Rochester, Minnesota




Connie B. Chang, Ph.D., seeks to understand heterogeneous microbial populations at the single-cell level and how single cells can collectively contribute to overall population dynamics. Her laboratory specializes in the fabrication and application of drop-based microfluidics for high-throughput and diagnostic studies of infectious disease, including bacterial biofilms and RNA viruses.

Focus areas

  • Application of drop-based microfluidics for single-cell and virus culturing to understand how viral population structure and dynamics give rise to emergent behaviors in fitness and transmissibility of RNA viruses, using single-cell sequencing and drop analyses.
  • Development of rapid and multiplexed assaying of bacterial antibiotic resistances by identifying the efficacy of single or combined drug treatments and minimum inhibitory concentrations at the single-cell level.
  • Investigation of the structural and functional heterogeneity of bacterial biofilms in chronic wounds and cystic fibrosis to understand how individual bacterial cells communicate with one another in complex biofilms.
  • Understanding the interactions of immune cells with pathogens in the gastrointestinal tract using microfluidic tissue chip devices, also called microphysiological systems, specifically gastric and intestinal organoids-on-chip models.

Significance to patient care

Dr. Chang's lab aims to engineer new technologies for performing translational research. Research developed in the laboratory is currently being commercialized into a point-of-care device.

The lab's ongoing research can help develop better vaccines and therapeutics to target fast-evolving viruses. Another focus in her lab is the development of innovative diagnostic methods that could save the lives of those with sepsis and other life-threating infections.

Professional highlights

  • Reviewer, Bioengineering, Biodata, and Biomodeling Technologies Review Branch (BBBT), National Institutes of Health, 2022-present.
  • Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) award, National Science Foundation, 2018.


Administrative Appointment

  1. Senior Associate Consultant II-Research, Department of Physiology & Biomedical Engineering
  2. Senior Associate Consultant II-Research, Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Department of Internal Medicine

Academic Rank

  1. Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering


  1. Post Doctoral Researcher and Research Associate - Physics/Engineering Harvard University
  2. PhD University of California (UCLA)
  3. BA Wellesley College

Clinical Studies

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