Chakrabarty Named Hans Fischer Senior Research Fellow at the Technical University of Munich

Krishnendu Chakrabarty, the William H. Younger Professor of Engineering in Duke University’s Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, has been named the Hans Fischer Senior Research Fellow at the Technical University of Munich (TUM). The three-year fellowship includes up to $180,000 and support for a graduate student to pursue research activities while furthering collaborative research ties with the university.

Named after TUM professor Hans Fischer (1881-1945), who was awarded the Nobel Prize in chemistry in 1930, this competitive fellowship brings together TUM researchers and outstanding international scientists to explore innovative, high-risk topics in their scientific research areas, with the goal of making a long-term impact. During his three years as Fellow, Chakrabarty will spend time in Germany working with TUM faculty and students on the design of cyberphysical microfluidic biochips.

Chakrabarty was one of the first pioneers in creating design automation and optimization techniques for “lab-on-a-chip” devices, where a wide array of biomedical and chemical tests are miniaturized and completed on a microchip only a few centimeters wide. His recent work has helped develop cyberphysical microfluidic biochips, in which tiny droplets are manipulated and controlled to conduct on-chip reactions and error recovery is automated. These devices are revolutionizing a wide range of applications, such as high-throughput sequencing, parallel immunoassays, clinical diagnostics, DNA sequencing and protein crystallization.

By connecting computing techniques to biochemistry laboratory protocols, Chakrabarty’s research is making this technology widely accessible by allowing these chips to be controlled and reconfigured by software. Such solutions can erase the need for tedious chip redesign by hand for each target application.