Andrew M Smith

Andrew M Smith
Andrew M Smith
(217) 300-5638
2136 Everitt Laboratory

For More Information


  • Ph.D. Bioengineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, 2008
  • B.S. Chemistry, Georgia Institute of Technology, 2002

Academic Positions

  • Donald Biggar Willett Faculty Fellow, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2020-Present
  • Associate Professor of Bioengineering, Medicine, and Technology Entrepreneurship, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Carle Illinois College of Medicine, 2018-Present
  • Associate Course Director of Hematology and Oncology, Carle Illinois College of Medicine, 2017-Present
  • Research Theme Faculty, Omics Nanotechnology for Cancer Precision Medicine (ONC-PM), Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology, UIUC, 2016-Present
  • Full-Time Resident Faculty, Micro and Nanotechnology Laboratory (MNTL), UIUC, 2013-Present
  • Affiliate Faculty, Department of Materials Science and Engineering, UIUC, 2013-Present

Research Interests

  • Targeted therapeutics
  • Molecular diagnostics
  • Cancer biology
  • Macrophage biology
  • Live-cell imaging
  • Single-molecule imaging
  • Quantum dots
  • Nanomaterials

Chapters in Books

  • Ma L, Le P, Kohli M, and Smith AM. Nanomedicine in Cancer, chapter in Nanotheranostics for Cancer Applications, Springer (2019).
  • Zahid MU and Smith AM. Single-molecule imaging with quantum dots, chapter in Optical Nanoscopy and Novel Microscopy Techniques, CRC Press (2014).
  • Smith AM, Wen MW, Wang MD, and Nie SM. Size-minimized quantum dots for molecular and cellular imaging, chapter in Single Molecule Spectroscopy in Chemistry, Physics, and Biology, Springer (2009).
  • Rhyner MN, Smith AM, Gao XH, Mao H, Lily L, and Nie SM. Quantum dots and targeted nanoparticle probes for in vivo tumor imaging, chapter in Nanoparticles in Biomedical Imaging, Springer (2007).
  • Ruan G, Agrawal A, Smith AM, Gao XH, and Nie SM. Quantum dots as fluorescent labels for molecular and cellular imaging, chapter in Reviews in Fluorescence, Springer (2006).
  • Smith AM and Nie SM. Semiconductor quantum dots for molecular and cellular imaging, chapter in Biomedical Engineering Handbook, 3rd edition, CRC Press (2006).

Selected Articles in Journals

  • Le P, Vaidya R, Smith LD, Han Z, Zahid MU, Winter J, Sarkar S, Chung HJ, Perez-Pinera P, Selvin PR, Smith AM. Optimizing quantum dot probe size for single-receptor imaging. ACS Nano (accepted).
  • Davis FM, Tsoi LC, Wasikowski R, denDekker A, Joshi A, Wilke C, Deng H, Wolf S, Obi A, Huang S, Billi AC, Robinson S, Lipinski J, Melvin WJ, Audu C, Weidinger S, Kunkel SL, Smith AM, Gudjonsson JE, Moore BB, Gallagher KA. Epigenetic Regulation of the PGE2 Pathway Modulates Macrophage Phenotype in Normal and Pathologic Wound Repair. JCI Insight (accepted).
  • Liu Y, Han Z, Sarkar S, Smith AM. Multiplexed mRNA counting in single cells through quantum dot in situ hybridization. Methods in Molecular Biology (accepted).
  • Liu Y, Han Z, Sarkar S, Smith AM. Fluorescence in situ hybridization with quantum dot labels in E. coli cells. Methods in Molecular Biology (accepted).
  • Han Z, Sarkar S, Smith AM. Zwitterion and oligo(ethylene glycol) synergy minimizes nonspecific binding of compact quantum dots. ACS Nano, 14: 3227-3241 (2020).
  • Sarkar S, Le P, Geng J, Liu Y, Han Z, Zahid MU, Nall D, Youan Y, Selvin PR, Smith AM. Short-wave infrared quantum dots with compact sizes as molecular probes for fluorescence microscopy. Journal of the American Chemical Society, 142: 3449-3462 (2020).
  • Smith LD, Liu Y, Zahid MU, Canady TD, Wang L, Kohli M, Cunningham BT, Smith AM. High-fidelity single molecule quantification in a flow cytometer using multiparametric optical analysis. ACS Nano, 14: 2324-2335 (2020).
  • Deng H, Konopka CJ, Cross T-W L, Swanson KS, Dobrucki LW, Smith AM. Multimodal nanocarrier probes reveal superior biodistribution quantification by isotopic analysis over fluorescence. ACS Nano, 14: 509-523 (2020).
  • Le P, Chitoor SN, Tu C, Lim SJ, Smith AM. Compact quantum dots for quantitative cytology. Methods in Molecular Biology: Single Cell Metabolism 2064: 147-158 (2020).
  • Canady T, Li N, Smith LD, Lu Y, Kohli M, Smith AM, Cunningham BT. Digital resolution detection of miRNA with single-base selectivity by photonic resonator absorption microscopy. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 116: 19362-19367 (2019).
  • Le P, Lim SJ, Baculis BC, Chung HJ, Kilian KA, Smith AM. Counting growth factors in single cells with infrared quantum dots to measure discrete stimulation distributions. Nature Communications 10: 909 (2019).
  • Liu Y, Le P, Lim SJ, Ma L, Sarkar S, Han Z, Murphy SJ, Kosari F, Vasmatzis G, Cheville J, Smith AM. Enhanced mRNA FISH with compact quantum dots. Nature Communications 9: 4461 (2018).
  • Smith LD, Kohli M, Smith AM. Expanding the Dynamic Range of Fluorescence Assays through Single-Molecule Counting and Intensity Calibration. Journal of the American Chemical Society 140: 13904 (2018).
  • Sheung JY, Ge P, Lim SJ, Lee SH, Smith AM, Selvin PR. Structural Contributions to Hydrodynamic Diameter for Quantum Dots Optimized for Live-Cell Single-Molecule Tracking. Journal of Physical Chemistry C 122: 17406-17412 (2018).
  • Zahid MU, Ma L, Lim SJ, Smith AM. Single quantum dot tracking reveals the impact of nanoparticle surface on intracellular state. Nature Communications (2018).
  • Ganguli A, Ornob A, Spegazzini N, Liu Y, Damhorst G, Ghonge T, Thornton B, Konopka CJ, Dobrucki W, Clare S, Smith AM, Bhargava R, Kosari F, Bashir R. Pixelated spatial gene expression analysis for molecular histopathology. Nature Communications 9: 202 (2018).
  • Race CM, Kwon LE, Foreman MT, Huang Q, Inan H, Kesiraju S, Le P, Lim SJ, Smith AM, Zangar RC, Demirci U, Anderson KS, Cunningham BT. An automated microfluidic assay for photonic crystal enhanced detection and analysis of an antiviral antibody cancer biomarker in serum. IEEE Sensors Journal. 14: 1464 – 1473 (2017).
  • Lim SJ, Schleife A, Smith AM. Optical determination of crystal phase in semiconductor nanocrystals. Nature Communications. 8: 14849 (2017).
  • Mukherjee P, Lim SJ, Wrobel T, Bhargava R, Smith AM. Measuring and predicting the internal structure of semiconductor nanocrystals through Raman spectroscopy. Journal of the American Chemical Society. 138: 10887-10896 (2016).
  • Wan Y., Carson JA, Kesler BA, Peng W, Su P, Al-Mulla SA, Lim SJ, Smith AM, Dallesasse JM, Cunningham AM. Compact characterization of liquid absorption and emission spectra using linear variable filters integrated with a CMOS imaging camera. Scientific Reports. 6: 29117 (2016).
  • Ma L, Liu T-W, Wallig MA, Dobrucki IT, Dobrucki LW, Nelson ER, Swanson KS, Smith AM. Efficient targeting of adipose tissue macrophages in obesity with polysaccharide nano-carriers. ACS Nano. 10: 6952-6962 (2016).
  • Lim SJ, Ma L, Schleife A, Smith AM. Quantum dot surface engineering: toward inert fluorophores with compact size and bright, stable emission. Coordination Chemistry Reviews. 320-321: 216-237 (2016).
  • Ma L, Tu C, Le P, Chitoor SN, Lim SJ, Zahid MU, Teng KW, Ge P, Selvin PR, Smith AM. Multidentate polymer coatings for compact and homogeneous quantum dots with efficient bioconjugation. Journal of the American Chemical Society. 138: 3382-3394 (2016).
  • Lim SJ, McDougle DR, Zahid MU, Das A, Smith AM. Lipoprotein nanoplatelets: fluorescent, zwitterionic probes with rapid cellular entry. Journal of the American Chemical Society. 138: 64-67 (2016).
  • Grolman JM, Zhang D, Smith AM, Moore JS, Kilian KA. Rapid extrusion of 3D tumor microenvironments. Advanced Materials. 27: 5512-5517 (2015).
  • Chung EY, Ochs CJ, Wang Y, Lei L, Qin Q, Smith AM, Strongin AY, Kamm R, Qi Y-X, Lu SY, Wang YX. Activatable and cell-penetrable multiplex nanosensors for profiling MT1-MMP activity in single cancer cells. Nano Letters. 15: 5025-5032 (2015).
  • Lim SJ, Zahid MU, Le P, Ma L, Entenberg D, Harney AS, Condeelis J, Smith AM. Brightness-equalized quantum dots. Nature Communications. 6: 8210 (2015).
  • Dobrucki W, Pan D, Smith AM. Multiscale imaging of nanoparticle drug delivery. Current Drug Targets. 16: 560-570 (2015).
  • Lane LA, Qian XM, Smith AM, Nie SM. Physical chemistry of nanomedicine: Nanoparticle interactions with molecules, cells, and tissues. Annual Review of Physical Chemistry. 66: 521-547 (2015).
  • Wang Y, Cai E, Rosenkranz T, Ge P, Teng K, Lim SJ, Smith AM, Chung HJ, Sachs F, Green WN, Gottlieb P, Selvin PR. Small Quantum Dots Conjugated to Nanobodies as Immunofluorescence Probes for Nanometric Microscopy. Bioconjugate Chemistry. 25: 2205-2211 (2014).
  • Lane LA, Smith AM, Nie SM. Compact and blinking-suppressed quantum dots for single-particle tracking in live cells. Journal of Physical Chemistry B. 118: 14140-14147 (2014).
  • Cai E, Ge P, Lee SH, Jeyifous O, Wang Y, Liu Y, Wilson KM, Lim SJ, Baird MA, Stone JE, Lee KY, Davidson MW, Chung HJ, Schulten K, Smith AM, Green WN, Selvin PR. Stable small quantum dots for synaptic receptor tracking on live neurons. Angewandte Chemie. 53: 12484-12488 (2014).
  • Smith AM, Lane LA, Nie SM. Mapping the spatial distribution of charge carriers in quantum-confined heterostructures. Nature Communications. 5: 4506 (2014).
  • Lim SJ, Smith AM, Nie SM. The more exotic shapes of semiconductor nanocrystals: emerging applications in bioimaging. Current Opinion in Chemical Engineering. 4: 137-143 (2014).
  • Ma L, Kohli M, Smith AM. Nanoparticles for combination drug therapy. ACS Nano. 7: 9518-9525 (2013).
  • Kairdolf BA, Smith AM, Stokes TD, Wang MD, Young AN, Nie SM. Semiconductor quantum dots for bioimaging and biodiagnostic applications. Annual Review of Analytical Chemistry. 6: 143 (2013).
  • Smith AM, Nie SM. Compact quantum dots for single-molecule imaging in living cells. Journal of Visualized Experiments. 68: e4236 (2012).
  • Smith AM, Nie SM. Bright and compact alloyed quantum dots with broadly tunable near-infrared absorption and fluorescence spectra through mercury cation exchange. Journal of the American Chemical Society. 133: 24-26 (2011).
  • Smith AM, Wen MM, Nie SM. Imaging dynamic cellular events with quantum dots. The Biochemist. 32: 12-17 (2010).
  • Smith AM, Nie SM. Semiconductor nanocrystals: structure, properties, and bandgap engineering. Accounts of Chemical Research. 43: 190-200 (2010).
  • Smith AM, Mancini MC, Nie SM. Bioimaging: second window for in vivo imaging. Nature Nanotechnology. 4: 710-711 (2009).
  • Smith AM, Nie SM. Next-generation quantum dots. Nature Biotechnology. 27: 732-733 (2009).
  • Mohs AM, Duan, HW, Kairdolf BA, Smith AM, Nie SM. Proton-resistant quantum dots: stability in gastrointestinal fluids and implications for oral delivery of nanoparticle agents. Nano Research, 2: 500-508 (2009).
  • Smith AM, Mohs AM, Nie SM. Tuning the electronic and optical properties of colloidal nanocrystals by lattice strain. Nature Nanotechnology. 4: 56-63 (2009).
  • Smith AM, Nie SM. Nanocrystal synthesis in an amphibious bath: spontaneous generation of hydrophilic and hydrophobic surface coatings. Angewandte Chemie. 47: 9916-9921 (2008).
  • Kairdolf BA, Smith AM, Nie SM. One-pot synthesis, encapsulation, and solubilization of size-tuned quantum dots with amphiphilic multidentate ligands. Journal of the American Chemical Society. 130: 12866-12867 (2008).
  • Smith AM, Nie SM. Minimizing the hydrodynamic size of quantum dots with multifunctional multidentate polymer ligands. Journal of the American Chemical Society. 130: 11278-11279 (2008).
  • Mancini MC, Kairdolf BA, Smith AM, Nie SM. Oxidative quenching and degradation of polymer encapsulated quantum dots: new insights into the long term fate of semiconductor nanocrystals in vivo. Journal of the American Chemical Society. 130: 10836-10837 (2008).
  • Smith AM, Duan HW, Mohs AM, Nie SM. Bioconjugated quantum dots for in vivo molecular and cellular imaging. Advanced Drug Delivery Reviews. 60: 1226-1240 (2008).
  • Kairdolf BA, Mancini MC, Smith AM, Nie SM. Minimizing nonspecific cellular binding of quantum dots with hydroxyl-derivitized surface coatings. Analytical Chemistry. 80: 3029 (2008).
  • Xing Y, Smith AM, Agrawal A, Ruan G, Nie SM. Molecular profiling of single cancer cells and clinical tissue specimens with semiconductor quantum dots. International Journal of Nanomedicine. 1: 473-481 (2006).
  • Smith AM, Duan HW, Rhyner MN, Ruan G, Nie SM. A systematic examination of surface coatings on the optical and chemical properties of semiconductor quantum dots. Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics. 8: 3895-3903 (2006).
  • Rhyner MN, Smith AM, Gao XH, Mao H, Yang L, Nie SM. Quantum dots and multifunctional nanoparticles: new contrast agents for tumor imaging. Nanomedicine. 1: 209-217 (2006).
  • Smith AM, Dave S, Nie SM, True L, Gao XH. Multicolor quantum dots for molecular diagnostics of cancer. Expert Review of Molecular Diagnostics. 6: 231-244 (2006).
  • Smith AM, Ruan G, Rhyner MN, Nie SM. Engineering luminescent quantum dots for in vivo molecular and cellular imaging. Annals of Biomedical Engineering. 34: 3-14 (2006).
  • Smith AM, Gao XH, Nie SM. Quantum dot nanocrystals for in vivo molecular and cellular imaging. Photochemistry and Photobiology. 80: 377-385 (2004).
  • Bailey RE, Smith AM, Nie SM. Quantum dots in biology and medicine. Physica E. 25: 1-12 (2004).
  • Smith AM, Nie SM. Chemical analysis and cellular imaging with quantum dots. Analyst. 129: 672-677 (2004).


  • Donald Biggar Willett Faculty Scholar Award (2020)
  • UIUC Campus Distinguished Promotion Award (2018)
  • UIUC Faculty Entrepreneurial Fellow (2016-2018)
  • IEEE EMBS Micro and Nanotechnology in Medicine Conference New Innovators Lectureship (2014)
  • NCI K99/R00 Pathway to Independence Award (2010-2015)
  • Emory University Center for Cancer Nanotechnology Excellence Distinguished Fellowship (2008-2012)
  • Whitaker Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship (2002-2006)
  • Graduation with Highest Honor, Georgia Tech (2002)
  • Lubrizol Scholarship for Excellence in Chemistry (2002)
  • Outstanding Rising Junior in Computer Science (1999)

Teaching Honors

  • UIUC College of Engineering Collins Award for Innovative Teaching (2019)

Research Honors

  • UIUC Grainger College of Engineering Dean’s Award for Excellence in Research (2020)
  • Annals of Biomedical Engineering 2006 Best Review Paper of the Year (2007)
  • Outstanding Poster Award, Emory-Georgia Tech Frontiers of Cancer Nanotechnology Symposium (2006)
  • Photochemistry and Photobiology 2004 Best Review Paper of the Year (2005)
  • Biomedical Engineering Society Undergraduate Research Award (2001)
  • Undergraduate Research Scholar (URS), Georgia Tech/Emory, Center for the Engineering of Living Tissues (GTEC) (2000-2002)

Recent Courses Taught

  • BIOE 100 - BIOE Freshman Seminar
  • BIOE 220 - Bioenergetics
  • BIOE 497 AMS (BIOE 497 AS2, BIOE 497 SMI) - Individual Study
  • BIOE 498 LEC (BIOE 598 LEC, BIOE 598 TC1, BIOE 498 TC1) - Tech for Cancer Diag & Therapy
  • BIOE 498 QP (BIOE 598 QP) - Quant Pharmacology
  • BIOE 598 LEC (BIOE 298 AMS) - Special Topics