Gregory Timp Keough-Hesburgh Professor

Gregory Timp

Research Interests:

We are developing a variety of tools that leverage nanotechnology for biomedical applications. One such tool involves using a picometer-diameter pore (i.e. picopores) as a non-optical sensor which relies on a distinctive electrical signal that develops when a single analyte, immersed in electrolyte, translocates across a membrane through the pore. My research group has show that it is now possible to produce pores with a sub-nanometer diameter in a solid-state dielectric embedded in a microfluidic device. Sub-nanometer precision affords exquisite control of the electric field in and beyond the lumen of the pore, while the microfluidic device reduces the parasitic membrane capacitance that adversely affects noise while at the same time reducing the amount of material required for detection. We have shown that such precise control of the electric field and the forces in a picopore facilitate discrimination between different proteins and nucleic acids, and enables the transfection of single cells via electroporation.

Another tool uses “live cell lithography”(LCL), a technique that uses arrays of optical tweezers to organize individual cells on a hydrogel scaffold, to create microfluidic models of human microcirculation to be used as a starting point for in vitro studies of hypertension and cancer metastasis. With LCL, models of human microcirculation are created using optical tweezers to position cells precisely in three dimensions (3D) on cell-specific photo-polymerized hydrogel scaffolds that recapitulate the mechanics, porosity and biochemistry of a bona fide extracellular matrix (ECM)—creating “living voxels” that can be stitched together into cytoarchitectures of any size, shape and constituency to more accurately reflect human tissue responses.



  • Keough-Hesburgh Chair of Electrical Engineering & Biological Sciences, University of Notre Dame; Affiliate: Harper Cancer Research Institute, South Bend, IN 2010-Present
  • Professor, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering 2000-2010
  • University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Illinois 2000-2010
  • Professor, Biophysical Department 2000-2010
  • Professor, Institute for Genomic Biology 2000-2010
  • Professor, Beckman Institute for Advance Science and Technology 2000-2010
  • Member of the Technical Staff, Bell Laboratories, Murray Hill, NJ 1986-2000
  • Posdoctoral Fellow, IBM T.J. Watson Research Center, Yorktown Heights, New York 1984-1986
  • University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Highest Honors, Electrical Engineering, B.S., 1978 1978
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Bell Laboratories Research Fellow, Electrical Engineering, M.S., 1980
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Highest Honors, Electrical Engineering, Ph.D., 1984
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Highest Honors, IBM, T.J. Watson Research Center, Postdoctoral Fellow 1984-1986


Recent Papers:

  • McKelvey K., Kurz V, Tanka T, and Timp G, “Fingerprinting Single Living Cells with Molecular Precision”, Biophysical Journal 108 (2), 186a. doi:
  • Nelson E, Mirsaidov U, Sarveswaran K, Perry N, Kurz V, Timp W, and Timp G, “Ecology of a Simple Synthetic Biofilm,” Chapter 11 in The Physical Basis of Bacterial Quorum Communications, S. Hagen ed., Biological and Medical Physics, Biomedical Engineering, pp. 205-226 Springer (New York) 2015.
  • Timp W, Nice A, Nelson EM, Kurz V, McKelvey K, Timp G, Think Small: Nanopores for Sensing and Synthesis, IEEE Access, 2014 (2) 1396-1408. doi: 10.1109/ACCESS.2014.2369506
  • Kurz V, Nelson E, Tanaka T, and Timp G, “Detection of the Secretome and Transfection of a Single Cell Using a Nanopore,” ECS Trans. 2014 64(16): 15-19; doi:10.1149/06416.0015ecst.
  • Nelson E, Li H, Timp G, Direct, Concurrent Measurements of the Forces and Currents Affecting DNA in a Nanopore with Comparable Topography, ACS Nano, 2014. 8(6): 5484-5493. doi:10.1021/nn405331t.
  • Kurz V, Tanaka, T, Timp G, Single Cell Transfection with Single Molecule Resolution Using a Synthetic Nanopore, Nanoletters, 2014, 14 (2), pp 604–611, doi: 10.1021/nl403789z.
  • Nelson EM, Kurz V, Perry N, Timp W, Timp G, Biological Noise Abatement: Coordinating the Responses of Autonomous Bacteria to a Fluctuating Environment Using a Stochastic Bistable Switch, ACS Synthet. Biol. 2014, doi: 10.1021/sb400052f
  • Kurz V, Nelson EM, Perry N, Timp W, Timp G, Epigenetic Memory Emerging from Integrated Transcription Bursts, Biophys. J. 2013, 105, 6. doi: 10.1016/j.bpj.2013.08.010.
  • Kurz V, Nelson EM, Shim J, Timp G, Direct Visualization of Single-Molecule Translocations through Synthetic Nanopores Comparable in Size to a Molecule ACS Nano, 2013. doi: 10.1021/nn400182s.
  • Nelson EM, Kurz V, Shim J, Timp W, Timp G, Using a nanopore for single molecule detection and single cell transfection, Analyst RSC, 2012, doi: 10.1039/C2AN35571J.