Gregory Timp Brosey Professor of Engineering

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 shown 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.



  • Brosey Professor of Engineering, University of Notre Dame 2020-Present
  • Keough-Hesburgh Professor of Electrical Engineering & Biological Sciences, University of Notre Dame 2010-2020
  • Affiliate: Harper Cancer Research Institute, South Bend, IN 2010-Present
  • Professor, Electrical Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Illinois (UIUC) 2000-2010
  • Professor, Biophysical Department, UIUC 2000-2010
  • Professor, Institute for Genomic Biology, UIUC 2000-2010
  • Professor, Beckman Institute for Advance Science and Technology, UIUC 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:

  • Timp W, and Timp G, "Beyond Mass Spectrometry, the Next Step in Proteomics" Science Advances, published online 10 January 2020, doi: 10.1126/sciadv.aax8978.
  • Rigo E, Dong Z, Park JH, Kennendy E, Hokmabadi M, Almonte-Garcia L, Ding L, Aluru N, and Timp G, "Measurements of the Size and Correlations between Ions using an Electrolytic Point Contact" Nature Communications, published online 30 May 2019. doi: 10.1038/s41467-019-10265-2.
  • Dong Z, Kennedy E, Hokmabadi M, and Timp G, "Discriminating Residue Substitutions in a Single Protein Molecule Using a Sub-nanopore" ACS Nano, published online 24 May 2017. doi: 10.1021/acsnano.6b08452. 
  • Kennedy E, Dong Z, Tennant C, and Timp G, "Reading the primary structure of a protein with 0.07 nm3 resolution using a subnanometre-diameter pore" Nature Nanotechnology, published online 25 July 2016. doi: 10.1038/NNANO.2016.120.  
  • Kennedy E, Nelson E, Tanaka T, Damiano J, Timp G, "Live Bacterial Physiology Visualized with Five-Nanometer Resolution Using Scanning Transmission Electron Microscopy", ACS Nano 2016, doi: 10.1021/acsnano.5b07697  
  • Kennedy E, Nelson E, Tanaka T, Damiano J, Timp G, "Gene Expression in Electron-Beam-Irradiated Bacteria in Reply to 'Live Cell Electron Microscopy is Probably Impossible'" ACS Nano 2017, doi: 10.1021/acsnano.6b06616.  
  • Perry N, Kennedy EM, Timp G, "Wiring Together Synthetic Bacterial Consortia to Create a Biological Integrated Circuit", ACS Synthetic Biology 2016, doi:10.1021/acssynbio.6b00002  
  • Sarveswaran K, Kurz V, Dong Z, Penny S, Tanaka T, Timp G, "Synthetic Capillaries to Control Microscopic Blood Flow", Scientific Reports 2016, doi:10.1038/srep21885
  • 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.