Find a Professor / Find a Researcher


Jie Chen



Electrical and Computer Engineering

About Me

Jie Chen received his B.Sc degree in Electrical Engineering from Fudan University, China, and his M.Sc and Ph.D. degrees in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of Maryland at College Park, USA. He is currently a professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and an adjunct professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Alberta. He is a visiting Professor at Yale University for 2018. Dr. Chen is a Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Engineering, as well as a Fellow of the Engineering Institute of Canada. He has co-authored the book Design of Digital Video Coding Systems – A Complete Compressed Domain Approach (Marcel Dekker, 2001) and has co-edited the reference book Genomic Signal Processing and Statistics (European Applied Signal Processing 2005). He has contributed over 93 journal articles and 86 conference proceedings. His i10-index is 64 according to Google Scholar as of December 2017. He holds eleven patents, several of which have been used either in production or licensed by various companies. Dr. Chen was elected as an IEEE Distinguished Lecturer of the Circuits and Systems Society (2016-2017). His supervised students received the Best Student Paper award at the IEEE/National Institutes of Health (NIH) Life Science Systems & Applications Workshop 2007 for their contributions on glucose-coated gold-nanoparticles to enhance radiation cytotoxicity. His co-supervised student also received the best poster award by the International Union of Crystallography at the Conference of Biology and Synchrotron Radiation (BSR), Hamburg, Germany, 2013 in recognition of the most novel use of synchrotron radiation or free-electron lasers in biology. He has supervised or co-supervised a total of 68 highly qualified personnel. Among them, some have started their own companies; some continued their graduate studies (one entered Stanford University, and one joined Yale Medical University). One student became an assistant professor at Johns Hopkins University. Three students became faculty members in China and Taiwan.

Dr. Chen is the recipient of several prestigious awards including the Killam Annual Professorship Award 2015-2016 (one of the highest honours to a professor in Canadian Universities for outstanding contributions in teaching, research and community services), McCalla Professorship Recipient 2016-2017 (One of the highest honours given to a professor at the University of Alberta), Thousand People Plan Professor (Shanghai, China) in 2017, Distinguished Lecturer Professorship (Fudan University, China) in 2017, and the Canada Foundation for Innovation Leaders' Opportunity Award in 2011. He received the Member of the Year Award from the Association of Chinese Canadian Professors in recognition of his outstanding leadership in 2012. He is the technical committee chair of IEEE Therapeutic Systems and Technologies (TC-TST) of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society (EMBS). He serves as a steering committee member for the IEEE Journal of Translational Engineering in Health and Medicine, as well as an associate editor for IEEE Trans. on Biomedical Circuits and Systems. He also served as an associate editor for IEEE Trans. on Multimedia, and IEEE Signal Processing Magazine, and served as a guest editor of several special issues. His collaborative research on the design of a miniaturized ultrasound device for intra-oral dental tissue formation was featured in a Reader’s Digest article on major medical breakthroughs in Canada in 2006. The invention has been reported in over 20 news/media publications worldwide, and was cited in a front-page report in Canada's national newspaper, The Globe and Mail, June 28, 2006. The device has received Health Canada approval in 2016. Dr. Chen also helped establish two Bell-Lab spin-off companies. One company focused on developing the 4th-generation wireless network was acquired by QUALCOMM in San Diego in 2005. The other produces digital HD-radios installed in most brands of cars worldwide and sold in most retail stores.


Research interests

Over the past years, Dr. Chen’s interdisciplinary research areas include:

  • MEMS/NMES-based Microfluidic Biosensors: Designing portable impedance-based and colorimetric point-of-care biosensors for detecting genomic/proteomic/metabolic biomarkers in bodily fluids (urine, blood, etc.). The applications include cancer screening, environmental toxin testing (such as E. Coli), pathogen monitoring for food safety, and plant infections (such as Sclerotinia sclerotiorum) screening at an early stage.
  • Biomedical and Healthcare Devices: Developing a low-intensity pulsed-ultrasound technology platform to stimulate cell growth (with applications in cell therapy, tissue engineering, mental health, and antibody production), as well as microorganism growth (with applications in enhancing sludge activities for wastewater treatment, increasing renewable biofuel/algal oil, antibiotics, omega-3, and wine/beverage production).
  • Functional Nanomaterials: Building functional nanomaterials for in vivo gene/peptide/microRNA delivery (especially across the blood-brain barrier), targeted cancer imaging and treatment, gene transformation of agricultural products, and water filtration (removal of microorganisms, organic chemicals, and heavy metals).
  • VLSI and Low-Power Circuits: Designing low-power fault-tolerant nanoscale devices and circuits based on probabilistic Markov Random Field theory.