Susan Leggett
Susan Leggett she/her/hers
  • Assistant Professor

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Susan Leggett is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Bioengineering. She is an Associate Member in the Cancer Center at Illinois and an Affiliate in the Carl R. Woese Institute of Genomic Biology.

Susan received her Ph.D. from Brown University in May 2018 and completed postdoctoral training at Princeton University in December 2022. She joined the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Bioengineering in January 2023. She has been awarded several honors in her field of expertise and has received national recognition; She is a 2012 Goldwater Scholar and was named a 2021 Rising Star in Engineering and Health by Columbia and Johns Hopkins University.

Research Statement

 Dr. Leggett’s research integrates live-cell imaging, bioengineering, and machine learning to elucidate dynamic single and collective cell behaviors that drive cancer progression. Her research has established tools to reverse-engineer tumors and comprehensively profile the morphology, migration, and mechanics of cancer cells with high spatiotemporal resolution. This integrative approach enables the visualization and analysis of complex cell-cell and cell-microenvironmental interactions that take place in heterogeneous and evolving tumors, providing insight into individual patient disease to advance personalized medicine.

Graduate Research Opportunities

We are actively recruiting graduate students and direct interested individuals to apply to UIUC's Bioengineering Ph.D. program

Undergraduate Research Opportunities

We are eager to have undergraduate students join the lab. Interested students should reach out to Dr. Leggett directly.

Research Areas

  • Biomaterials
  • Biomechanics
  • Biomedical imaging
  • Breast cancer
  • Cancer biology
  • Cell and tissue engineering
  • Cellular and molecular biomechanics
  • Computational biology and biomedicine
  • High-throughput analysis
  • Live-cell imaging
  • Microfabrication
  • Single-cell biophysics
  • Tumor microenvironments

Research Topics

  • Bio-Micro and Nanotechnology
  • Bioimaging at Multi-Scale
  • Molecular, Cellular and Tissue Engineering

Chapters in Books

Selected Articles in Journals

Research Honors

  • Rising Stars in Engineering in Health; awarded by Columbia University and Johns Hopkins University; 2021
  • New Jersey Alliance for Clinical and Translational Science Postdoctoral Fellow; 2020 - 2022
  • Sigma XI Honor Society, Full member; 2018 - present
  • Frederic Poole Gorham Pre-Doctoral Fellow; Brown University, 2017
  • Simper-Ronan Graduate Award in Cancer Research; Brown University; 2016
  • Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship; Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation; 2012

Recent Courses Taught

  • BIOE 206 - Cellular Bioengineering
  • BIOE 297 SEL - Individual Study
  • BIOE 360 - Transport & Flow in Bioengrg
  • BIOE 497 SEL - Individual Study
  • BIOE 498 MPM - Bio Disease Model Personal Med
  • BIOE 598 MPM - Bio Disease Model Personal Med

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