Kilho finished his thesis "Systems Biology Approach to Quantify the Metabolism of Escherichia Coli for Generating 3-Hydroxypropionic Acid from Glycerol". Congratulations. 

Dr. Huang organized and chaired one section in Metabolomics  2013 conference, Apr-2013

Dr. Huang was in the conference organizer committee for Metabolomics 2013 in Chicago IL. He also chaired the Systems Biology section. 

Zhaobin Xu's paper was accepted by PLoS One, Jan-2013

Zhaobin's paper titled "A Systems-Level Approach for Investigating Pseudomonas aeruginosa Biofilm Formation" was accepted by PLoS One, one of the top journal in Systems Biology with an impact factor 4.02. 

Kilho Lee and Xueer Chen joined BESEL as master students, Aug-2012


Carlo Huang was born and became the youngest member of BESEL, July-2012

Carlo Huang was born on July 22nd . He and his elder brother, Cody Huang, are the youngest members of BESEL. 

Dr. Huang joined the of Editorial Board-Journal of Computer Science & Systems Biology, Jun-2012

Dr. Huang was on the editorial board of the journal "Journal of Computer Science & Systems Biology" for one year. 

Dr. Huang joined IFAC Policy Committee, May-2012

Dr. Huang was selected to serve a three-year term on the policy committee of the International Federation of Automatic Control (IFAC). There are only eight faculty members worldwide serving on this committee and Dr. Huang is one of three U.S. representatives.

Dr. Huang received a seed grant from VCASE, May-2012

Dr. Huang received a seed grant from VCASE to develop an integrated computational and experimental approach to engineer Escherichia coli for generating hydrogen from biodiesel waste streams.

Kyle Brundin received Villanova Undergraduate Research Fellowship (VURF), Apr-2012

Kyle received the VURF award and conducted research on engineering E.coli to produce hydrogen from glycerol obtained from the waste stream.

Dr. Huang co-chaired one section in AIChE 2011, Oct-2011

Dr. Huang co-chaired the “Multiscale Systems Biology” section in AIChE 2011 conference. 

Zhaobin Xu joined BESEL as a PhD student, Aug-2011

Zhaobin joined BESEL as a PhD student. Welcome. 

Dr. Huang joined Villanova and set up BESEL, Aug-2011

Dr. Huang joined Villanova University as a tenured-track Assistant Professor. He is the founder of BESEL