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Bioengineering Program Welcomes New Professor

Dr. Kim serves as the director of the Biological Microtechnology Laboratory
Following a successful introductory year, the Bioengineering Program welcomes Dr. Unyoung (Ashley) Kim to the faculty as assistant professor and director of the Biological Microtechnology Laboratory. Dr. Kim recently received her Ph.D. from the University of California, Santa Barbara, where she was also awarded a Certificate in College and University Teaching (CCUT).

A mechanical engineer by training, Dr. Kim’s research focuses on the investigation of integrated microfluidic systems to address challenges in biomedical applications. “What I work on is often called ‘lab on a chip,’” she said. “In this field, we create miniature platforms for diagnostics that offer the functionality of complete benchtop systems found in conventional clinical labs.” Shrinking has its advantages, she notes. “Due to its small size, it consumes a smaller amount of cells and reagents, and we can provide faster analysis with better performance. Also, providing a portable device for diagnostics means that better health care can be made available to those in even the most remote areas. This is what originally led me to study microfluidics.”

In her first year with the program, Prof. Kim looks forward to introducing the new major to freshmen and to working with the many biotech companies in the Bay Area to provide interesting research projects for her students. Program chair Dr. Yuling Yan is also looking forward to a great year. “Dr. Kim brings a passion for undergraduate education and a commitment to social justice that is perfectly fitting to Santa Clara’s Jesuit philosophy,” she said. Dr. Kim agrees, “SCU has always been about serving others. We need to think about how our work can help the world and focus not just on ourselves, but on the greater good.”

To learn more about the Bioengineering Program: