Dr. Jenna Rickus joined the ABE faculty in the 2003 Spring semester. She is a Professor, with a joint appointment with Biomedical Engineering. She is no stranger to the ABE department. She earned B.S. degrees in the Food Process Engineering and Biochemistry dual program. After leaving Purdue, Jenna was a research engineer at Kraft Foods for two and a half years before returning to graduate school.
Jenna earned her PhD from UCLA in Neuroengineering, a joint program between the Interdepartmental Program for Neuroscience and Biomedical Engineering. While at UCLA she developed new biosensor materials and devices for continuous neurotransmitter measurements. Her lab here at Purdue is focused on controlling and mimicking cells as an engineered dynamic system. Current research interests include mimicking cellular function in non living systems to develop advanced and stable biosensors; modeling and controlling neurotransmitter systems at a single cell level; and cellular oscillations. The practical implications of her work span agricultural, biomedical, and food safety applications.
Dr. Rickus has been dually trained in biology and engineering throughout her career. She has a strong interest in new approaches to education that merge the two disciplines in a synergistic manner. She hopes to train a new generation of engineers/biologists who are both comfortable dealing with the complex world of biology and who can think and function quantitatively. Jenna teaches courses on nonlinear dynamics and chaos in biological systems, biosensors, and quantitative cell biology.