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Christina Marasco

Associate Professor of the Practice of Biomedical Engineering
Director, SyBBURE Searle Undergraduate Research Experience

Biomedical Engineering

Research Focus

Low-cost, portable sensors and diagnostic technologies coupled with informatics and systems biology approaches for preventative health and wellness; physiological sensing, monitoring, and metric development; chemical and biological sensing; microfluidics; education and health applications of virtual reality; research, education, innovation, and entrepreneurship training

Current Projects

We strive to create and validate noninvasive sensing and diagnostic technologies for use at the point-of-patient/point-of-care. With the goal of empowering individuals to take an active role in their health, we design and develop tools that provide key insights around preventative health and wellness with a particular emphasis around nutrition and metabolism. We seek to invent impactful, innovative technologies with commercialization potential. Currently, we are working on a paper fluidic-based, point-of-care diagnostic system for Sickle Cell Disease, a portable transdermal sensor for metabolic assessment, and a device to non-invasively sense early markers of diabetes.



Christina (Chrissy) Marasco obtained her bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering and Biochemistry from Valparaiso University and her Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering from Vanderbilt University for developing advanced instrumentation platforms for complex studies in systems biology. She has spent six years developing programs for undergraduate and medical student research training and education, while focusing on creating technologies for advancing traditional biological and chemical analyses and for promoting health, wellness, and fitness.

She previously served as the Assistant Director of the Office of Medical Student Research at Vanderbilt University, leading efforts to build and implement a curricular research experience for medical students. In her current role of Associate Professor of the Practice of Biomedical Engineering at Vanderbilt University, she serves as the Director of the Searle Systems Biology and Bioengineering Undergraduate Research Experience (SyBBURE Searle, and the Deputy Director of Education, Professional Development and Innovation for the Vanderbilt Institute for Integrative Biosystems Research and Education (VIIBRE, Within these roles, Dr. Marasco is able to establish a unique culture in which students can learn to think differently, explore their passions, and emerge uniquely able to transform the surrounding world.