Leonidas Bleris ’02G ’06 PhD is associate professor of bioengineering and rising star in systems biology

Electrical engineering alumnus Leonidas Bleris ’02G ’06 PhD, an associate professor of bioengineering at the University of Texas at Dallas’ Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science, was named a Cecil H. and Ida Green Professor in Systems Biology Science in spring 2018.

This endowed professorship was set up by the estate of Cecil Green, a founder of Texas Instruments, to support integrated interdisciplinary biomedical research.

“There are exciting new opportunities at the interface of sciences and engineering,” says Bleris. “The ability to reliably edit the human genome and apply control will radically change therapeutics in the near future.”

During his doctoral studies at Lehigh, Bleris was advised by Mayuresh Kothare, the R. L. McCann Professor and Chair of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering.

“Bleris’ ability to combine chemical engineering principles with electrical circuit theory and experimental biology—and his continued success at UT Dallas in unraveling the complexities of biological networks—illustrate the significance of the interdisciplinary training he received at Lehigh,” Kothare says. “Our research and graduate studies community takes pride in supporting students with interests that straddle traditional department and college boundaries.”

Bleris’ current research involves synthetic biology and genome editing. His research is supported by funding from the National Institute of Health (NIH) and National Science Foundation (NSF). He is also a recipient of NSF Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) award for his research in genome editing technologies.

Bleris’ PhD thesis at Lehigh was titled “Dynamics and Control of Integrated Microchemical Systems: From Practical Theoretical Approaches to Model Predictive Control on-a-Chip.”

While at Lehigh, Bleris received the Christine Mirzayan Science and Technology Policy Graduate Fellowship from the National Academy of Science. He won best presentation-in-session awards at the American Control Conference in 2004 and again in 2005, and was sponsored by the NSF to be a participant in the Pan American Study Institute on Process Systems Engineering in Argentina.

Following the completion of his thesis, Bleris became a postdoctoral fellow at the FAS Center for Systems Biology at Harvard University.

Madison Hoff '19, a student writer for the P.C. Rossin College of Engineering and Applied Science, contributed to this story.

Leonidas Bleris

Leonidas Bleris ’02G ’06 PhD, Associate Professor of Bioengineering; Fellow, Cecil H. and Ida Green Professor in Systems Biology Science; University of Texas at Dallas (Photo courtesy of Leonidas Bleris/UT Dallas)