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Rafael V. Davalos

Industry Leader Spotlight

Rafael V. Davalos

Medical Devices, Microfluidics, Dielectrophoresis, Electroporation, 3D Printing

“From bench to bedside,” is the motto that embodies my research. My major fields of interest include, organs-on-chip, microfluidics for precision medicine, and cancer therapy. I have received multiple Small Business Innovation Research grants, hold 31 issued or pending patents, and have launched four startup companies.

My research has contributed to saving or prolonging thousands of lives through my ongoing, innovative contributions to cancer detection and treatment technology.

I am the L. Preston Wade Professor in the Virginia Tech – Wake Forest University School of Biomedical Engineering and Sciences and the department of biomedical engineering and mechanics. I received my bachelors in mechanical and aerospace engineering from Cornell University and my Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from the University of California, Berkeley. Prior to my career as a professor, I worked as a principal member of the technical staff at Sandia Labs.

I first discovered a passion for this work ...
When I realized I could use my analytical skills to help others.

My work impacts society ...
Through mentoring the next generation of engineers.

I see the future in my field ...
About to explode.

Groups or organizations I am involved in ...
American Society of Mechanical Engineers and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.

Something that excites me in my field ...
Inventing technologies that have impact and helping patients.

Best part of working at Virginia Tech ...
The supportive community.

Honor or award I am most proud of ...
2021 American Society of Mechanical Engineers’ Van C. Mow Medal.

Words of encouragement to an aspiring inventor ...
Do not give up. The path can be tortuous but it's worth it.

Media Contact:

Lindsey Haugh

(540) 231-6959

Additional Highlights

Rafael V. Davalos    |    L. Preston Wade Professor

Biomedical Engineering, Virginia Tech

(540) 231-1979

College of Engineering - Faculty Bio Page



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