Urbana, Ill. Rashid Bashir, professor of bioengineering and dean of the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign’s Grainger College of Engineering, has been awarded the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering’s (AIMBE) 2021 Professional Impact Award for Education.

The Professional Impact Award for Education recognizes those who have made an outstanding commitment to advancing bioengineering education.

Bashir, also a Cancer Center at Illinois researcher, is receiving this award for his leadership in bioengineering education, diagnostic technology development, and for playing a crucial role in the development of a new engineering-based medical school curriculum at the Carle Illinois College of Medicine. Bashir was the former department head of bioengineering and also led an NSF training grant on cell and molecular mechanics and an NIH training grant on cancer nanotechnology. With many others in the department of bioengineering, he also co-led an NSF grant on reforming the undergraduate bioengineering curriculum.

As a member of the Grainger Engineering faculty in the department of bioengineering and the Holonyak Micro and Nanotechnology Laboratory, Bashir’s research has focused on Bio-Micro and Nanotechnology, lab on chip, and applications to Sepsis, infectious disease diagnostics, and cancer. His group has also developed muscle cell based centimeter scale biological robots using 3D bioprinting. He has published over 250 journal papers and has 51 patents.

“Rashid has had a tremendous impact on bioengineering at Illinois,” said Mark Anastasio, head of the department of bioengineering. “Under his leadership, the department experienced exciting growth in its educational and research programs and emerged as a leading department of bioengineering. Moreover, he was absolutely critical to the formation of the new Carle Illinois College of Medicine, which leveraged the department of bioengineering to establish a new paradigm in medical education. These efforts have left an indelible mark on our department, university, and discipline.”

The Carle Illinois College of Medicine was officially announced in March 2015, and Bashir had been part of the effort to educate a new generation of physician-innovators in the first engineering-based college of medicine. He served as the co-chair for the curriculum committee of Carle Illinois and was the executive associate dean and chief diversity office when the college was initially announced.

At the early stages in the college of medicine’s development, Bashir served a crucial role in developing the first of its kind curriculum that combined a balance of clinical, biological and engineering instruction.

“Rashid was involved in planning for Carle Illinois from its inception,” said King Li, Dean of the Carle Illinois College of Medicine. “He has been a strong proponent for an engineering, data science and innovation based medical education program. After Carle Illinois started he became the Executive Associate Dean of this unique new medical school and had major contributions in developing the curriculum and establishing the infrastructure of the college. Without Rashid’s dedicated help Carle Illinois would not have been the success it is today.”

Bashir joined the college faculty in 2007 as the Abel Bliss Professor of Engineering and professor of electrical and computer engineering and professor of bioengineering. In addition to his time with those departments, he has held leadership positions in the Micro and Nanotechnology Laboratory, and the Center for Nanoscale Science and Technology.

“I am deeply humbled and honored to have been nominated and to receive this award. I am very grateful to the many creative students and researchers in my lab over the years and collaborators from across the campus and the country that I have had an opportunity to work with,” Bashir said. “The bioengineering department and the University of Illinois has provided me with countless opportunities for leadership and work in teams to make an impact. This award really belongs to all others that I had an honor to work with”.

Bashir was presented with the award during the virtual AIMBE Annual Event on March 26. 2021.


– Written by Miranda Holloway 

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