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Bahareh Behkam, Principal Investigator

Bahareh Behkam

Bahareh Behkam is the John R.  Jones III Fellow and an Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Virginia Tech with affiliate appointments in the School of Biomedical Engineering and Sciences and the Macromolecules Innovation Institute at Virginia Tech, and the Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist Comprehensive Cancer Center. Prof. Behkam obtained her B.Sc. degree from Sharif University of Technology, and her M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees from Carnegie Mellon University, all in Mechanical Engineering. She was a recipient of the Virginia Tech’s College of Engineering Outstanding New Assistant Professor Award in 2012 and the National Science Foundation CAREER award in 2015. Research work from her laboratory has been awarded the 2012 Adhesion Society Peeble Award, the 2013 ASME-NEMB Aline Best Paper Award, and 2014 ASME-NEMB Best Poser Award, the 2018 MARSS Best Conference Paper Award, 2020 IMCECE-NSF Top Experimental Research Award. Prof. Behkam’s current research interests include the development of bio-hybrid microrobotic systems for cancer therapy, mechanobiology of microbial infection, interfacial mechanics of pathogen-biomaterial and pathogen-host cell interactions, and cell migration in multi-cue environments.

Senior Research Scientist

Postdoctoral Researcher

Visiting Scientist

Graduate Students

Undergraduate Students

MicroN BASE Alumni:

Ph.D. Degree (position immediately after graduation):

  • Eric J. Leaman, Ph. D. in Mechanical Engineering, 2021 (Future Technical Leader Systems Engineer at Northrop Grumman)
  • Apratim Mukherjee, Ph. D. in Mechanical Engineering, 2021 (Postdoctoral Researcher at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia)
  • SeungBeum Chris Suh, Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering, 2017 (Research Scientist at the Korea Institute of Science and Technology )
  • Zhou Ye, Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering, 2017 (Postdoctoral Researcher at the University of Minnesota School of Dentistry)
  • Ali Sahari, Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering, 2014 (Systems Engineer at Thermo Fisher Scientific)
  • Mahama Aziz Traore, Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering, 2014 (Postdoctoral Researcher,  Washington University at St. Louis)


M.S. Degree (position immediately after graduation):

  • Lauren Berman, M.S. in Mechanical Engineering, 2021 (X-COR Therapeutics)
  • Carolyn Mottley, M.S., Biomedical Engineering, 2020 (Merck & Co.)
  • Yiying Irene Wang, M.S. in Mechanical Engineering, 2019 (Gaumard Scientific)
  • Eric Leaman, M.S. in Mechanical Engineering, 2016 (PhD candidate in Mechanical Engineering)
  • Peter Windes, M.S. in Mechanical Engineering, 2016 (PhD candiate in Mechanical Engineering)
  • Carmen Damico, M.S. in Mechanical Engineering, 2016 (Naval Surface Warfare Center)
  • Ahram Kim, M.S. in Mechanical Engineering, 2015 (LG Electronics)
  • Brian Geuther, M.S. in Mechanical Engineering, 2013 (The Jackson Laboratory)
  • Mehdi Kargar, M.S. in Mechanical Engineering, 2013 (Ph.D. candiate in Chemical Engineering)


Undergraduate Research Experience
(*designates students are attending or have graduated from graduate school):

  • Alvin Aung* (ME VT, Fall 2017-Spring 2020)
  • Ibrahim Abughararh (CS, Harvey Mudd College, Summer 2019)
  • Lauren Berman* (ME, VT, Fall 2018-Spring 2019)
  • Trevor Nier* (ME, VT, Spring 2019)
  • Hope Geiger (Southwest Virginia Community College, Summer 2018)
  • Max Baum (ME, VT, Spring 2018-Fall 2018)
  • Alexie Jean Jacques (Virginia Western Community College, Summer 2017-Spring 2018)
  • Luke Onweller (ME VT, Fall 2015-Spring 2017)
  • Kellen Weigand* (Bioengineering, University of Maryland, Summer 2016)
  • Carolyn Mottley* (BSE, Spring 2015-Spring 2016)
  • Matt Long* (BME UVA, Summer 2015)
  • Justin Scott* (BME Rutgers, Summer 2015)
  • Hajar Chokhmane (ME, Northern Virginia Community College, Summer 2015)
  • Emir Sahmanovic (ME VT, Fall 2014-Spring 2015)
  • Andrew Myers (ME VT, Spring 2014-Spring 2015)
  • Carmen Damico* (ME VT, Spring 2014-Spring 2015)
  • Jacquline Plyler* (BME Univ. of SC, Summer 2014-Spring 2015) *honors thesis research
  • Nahu Dmitri (BioChem VT, Summer 2014-Fall 2014)
  • Lizette Carrasco* (Bio. Sci. VCU, Summer 2014)
  • Katie Brown* (BME Univ. of RI, Summer 2014)
  • Jonathan Clark (ME VT, Spring 2014-Summer 2014)
  • Daniel Carrasco (ME VT, Spring 2014)
  • Rosaline Lee (ME VT, Fall 2013)
  • Evan Smith* (ME VT, Summer 2013-Fall 2013)
  • Nima Vahidi* (BioChem VT, Fall 2012-Spring 2013)
  • Jake Mason* (ESM VT, Summer 2012-Spring 2013)
  • Meghan Canter* (Bio Sci VT, Summer 2011-Summer 2013)
  • Franzua Garcia (ME VT, Spring 2013)
  • AhRam Kim* (ME VT, Spring 2012-Summer 2013)
  • Krishan Patel* (ME UC Boulder, Summer 2013)
  • Alex Strickland* (ESM VT, Spring 2012-Spring 2013)
  • Austin Allen* (ME VT, Summer 2012-Spring 2013)
  • Loran Steinberger (BioChem VT, Summer 2012-Fall 2012)
  • Logan Strum* (ME, Fall 2011-Spring 2012)
  • Devon Headen* (ME VT, Fall 2010-Spring 2011)
  • Jamie Howard (MinE VT, Fall 2010-Spring 2011)
  • Jeffery Saucke (ME VT, Fall 2010-Fall 2011)
  • Eric Acome* (ME VT, Fall 2010-Spring 2011)
  • Hannah Barber* (Bio. Sci. VT, Summer 2011-Spring 2012)
  • Michael Kohler* (ME VT/ TUD, Spring 2009-Summer 2009)
  • William Buice* (ME VT, Spring 2009-Spring 2010)
  • Julia Alspaugh* (ME VT, Spring 2009-Spring 2010)
  • Kevin Chu* (ME VT, Spring 2009)




Amrinder Nain
Virginia Tech


George O’Toole


Birgit Scharf
Virginia Tech


Sohan Kale
Virginia Tech


Richey Davis
Virginia Tech


Tim Long
Arizona State University

Ryan Senger

Ryan Senger
Virginia Tech

Danesh Tafti

Danesh Tafti
Virginia Tech

Lacey McNally

Lacey McNally
University of Oklahoma

Sohan Kale

Timothy Averch
Palmetto Health USC Medical Group

John Rossmeisl
Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine

Liwu Li

Liwu Li
Virginia Tech

Suzanne Ponik

Suzanne Ponik
University of Madison-Wisconsin