Vice President for Research
Professor, Department of Chemical & Biological Engineering
Founding Director and Member, Center for Biomedical Engineering
The University of New Mexico
BS – Chemical Engineering, University of Colorado
PhD – Chemical Engineering, University of Washington
NIH and Ford Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow – Harvard University
Dr. López was appointed as the University of New Mexico’s Vice President for Research in 2015 where he is also a professor in the Department of Chemical & Biological Engineering. Previously, Dr. López was a professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Duke University’s Pratt School of Engineering and an adjunct professor in UNM’s Department of Chemical & Biological Engineering. At Duke, Dr. López was the founding director of the NSF’s Research Triangle Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (RT-MRSEC), which is focused on the programmable self-assembly of soft matter and currently includes approximately 60 researchers at Duke, North Carolina State, UNC-Chapel Hill and NC Central University.
Prior to his time at Duke, Dr. López was a professor in UNM’s Department of Chemical & Biological Engineering from 1993-2010. During this time, he was the founding director of UNM’s Center for Biomedical Engineering (currently a member) and the Biomedical Engineering Graduate Programs. Dr. López also served for five years on the Board of Directors of STC.UNM.
Dr. López’ current research interests include bio-interfacial phenomena, biomaterials, self-assembly and bio-analytical microsystems to address problems in medicine, biotechnology and environmental quality.
Particular Knowledge and Skills
His current technology-transfer and translational activities include development of an anti-infection, soft robotic catheter, serving on the Scientific Advisory Board of local start-up Eta Diagnostic Inc. and collaboration with several industrial partners. Dr. López’ professional service activities include outreach to and advancement of groups under-represented in research, participation in several scientific societies, consultation on research directions for NIH, NSF and DTRA programs, and serving on the NIH College of CSR Reviewers.
Dr. López has published approximately 200 peer reviewed scientific papers and book chapters. He has served as research advisor to 54 graduate students, 39 postdoctoral fellows and 77 undergraduate students; 16 of his former research protégés have gone on to professional academic positions. He has served as PI or co-PI on grants totaling approximately $46 million and his research has been supported by several sources including the NSF, NIH, DOE, NASA, DOD, industry and nonprofit foundations. He has been granted many awards and honors for his research, including being named a fellow of the American Institute for Medical & Biological Engineering, receiving an Outstanding University Inventor Award from the Semiconductor Research Corporation and earning the NSF Faculty Early Career Development Award. He was named one of the 100 most important Hispanics in technology and business for 2006 by the editors of Hispanic Engineer and Information Technology. Dr. López holds 34 UNM-affiliated U.S. issued patents.