Meet the Faculty

Heather K. Hunt

Heather K. Hunt, Ph.D.

Director of Undergraduate Studies, Bioengineering
Associate Professor, Bioengineering


  • Ph.D. California Institute of Technology
  • M.S. California Institute of Technology
  • B.S. Iowa State University


  • Biosensing
    • Optical biosensors
    • Inherently-selective sensing materials
  • Materials
    • Optical and Spectroscopic properties
    • Optoelectronic materials
    • Hierarchical materials
    • Nanostructured materials and devices
    • Biocompatible materials
    • Efficient techniques for materials characterization
  • Biophotonics
    • Sensing / detection
    • Wound tracking and assessment
    • Laser dermatology
  • Applications:
    • Environmental monitoring
    • Medical monitoring and diagnostics
    • Materials characterization

Research Summary

Heather Hunt is an Associate Professor in the Department of Bioengineering, and holds courtesy appointments in the Department of Chemical Engineering and the Department of Dermatology in the School of Medicine. She is the Director of Undergraduate Studies for the Department of Bioengineering, serving both the Biomedical Engineering and the Biological Engineering undergraduate degree programs. She is also an elected Councilor-at-Large for the Institute of Biological Engineering, and serves as the Conference Chair for the 2018 and 2019 Institute of Biological Engineering's Annual Meetings. She was awarded an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship for her doctoral work, and the University of Southern California Women in Science and Engineering Merit Award for Excellence in Postdoctoral Research for her postdoctoral work at USC. In 2011, she joined the faculty as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Bioengineering at the University of Missouri, and in 2017, was promoted to Associate Professor with tenure. Currently, she is the PI on an NSF REU Site, titled, "REU: Creative Approaches to Materials Design and Processing." Her work explores the interfaces between surface chemistry, structure, composition and bulk, physical properties of advanced materials for optics, electronics and environmental applications with a focus on the development of new techniques and materials systems that allow tailoring of optoelectronic material properties at the molecular level. Using principles of rational design and self-assembly, she designs and characterizes novel, nanostructured biomaterials for optoelectronic devices.