Nehal Abu-Lail, Ph.D.
Research Focus: Nanoscale Cellular Interactions and Mechanics
The Gene and Linda Voiland
School of Chemical Engineering and Bioengineering
Washington State University
118 Dana Hall Spokane St.
P.O. Box 642710
Pullman, WA 99164-2710
Office: E/ME 59 (Tel: 509-335-4961)
Lab: ETRL 352 and ETRL 345 (Tel: 509-335-0451)
- Ph.D., Chemical Engineering - Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Worcester, MA [Thesis title: The effect of biopolymer properties on bacterial adhesion: an atomic force microscopy (AFM) study.] - 2004
- M.S., Chemical Engineering - Jordan University of Science & Technology, Irbid Jordan [Thesis title: Characterization and treatment of olive oil mills effluent wastewater.] - 1998
- B.S., Chemical Engineering - Jordan University of Science & Technology, Irbid Jordan - 1996
- 2007 - ONR Travel Grant to present a paper at the AVS 54th Annual meeting held in Seattle
- 2005 - Duke University Travel Award for the International Symposium on Biointerface Science, New Bern, NC
- 2004 - Sigma Xi PhD Research Award/ WPI for excellence in Ph.D. dissertation
- 2004 - The American Institute of Chemists Award for outstanding Ph.D. thesis, New England
- 2003 - WPI Graduate Student Organization Travel Award to present a paper at the 103rd ASM General Meeting, Washington, DC
- 2002 - WPI Graduate Student Organization Travel Award to present a paper at the 223rd ACS National Meeting held in Orlando, Florida
- 2002 - The Colloids and Surface Science Division Award for best poster in the 223rd ACS National Meeting held in Orlando, Florida
- 2000–2001 - Roberts S. Park Graduate Fellowship, WPI
- 2000–2001 - WPI prestigious Graduate Fellowship
- 1996–1998 - Jordan University of Science and Technology Graduate Fellowship
- 1991–1996 - Academic Honors with Distinction, Jordan University of Science and Technology
- Associate Professor - Gene and Linda Voiland School of Chemical Engineering & Bioengineering, Washington State University, Pullman, WA - 2012–present
- Assistant Professor - Gene and Linda Voiland School of Chemical Engineering & Bioengineering, Washington State University, Pullman, WA - 2006–2012
- Post-doctoral Fellow - Center for Biologically Inspired Materials & Material Systems, Duke University, Durham, NC - 2003–2006
- Teaching Assistant - Chemical Engineering Department, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Worcester, MA - 2002–2003
- Graduate Research Assistant - Chemical Engineering Department, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Worcester, MA - 2000–2002
- Lecturer - Chemical Engineering, AL-Balq’a University, Irbid Jordan - 1999–2000
- Chemistry Teacher - Dar Al-Oloum High School, Irbid Jordan - 1998–1999
- Teaching Assistant - Chemical Engineering Department, Jordan University of Science & Technology, Irbid Jordan - 1996–1998
- Engineer - Jordan Petroleum Refinery, Al-Zarqa’ Jordan - 1995
The following research projects are currently being investigated in the lab:
- Fundamental Mechanisms of L. monocytogenes Adhesion and Virulence
- The Design of Wettability and Charge of Antifouling Oceanic Materials on the Basis of Molecular Properties of Marine Fouling Bacteria
- Development of Current Bacterial Adhesion Models
- Investigate the Relationship between Micro-scale and Macro-scale Bacterial Adhesion
- Friction and Bacteria
- Design Sensors and Actuators to Detect Pathogens
- Nanomechanics of Mammalian Cells
I am on the editorial board of Colloids and Surfaces B: Biointerfaces (2009), Journal of Biosensors & Bioelectronics (2010) and Journal of Biomedical Engineering and Biomedical Science (2010).
Membership in Professional Organizations
I am a member in these organizations:
- Biomedical Engineering Society
- Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society
- Materials Research Society
- Biophysical Society
- American Institute of Chemists
- American Society for Microbiology
- American Institute of Chemical Engineers
- American Chemical Society
- Jordan Engineering Society
- American Society for Engineering Education
- Asma Eskhan and N. I. Abu-Lail. “Cellular and Molecular Investigations of the Adhesion and Mechanics of Listeria monocytogenes Lineages’ I and II Environmental and Epidemic Strains.” Journal of Colloid and Interface Science. In Press.
- Fatma Pinar Gordesli and Nehal I. Abu-Lail. “ Impact of Ionic Strength of Growth on the Physiochemical Properties, Structure and Adhesion of L. monocytogenes Polyelectrolyte Brushes to a Silicon Nitride Surface in Water.” Journal of Colloid and Interface Science. 388 (2012) 257-267. DOI: 10.1016/j.jcis.2012.08.048.
- Nehal I. Abu-Lail, Fatin Aliah Phang, Ashley Ater Kranov, Khairiyah Mohd-Yusof, Robert G. Olsen, Rochelle Letrice Williams and Azizan Zainal Abidin. “Persistent Gender Inequity in US Undergraduate Engineering: Looking to Jordan and Malaysia for Factors to Their Success in Achieving Gender Parity, 2012.” Proceedings of the American Society for Engineering Education 119th national meeting.
- Josue Orellana, Fabiola Quiroa, Ala’ I. Abu-Lail and Nehal I. Abu-Lail. “A Step towards the Development of a Wet Cellular Bioengineering Laboratory, 2011.” Proceedings of the American Society for Engineering Education 118th national meeting.
- F. P. Gordesli and N. I. Abu-Lail. “Combined Poisson and soft-particle DLVO Analysis of L. monocytogenes nanoscale adhesion forces at varying temperatures of growth.” Environmental Science and Technology, 2012, 46(18), 10089–10098. DOI: 10.1021/es300653w
- L. H. Kawas, C. C. Benoist, J. W. Harding, G. A Wayman and N. I. Abu-Lail. “Nanoscale mapping of the Met receptor on hippocampal neurons by AFM and confocal microscopy.” Nanomedicine: Nanotechnology, Biology and Medicine, In press. 10.1016/j.nano.2012.08.008
- I. Al-Hamarneh, P. Pedrow, A. O. Eskhan, and N. I. Abu-Lail. “Hydrophilic property of 316L stainless steel after treatment by atmospheric pressure corona streamer plasma using surface-sensitive analyses.” Applied Surface Science, 259, 2012, 424–432. 10.1016/j.apsusc.2012.07.061
- F. P. Gordesli and N. I. Abu-Lail. “The role of thermal stresses on the adhesion of Listeria monocytogenes to silicon nitride: An atomic force microscopy study.” Langmuir, 2012, 28 (2), 1360–1373.
- B.-J. Park and N. I. Abu-Lail. “The role of the pH conditions of growth on the bioadhesion of individual and lawns of pathogenic L. monocytogenes cells.” Journal of Colloids and Interface Science, 2011, 358, 611–620.
- B.-J. Park and N. I. Abu-Lail. “Heterogeneities in the adhesion energies measured between Listeria pathogenic and non-pathogenic species and silicon nitride probed using atomic force microscopy.” Biofouling, 2011, 27(5), 543–559. DOI:
- B.-J. Park and N. I. Abu-Lail. “Variations in the nanomechanical properties of virulent and avirulent Listeria monocytogenes.” Soft Matter, 2010, 6, 3898-3909. DOI:
- B.-J. Park, T. Haines, and N. I. Abu-Lail. “A Correlation between the virulence and the adhesion of L. monocytogenes to silicon nitride: an AFM study.” Colloids and Surfaces B: Biointerfaces, 2009, 73 (2), 237–243. DOI:
- D. Chang, N. I. Abu-Lail, J. Coles, F. Guilak, G. Jay, and S. Zauscher. “Friction force microscopy of lubricin and hyaluronic acid between hydrophobic and hydrophilic surfaces.” Soft Matter, 2009, 5(18), 3438–3445. DOI:
- Debby Chang, Nehal Abu-Lail, Farshid Guilak, Gregory Jay, and Stefan Zauscher “Conformational mechanics, Adsorption, and Normal Force Interactions of Lubricin and Hyaluronic Acid on Model Surfaces.” Langmuir, 2008, 24(4), 1183–1193. DOI:
- Nehal I. Abu-Lail. “An Atomic Force Microscopy Look at the Molecular World of Bacteria” A book chapter in “Structure, Interactions, and Reactivity at Molecular Interfaces.” Edited by Terri Camesano and Charlene Mellow, ACS Publications. DOI:
- Alexei Valiaev, Nehal I. Abu-Lail, Dong-Woo Lim, Ashutosh Chilkoti, Stefan Zauscher “Micro-Cantilever Sensing and Actuation with End-Grafted Stimulus-Responsive Elastin-Like Polypeptides.” Langmuir, 2007, 23(1) 339–344. DOI:
- D.M. Loveless, N. I. Abu-Lail, M. Kaholek, S. Zauscher, and S. L. Craig. “Reversibly Cross-Linked Surface Grafted Polymer Brushes.” Angewandte Chemie International Edition, 2006, 45(46) 7812–7814. DOI:
- Nehal Abu-lail, and Terri A. Camesano. “The Effect of Solvent Polarity on the Molecular Surface Properties and Adhesion of Escherichia coli.” Colloids and Surfaces B: Biointerfaces. 51(2006) 62–70. DOI:
- Nehal Abu-lail, and Terri A. Camesano. “Specific and Non-specific Interaction Forces between Escherichia coli and Silicon Nitride, Determined by Poisson Statistical Analysis.” Langmuir. 22(2006) 7296–7301. DOI:
- Nehal I. Abu-Lail, Marian Kaholek, Bruce LaMattina, Robert L. Clark, and Stefan Zauscher. “Micro-Cantilevers with End Grafted Stimulus-Responsive Polymer Brushes for Actuation and Sensing..” Sensors and Actuators B: Chemical, 114(1), 2006, 371–378. DOI:
- Nehal I. Abu-Lail, Tommo Ohashi, Robert Clark, Harold Erickson, and Stefan Zauscher. “Understanding the Elasticity of Fibronectin Fibrils: Unfolding Strengths of FN-III and GFP Domains Measured by Single Molecule Force Spectroscopy.” Matrix Biology, 25 (2006), 175–184. DOI:
- Abu-Lail, N.I.; Camesano, T.A. “Atomic Force Microscopy and Single-Molecule Force Microscopy Studies of Biopolymers, Invited Review.” Encyclopedia of Nanoscience and Technology, Dekker Inc. 2004, 119–131. DOI:
- Abu-Lail, N.I.; Camesano, T.A. “Polysaccharide Properties Probed with Atomic Force Microscopy.” Microscopy Journal, Invited Review, 2003, vol. 212, Pt3, 217–238. DOI:
- Azzam, M.; Al-Malah, K.; Abu-Lail, N. “Olive Mills Effluent (OME) Wastewater Post-Treatment Using Activated Carbon.” Journal of Environmental Science and Health –Part A, Vol. A39, No.1, 2004, 268–280. DOI:
- Abu-Lail, N.I.; Camesano, T.A. “The Role of Lipopolysaccharides in the Adhesion, Retention, and Transport of Escherichia coli JM109.” Environmental Science and Technology, 2003, 37(10), 2173–2183. DOI:
- Abu-Lail, N.I.; Camesano, T.A. “Role of Ionic Strength on the Relationship of Biopolymer Conformation, DLVO Contributions, and Steric Interactions to Bioadhesion of pseudomonas putida kT2442.” Biomacromolecules, 2003, 4, 1000–1012. DOI:
- Abu-Lail, N.; Camesano, T. “Elasticity of Pseudomonas putida KT2442 Surface Polymers Probed with Single- Molecule Force Spectroscopy.” Langmuir 2002, 18, 4071–4081. DOI:
- Camesano, T.; Abu-Lail, N. “Heterogeneity in Bacterial Surface Polysaccharides, Probed on a Single-Molecule Basis.” Biomacromolecules, 2002, 3, 661–667. DOI:
- Al-Malah, K.; Azzam, M.; Abu-Lail, N. “Olive Mills Effluent (OME) Wastewater Post-Treatment Using Activated Clay.” Separation and Purification Technology, 20 (2-3): 225–234 SEP 15 2000. DOI:
- Introduction to Cellular Bioengineering (BE 350, 3 credits), core course for juniors in Bioengineering. The course materials cover a wide range of how engineering principles apply to cell biology (thermodynamics, kinetics, transport, mechanics, adhesion, and circuits of the cell). The course also covers new technologies and hot research areas in cellular bioengineering (tissue engineering, stem cells, genetic engineering, implants, and biosensors).
- Cellular Bioengineering (BE 550, 3 credits), graduate core course for bioengineering. This course applies engineering principles to cell biology with a large emphasis on improving students’ oral and written communication skills and modeling skills as well.
- Innovations in Engineering (Eng 120, 2 credits lab course), an introductory course for freshmen engineering students. I designed a one week new bioengineering modulus and implemented that for the first time, as a hands-on experiment. The module introduced students in all 8 sections to bioengineering through investigations of the role played by material type, size, and concentration on bacterial adhesion.
- Introduction to Biomedical Engineering (ChE 476, 3 credits), a chemical engineering elective for chemical engineering and bioengineering seniors. Topics covered in this course include single-molecule force spectroscopy techniques, quantum dots, implants, artificial organs, and variable biosensors.
- Unifed Systems Bioengineering I (BE 340, 4 credits, 3 lectures and a computer lab), a core bioengineering course for juniors. In this course, different processes in the human body are modeled using a set of differential equations (ODE’s). In the lectures’ portion of the course, students solve these ODE’s analytically and in the lab associated with the course, students solve the ODE’s numerically.
Active Research Awards
- DoD-DM110308, Fundamental research at the nano- and microscale to understand how biofilms interact with wounds in the presence of hyperosmotic agents ($999,999). Role: Co-Principle Investigator (Co-PI). 07/15/2012–07/14/2014
- NSF-1067012, CBET-Energy for Sustainability, A new approach to a deep understanding of biomass recalcitrance ($299,488). Role: Co-PI. 05/01/2010–04/30/2013
- 3M, Industry, Research program on nanoscale characterization of bacterial cells ($30,000). Role: Principle Investigator 05/01/2011–04/30/2013
- NSF EAGER: Synergistic influences of oscillating pressure and growth factor on chondrogenesis in a novel centrifugal bioreactor ($182,000). Role: Co-PI. 01/01/2012–12/31/2014
Past Research Awards
- BRIGE: molecular mechanisms of bacterial adhesion through surface biopolymers, $195,000, funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF), 8/16/2008–8/15/2011, single PI. 4.
- R03: molecular mechanisms of L. monocytogenes adhesion through surface biopolymers, $140,375, funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), (extramural), 6/15/2009–6/14/2011, Single PI.
- Procurement of analytical equipment for support of research in metals contaminated sediments, $348,000, funded by the Murdock Charitable Trust Foundation (extramural). I was a co-PI with Jeffery Ullman (PI), Haluk Beyenal, Marc Beutel, Jeremy Rentz, Michael Barber, and David Yonge. With this fund, an Agilent 7500cx (LC/GC)-ICP-MS and an Applied Biosystems 4000 QTRAPTM LC-MS/MS were purchased, and a technician salary for three years was paid.
- AFM upgrade with an electrochemical modulus, $23,055, funded by the Omnibus equipment process at WSU, (intramural), 8/15/2009–12/31/2009, single PI. The electrochemical modulus was added in Nov. 2009 to our existing AFM
Invited presentations involving work since coming to WSU in 2006 are listed below:
- Nanoscale investigations of bacterial physiochemical properties and interactions. Chemical Engineering seminar series at Ohio State University, OH. Oct. 27th 2011.
- Nanoscale investigations of bacterial physiochemical properties and interactions. Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering seminar series at University of Akron, OH. Nov. 3rd 2011.
- Nanoscale investigations of Listeria properties, interactions and biophysical responses to environmental stimuli, 3M Global Company, June 2011.
- Multiscale biophysical investigations of bacterial properties, Biological Systems Engineering seminar series, Washington State University, March 2011.
- The application of nanoscience to medically related problems, inspiring a new generation of scholars and scientists series, Washington State University, March 2011.
- Multiscale biophysical investigations of bacterial properties, 3M global company, July 2010.
- Nanoscale control of bioadhesion via physiochemical manipulation of surfaces. Vistakon Inc., Johnson & Johnson, May 2010.
- Applications of nanoscience to medically related problems, WSU Cougar Undergraduate Research Experiences (CURE) NSF program, Washington State University, May 2009 and May 2011.
- Mechanical properties of virulent and avirulent L. monocytogenes investigated by atomic force microscopy, American Chemical Society Meeting, Salt Lake City, UT, March 2009.
- Nanoscale probing of adhesion and biomechanical properties of cells, Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science Seminar, Washington State University, March 2009.
- Applications of atomic force microscopy in biology: From single-molecule force spectroscopy to cellular investigations, School of Molecular Biosciences Seminar, Washington State University, February 2009.
- A look at the nanoscale/microscale world of living bacteria, Center for Environmental Sediments and Aquatic Research, WSU, February 2009.
- A nanoscale look at the living world of microbes, inspiring a new generation of scholars and scientists series, Washington State University, November 2008.
- Why study bacterial adhesion? Gannon Golds Worthy Discussions, Washington State University, September 2007.
- Molecular look at the microscale world of bacteria, Center for Bioproducts and Bioenergy retreat, March 2007.
- Role of ionic strength on the relationship of biopolymer conformation, DLVO contributions, and steric interactions to bio-adhesion of P. putida KT2442, Biological Systems Engineering seminar, Washington State University, December 2006.
|Name||Project Title||Funding Source|
|Research Assistant Professors and Visiting Researchers|
|N. Beyenal 1, 2||Nanoscale interactions of Listeria with mucin||NSF-EXCELinSE 3|
|S. Aliyeva 1, 2||Characterization of PAH degrading biofilms||Fulbright Scholar|
|Muhammedin Deliorman||AFM investigations of biofilms of chronic wounds||DoD|
|B.-J. Park 2||Nanoscal adherence & virulence of L. monocytogenes||NIH-R03|
|F. P. Gordesli 1, 2||Physiochemical adaptation mechanisms of Listeria monocytogenes||NSF-BRIGE|
|A. Eskhan 1||Differences among epidemic and environmental Listeria monocytogenes||NIH-R03|
|Chrystal Quisenberry 1||Investigation of the mechanical and frictional properties of in vitro grown cartilage tissues||NSF EAGER|
|Baran Arslan||Nanoscale investigation of enzyme hydrolysis of cellulosic biomass||NSF|
|K. Graybeal 1, 2||Nanomechanics of sperm cells||NSF-CURE 4|
|C. Chilibeck 1, 2||Effect of Salinity on Bioremediation of oil||NSF-BRIGE/REU|
|Sharon Cox 1, 2||Electrophoresis of bacterial charge||NSF-BRIGE|
|David Wyrick 2||Effect of Salinity on Bioremediation of oil||NSF-BRIGE/REU|
|Fabiola Quiroa 1, 2||Hands-on modules for cellular bioengineering||WSU-LASMP|
|Ala’ Abu-Lail 1, 2||Building a macroscale AFM module||NSF BRIGE|
|Josue Orellana 2||Building a cheap UV/Vis. Spectrophotometer module||NSF BRIGE|
|Michael Johnson||Measurements of bacterial wettability||NSF BRIGE|
|K. Dorrance||Automation of AFM analysis||State-funded|
|T. Haines 2||Optimization of marine antifouling materials||Start-up money|
|L. Alamri 1, 2||Unfolding mechanism of listeriolysin-O||NIH-R03|
|J. Jensen 1, 2||Designing outreach bioremediation module for high schools||NSF-BRIGE|
|R. Fischer 1, 2||Designing outreach density modules for high schools||NSF-BRIGE|
|M. Al-Ghusein 1, 2||Designing the bacterial adhesion module used in Eng. 120 course||State-funded|
|I. McLean 2||DNAjig nanoscale imaging||Volunteer|
|K. Wright 1, 2||Designing outreach viscosity module for high schools||NSF-BRIGE|
|N. Bowls 2||Transport of L. monocytogenes in sand columns||Start-up money|
|J. Kadinger 1||Analysis of adhesion energy data for L. monocytogenes strains||Start-up money|
|K. Anderson 2||Building ligand-receptor maps of CMet on neuronal cells||Start-up money|
|C. Hou 1||Analysis of adhesion force data for L. monocytogenes strains||Start-up money|
|A. Goettelman 1, 2||Growth of bacterial strains under various conditions||Start-up money|
|B. Ward 1, 2||Analysis of adhesion energy data for neuronal cells||Start-up money|
|Trent Graham||Relationship between virulence and transport of L. monocytogenes||NSF REU|
|Brian Grina||Relationship between virulence and transport of L. monocytogenes||3M|
|Lana Stump 1||Relationship between virulence and transport of L. monocytogenes||3M|
|Troy Reardon||Modeling of AFM data using Matlab user-friendly codes||3M|
|High School Teachers as Researchers|
|Gina Hopkins1, 2||Bacterial transport in porous media, Sunnyside H.S., WA||NSF-BRIGE/RET|
|Jonathan Grotz2||Nanomechanics of sperm cells||NSF-BRIGE/RET|
|Jim Gustin2||Nanoscale unfolding mechanism of listeriolysin-O||NSF-BRIGE/RET|
|Chris Baldus2||Automation of AFM analysis||NSF-BRIGE/RET|
2 Former mentee
3 Partially supported by the WSU's NSF Advance Institutional Transformation Grant (Award # 0810927).
4 Partially supported by NSF CURE (Cougar Undergraduate Research Experiences) program at WSU.