Principal Investigator

Dr. Amir Sheikhi

Dorothy Foehr Huck and J. Lloyd Huck Early Career Chair in Biomaterials and Regenerative Engineering

Assistant Professor

Chemical Engineering
Biomedical Engineering (courtesy)
The Pennsylvania State University

Dr. Amir Sheikhi founded the Bio-Soft Materials Laboratory (B-SMaL) at Penn State in August 2019 to tackle some of the quintessential challenges of the 21st century in biomedicine and the environment by designing novel bio-based soft material platforms via micro- and nanoengineering techniques. Amir’s lab consists of 10 graduate students, 1 postdoctoral fellow, and more than 15 undergraduate researchers, supported by $3+ M of funding, including NIH R01 and R56 grants. Amir’s research has been featured in more than 70 publications, 50 seminars, and 14 reports of invention/patent applications with recognition by over 40 news media outlets. He is the recipient of several major awards, including the AIChE’s 35 Under 35, The 2022 ACS Unilever Award for Outstanding Young Investigator in Colloid & Surfactant Science, The John C. Chen Young Professional Leadership Scholarship, UNIFOR Global Research Fellowship. Recently, Amir was named as one of the 9 emerging leaders in Chemical and Biomedical Engineering worldwide, featured on the cover of the Inaugural “Futures” Issue of Bioengineering & Translational Medicine journal. Amir earned his Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering at McGill University and continued to complete two years of postdoctoral research on Colloids and Macromolecules at McGill Chemistry. Before joining Penn State, Amir was a postdoctoral fellow in Engineering in Medicine/Bioengineering at Harvard Medical School and UCLA. Amir is currently an Associate Editor of Bioengineering & Translational Medicine and is on the editorial board of Biomaterials, Bioactive Materials, and New Biotechnology. In his free time, Amir enjoys reading about the history of science, swimming laps, and holding popcorn-movie nights! 

Public Outreach: Enabling Precision Medicine via 3D Bioprinting

"Dressed in a costume, Dr. Amir Sheikhi is explaining some of his research in non-invasive medical procedures and synthetically replicating organs through biological engineering. He is therefore of course accompanied by two multidisciplinary artists specializing, in particular, in the disciplines of people plumbing, tube-wrangling, tissue squeezing, spit-wadding, and camera cramming. Ladies and gentlemen, here are Tucker Marder and Jonathan Moore, and the world’s first analog visual tele-biological tubular tissue synthesizer!!"

Presented in: “Encountering the Unseen: Artist-actualized lectures on topics in science, technology, and engineering”. Invited by Prof. Isla Hansen (currently at Carnegie Melon University), UCLA Design Media Arts, Los Angeles, California, May 19, 2019

Professional Preparation

The Pennsylvania State University, Chemical Engineering, Assistant Professor, August 2019--
The Pennsylvania State University, Biomedical Engineering, Assistant Professor (by courtesy), March 2020--
University of California, Los Angeles, Bioengineering, PDF 2019
Harvard University and MIT, Engineering in Medicine, PDF 2017
McGill University, Chemistry, PDF 2016
McGill University, Chemical Engineering, Ph.D. 2015
University of Tehran, Chemical Engineering, M.S. 2010
University of Tehran, Chemical Engineering, B.S. 2008

Honors and Awards

2023: Selected by the US National Academy of Engineering for the 2023 Japan-America Frontiers of Engineering (JAFOE) Symposium
2023: Hisako Terasaki Young Innovator Award, Terasaki Institute for Biomedical Innovation
2022: Rustum and Della Roy Innovation in Materials Research Award, Penn State
2022: ACS Unilever Award for Outstanding Young Investigator in Colloid & Surfactant Science, The ACS Division of Colloid and Surface Chemistry
2020:  AIChE’s 35 Under 35
2020: One of the 9 emerging leaders in Chemical and Biomedical Engineering worldwide, featured on the cover of the Inaugural “Futures” Issue of Bioengineering & Translational Medicine journal
2020: The John C. Chen Young Professional Leadership Scholarship, AIChE
2020: Penn State’s Institutes of Energy and the Environment (IEE) Seed Grant
2019: UNIFOR Global Research Fellow, Awarded by the Institute of International Education, Inc. (IIE).
2018: Highlighted by Materials Today and Materials Science News-Elsevier: Beaded GelMA hydrogel outperforms bulk material
2018: Featured on, ScienceDaily, EurekAlert! (American Association for the Advancement of Science, AAAS), eScience News, NANO Magazine, Technology Breaking News,, Nanowerk, Technology-Nano,, TMR Blog, McGill Newsroom, Genesis Nanotech, Science and Technology Research News, Techno‐, Industrial WaterWorld, Vaaju, Water Technology magazine, and R&D magazine: Hairy nanotechnology provides green anti-scaling solution
2017: Iranian American Medical Association (IAMA) of Massachusetts Young Investigator Award
2016: Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) Postdoctoral Fellowship
2016: Fonds de Recherche du Québec-Nature et Technologies (FRQNT) Postdoctoral Fellowship
2016: The Marcus Wallenberg Delegate Award. Selected as one of the three Canadian delegates to attend the prestigious Marcus Wallenberg Prize Ceremony, Young Researchers Symposium, and the Gala with the King and Queen of Sweden, including a travel award
2012-2017: Conference Presentation Awards (four awards for best presentations)
2013: Best Doctorate Graduate Seminar Prize
2012: McGill Graduate Excellence Award
2010: McGill Engineering Doctoral Award (MEDA)
2010: McGill International Doctoral Awards (MIDAs)
2010: The Lorne Trottier Engineering Graduate Fellow
2010: Graduate Excellence Fellowship
2010: 1st rank graduate (top GPA) among all (about 100) MSc students
2010: IAChE (Iranian Association of Chemical Engineering) National Honor
2009: 2nd rank graduate (top GPA) among all (about 100) BSc students
2008: F.O.E. (Faculty of Engineering) Top Student Award

Professional Activities

Associate Editor of Bioengineering and Translational Medicine journal (IF = 10.68)
Editorial Board Member of Biomaterials journal (IF = 15.30)
Editorial Board Member of Bioactive materials journal (IF = 16.87)
Guest Speaker  in 30+ seminars, conferences, and universities
Guest Editor for the Special Issue on Emerging Trends in Nanocelluloses, Molecules. 2019
Presenter in 50+ conferences, including AIChE, ACS, MRS, and APS
Reviewer for 30+ peer-reviewed journals, including Advanced Materials, Matter, ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces, ACS Nano, Nanoscale, Journal of Colloid and Interface Science, and Acta Biomaterialia
Member of 10+ professional societies, including AIChE, ACS, and MRS
Session Chair for "Biomaterials" and "Forest and Plant Bioproducts" Divisions and liaison for "Materials Engineering & Sciences Division" (Polymers) at AIChE
Program/Meeting Organizer for 7+ conferences/events