BIOE Faculty Members Duncan and Huang Promoted

The Fischell Department of Bioengineering (BIOE) congratulates faculty members Gregg Duncan and Huang Chiao Huang on their promotions within the department to Associate Professors, effective as of July 1, 2023.

Both Dr. Duncan and Dr. Huang are outstanding scholars, and we are fortunate to have them with us in the Fischell Department of Bioengineering,” says John Fisher, Department Chair of BIOE at the University of Maryland (UMD).

Duncan leads the Respiratory NanoBioengineering (RnB) Lab, whose research aims to understand airway micro-physiology to engineer new therapeutic strategies for obstructive lung diseases such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and cystic fibrosis. Duncan’s research interests include complex biological fluids & interfaces; nanoparticle drug delivery; viral gene delivery; respiratory infection; and lung diseases.

Duncan says that few of the lab’s projects have gone as they initially expected. However, he says, “this has led us to much more interesting research questions than I could have envisioned when we got started 5–6 years ago. I’m excited to see where we end up next!”

Since joining the department in 2017, Duncan has received several awards and honors, most recently the Cellular and Molecular Bioengineering Journal Young Innovator Award; the BMES Rita Schaffer Young Investigator Award; the BIOE Faculty Teaching Award; and the National Science Foundation CAREER Award. He also currently serves as Director of the BIOE Undergraduate Honors Program.

Both Dr. Duncan and Dr. Huang are outstanding scholars, and we are fortunate to have them with us in the Fischell Department of Bioengineering.

Dr. John Fisher, BIOE Department Chair

Duncan notes that receiving the Faculty Teaching Award in 2021 was a particular honor. “At the time, I felt like I was just barely managing to keep up with remotely teaching classes through the pandemic,” he explains. “I really appreciated this recognition of my work from the department during this challenging time.”

On his promotion, Duncan feels “fortunate to have been given the opportunity to start [his] career as a faculty member here. It also means a lot to have the continued support from the department, college, and university.”

Huang leads the Optical Therapeutics & Nanotechnology Laboratory, which he established in 2018 when he began his appointment as Assistant Professor with BIOE. The Huang Lab is a research group of about 20 members who integrate nanoscience and photobiology to help fight disease and improve human health. To do so, they engineer nanometer-scale objects that allow optical and biophysical manipulation of diseases at various levels. Huang’s research interests include photodynamic therapy; precision cancer nanomedicine; mechanism-based combination therapy; and site-directed photochemistry and fluorescence diagnostics.

Huang has collected several accolades during his five years with the department. In 2020, Dr. Huang was elected to the American Society for Photobiology Council. He also received the UMD Faculty-Student Research Award, the NIH K99/R00 Pathway to Independence Award, and most recently the NIH NIBIB Trailblazer Award.

“I am honored and very grateful for the promotion,” says Huang. “Huge thanks to all the Huang lab members, BIOE colleagues, and mentors! I’m very proud to be part of such a talented, motivated, and fun department!”

Published July 3, 2023