Daniel Irimia, MD, PhD

Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering

Department of Surgery

Harvard Medical School

Associate Director, BioMEMS Resource Center

Massachusetts General Hospital

Daniel is a scientist, trained as a physician, and pursuing the study of cell motility in health and disease.  He is doing pioneering work in the design and application of microfluidic tools to the study of various populations of white blood cells.  For example, he is using microfluidic channels to mechanically confine moving cells and to measure neutrophil motility with higher precision than any other of the current tools and directly from just a droplet of blood.  He is employing such tools to advance the prevention, diagnosis, and management capabilities during sepsis in patients with major burns.  Most recently, he designed microfluidic devices to help study the key steps in the process by which cancer cells break off from a primary tumor to invade other tissues and form metastases.  These new tools could be instrumental for testing and comparing compounds to block or delay the epithelial-mesenchymal transition, potentially slowing the progression of cancer.   While his experience as a physician guides him to focus on problems with clinical and diagnostic relevance, Daniel is also an energetic teacher of microfluidic technologies to the broader science community.  He has recently organized the first Dicty World Race.  This science competition, followed online by more than 18000 viewers from around the world and featured in journals like the Wall Street Journal or Nature, could ultimately lead to better tools for measuring cell motility, motivate researchers from other fields to apply their knowledge to optimizing cell motility for speed and accuracy, create opportunities for outside-of-the-box thinking about cell motility, and attract young fellows to science and engineering.  Daniel is the Associate Director of the BioMEMS Resource Center.

Representative publications

Wong IY, Javaid S, Wong EA, Perk S, Haber DA, Toner M, Irimia D. Collective and individual migration following the epithelial–mesenchymal transition. Nature Materials, 2014, in print, available online http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nmat4062

Boneschansker L, Yan J, Wong EA, Briscoe DM, Irimia D. Microfluidic platform for the quantitative analysis of leukocyte migration signatures. Nature Communications, 2014, in press.

Hamza B, Wong EA, Patel S, Cho H, Martel J, Irimia D. Retrotaxis of Human Neutrophils during Mechanical Confinement inside Microfluidic Channels. Integrative Biology (Cambridge), 2014, 6(2), 175-183

Kurihara T, Jones CN, Yu YM, Fischman AJ, Watada S, Tompkins RG, Fagan S, Irimia D. Resolvin D2 Restores Neutrophil Directionality and Improves Survival after Burns. FASEB Journal. 2013, 27:2270-2281.

Jones CN, Hoang AN, Dimisko L, Hamza B, Martel J, Kojic N, Irimia D.  Measuring neutrophil speed and directionality during chemotaxis, directly from a droplet of whole blood. Technology 2013, 1(1):49-57.

Jones CN, Dalli J, Dimisko L, Wong E, Serhan CN, Irimia D. Microfluidic chambers for monitoring leukocyte trafficking and humanized nano-proresolving medicines interactions.  Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2012, 109(50):20560-20565

Scherber C, Aranyosi AJ, Kulemann B, Thayer SP, Toner M, Iliopoulos O, Irimia D, Epithelial Cell Guidance by Self-Generated EGF Gradients.  Integrative Biology (Cambridge), 2012, 4, 259-269.  PMC3440622

Aldridge BB, Fernandez-Suarez M, Heller D, Ambravaneswaran V, Irimia D, Toner M, Fortune SM. Asymmetry and aging of mycobacterial cells lead to variable growth and antibiotic susceptibility. Science. 2012 Jan 6; 335(6064):100-4.

Butler KL, Ambravaneswaran V, Agrawal N, Bilodeau M, Toner M, Tompkins RG, Fagan S, Irimia D. Burn injury reduces neutrophil directional migration speed in microfluidic devices.  PLOS One, 2010, 5(7):e11921.  PMC2912851

Ambravaneswaran V, Wong IY, Aranyosi AJ, Toner M, Irimia D.  Directional Decisions during Neutrophil Chemotaxis inside Bifurcating Channels.  Integrative Biology, 2010, 2(11): 639 – 647.  PMC3001269

Dicty World Race in the Wall Street Journal: http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304450904579369372368336300

Dicty World Race official website at Experiment.com



Daniel Irimia, M.D., Ph.D.
Massachusetts General Hospital
Center for Engineering in Medicine, Room 1404
114 16th Street
Charlestown MA 02129

View Daniel’s Harvard Catalyst profile

Send an email to Daniel

Grace McDonald-SmithDaniel Irimia, MD, PhD