Leyla Esfandiari, PhD

Assistant Professor, Electrical Engineering, Department of Electrical Engineering and Computing Systems

Assistant Professor, Biomedical Engineering, Department of Biomedical, Chemical, and Environmental Engineering


Leyla Esfandiari holds a PhD in Bioengineering from the University of California Los Angeles where in 2014 she completed her thesis on novel, ultra-sensitive and rapid approaches using nano/micron pores for sequence-specific nucleic acid detection. She earned her Master of Science in Biomedical Engineering from the University of California Irvine and her Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from California State University in 2008 and 2006 respectively.

While at UCLA and UCI, Esfandiari also worked as a teaching assistant and lab instructor. She has conducted research for the California Nano-System Institution (CNSI), Applied Medical, and the Orthopedic Surgery Laboratory at UCLA, among other places. Esfandiari has also spent time giving back by leading and training undergraduate students in conducting research and experiments.

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Research Interests

  • High-throughput integrated Nano/Micro-scale devices for medical diagnostics and therapeutic applications; Design and development of high-throughput integrated Nanopore based sensor with Microfluidic channels; Advancement in microfluidic techniques for multiplexting, sorting and processing samples; Electrical readout for rapid and unambiguous detection; Sample preparation and device characterization by Surface Assembly Monolayer (SAM) and Bioconjugation chemistry; and Applications of the integrated platform for oncogene detection (cancer research), aptamer discovering (potential therapeutic agents), and pathogen identification using antibodies.

Professional Experience

University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), Los Angeles, CA
Research Assistant, Bioengineering Department
University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), Los Angeles, CA
Research Assistant, California Nano-Systems Institute
2010-  2011
Applied Medical Co., Rancho Santa Margarita, CA
Process Engineer      
2008 – 2009
University of California Irvine, Irvine, CA
Research Assistant, Department of Biomedical Engineering
2007 –  2008
Honeywell International Inc., Torrance, CA
Internship, Performance Analysis Department
2005 –  2006

Honors and Awards

UC Los Angeles Graduate Division Unrestricted Fellowship 2014
UC Los Angeles Graduate Division Unrestricted Fellowship 2013
UC Los Angeles Graduate Division Unrestricted Fellowship 2009- 2010
Received National Science Foundation Fellowship for Summer School on Cell Mechanics at UIUC 2007
UC Irvine Kleist Fellowship 2006-  2007
Final Candidate of Rhodes Scholarship 2006
Academic Achievement Award from Association of Professors and Scholars of Iranian Heritage 2006
Boeing Scholarship 2004-  2006
President’s Honor list and Dean’s Honor list at California State University of Long Beach 2002- 2006

Selected Publications

  1. L. Esfandiari, M. Lorenzini, G. Kocharyan, H.G. Monbouquette, J.J. Schmidt , "Investigating the detection limit of sequence-specific nucleic acid biosensor as a function of DNA length" Under Review.
  2. L. Esfandiari , H. G. Monbouquette , J. J. Schmidt, “Sequence-specific Nucleic Acid Detection from Binary Pore Conductance Measurement” Journal of American Chemical Society (JACS), 2012, 134 (38), pp 15880–15886.
  3. L. Esfandiari, M. Paff, W. C. Tang, “Initial studies of mechanical compression on neurogenesis with neonatal neural stem cells” 2012 Nanomedicine: Nanotechnology, Biology and Medicine, May 2012, 8( 4), pp 415–418
  4. L. Esfandiari, M. Lorenzini, G. Kocharyan, H.G. Monbouquette, J.J. Schmidt, "Reduced concentration limit of nucleic acid biosensor by utilizing long DNA target lengths", Submitted to Biophysical Society 58th Annual Meeting, Feb 15-19,2014-San Fransisco, CA.
  5. L. Esfandiari , J.J. Schmidt, H. G. Monbouquette , “PCR-Independent, Reagent-Free, Binary-Mode Nucleic Acid Detection” 2012 American Institude of Chemical Engineers (AIChE), Oct 28th-Nov 3rd, 2012-Pittsburgh, PA.
  6. L. Esfandiari, W.C .Tang, “PDMS stretchable platforms for studies of mechanical compression on neurogenesis” 2010 IEEE international Conference on Nano/Molecular Medicine and Engineering, 5-9 Dec 2010-Hong Kong.

Selected Technical Presentations

  • Jan 30th 2014, “Nanopore based biosensors, a novel approach for Nucleic Acid Detection”, Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, University at Buffalo, State University of New York, USA.
  • March 3rd 2014, “Biotechnological platforms for advancement in medical diagnostic and therapeutic”, Department of Life Sciences, University of Warwick, UK.