Yitshak Zohar, PhD

Professor, Aerospace-Mechanical Engineering
Professor, BIO5 Institute
Professor, Biomedical Engineering
Email Address: 
Phone Number: 
(520) 626-8093

Research Information

Research Program: 
Cancer Biology
Research Focus: 

Dr. Zohar specializes in the development of microfluidic systems for bio/chemical/medical applications. He develops various technologies and devices, in collaboration with colleagues across several disciplines, to contribute to the understanding and cure of cancer. This includes development of surface chemistry technology to immobilize surface ligands for specific interaction with membrane receptors identified by colleagues as bio-markers for certain types of cancer such as prostate and breast. The aim is to develop liquid biopsy techniques for the isolation of tumor cells circulating in the blood stream as an early detection of cancer without invasive procedures. They also develop microfluidic systems mimicking blood vessels, i.e. microchannels coated with endothelial cells, where local chemokine gradients can be generated in a controlled manner. The goal is to establish ex-vivo systems for studying cancer metastasis processes such as intravasation and extravasation of circulating tumor cells. These systems can be utilized not only to elucidate the basic mechanisms involved in cancer metastasis, but also to test the efficacy of certain anti-cancer drugs designed to disrupt cell-signaling pathways or utilize nanoparticles as drug delivery vehicles.

Selected Publications: 

Professional Information

Positions and Honors: 
University of Arizona 2007 Technology Innovation Award
21st IEEE International Conference on Micro Electro Mechanical Systems – Co-Chair, 2008
Excellence at the Student Interface, College of Engineering, University of Arizona, 2010
Editor – Microfluidics and Nanofluidics (2014-present)
Editor – Journal of Microelectromechanical Systems (2005-present)
Advisory Editorial Board – Microfluidics and Nanofluidics (2008-2013)
Editorial Board Member– Journal of Physical Chemistry & Biophysics (2011-present)
Associate Editor, Sensors and Actuators A: Physical, 2006-2009
Other Experience and Professional Memberships/Affiliations: 
American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) – Fellow (1992-present)
American Institute of Aeronautics & Astronautics (AIAA) – Senior Member (2004-2010)
American Physical Society (APS) – Member (1992-2008)

Academic Information

Department of Aerospace Engineering, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, 1990
Master's Degree: 
Technion – Israel Institute of Technology, 1984
Undergraduate School: 
Technion – Israel Institute of Technology, 1981