Michael Hughes
Dr. michael hughes Professor Biomedical Engineering

Contact Information
michael.hughes@ku.ac.ae 971 2 312 5212


Michael Pycraft Hughes is a Professor of Biomedical Engineering at Khalifa University, having been appointed in 2021.  He joined KU from a Professorship at the University of Surrey, UK where he served as an academic for 23 years.  He has also held positions at the University of Glasgow and at the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.  He has received PhD and DSc degrees for his research on dielectrophoresis, as well as an MEng in Electronic Engineering from, the University College of North Wales (later renamed Bangor University) in the UK.  He is the author of two books, about 100 journal papers, 5 patents and approximately 90 refereed conference papers, which have been cited over 6700 times. His current h-index is 41 (Google Scholar). From 2008-13 he was Editor-in-Chief of IEEE Transactions on Nanobioscience, and has served on the Administrative Committees of the American Electrophoresis Society, the Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society, and the IEEE Nanotechnology Council as well as the IEEE Technical Committee on Bionanotechnology and BioMEMS. He has supervised over 30 PhD students to completion, and has served as examiner for 35 more.

Mike has 30 years' research experience in the development of cellular bioelectronics.  This is divided between two principal themes.  The first is the development of technology to exploit the interaction between cells and electric fields, particularly in the use of the phenomenon Dielectrophoresis (DEP) to determine and exploit the properties of cells for characterisation and separation.  His research group has produced more papers on dielectrophoresis than any other in the discipline, and has led to the founding of two startup companies (DEPtech and Deparator) to commercialise bioelectronic technology.  He continues to lead microfluidic design work in the area, with specific world-leading expertise in high-throughput application.  His second research line is in the interconnection of different cellular electrical properties in order to understand the role these properties play in cell function, in both health and disease.   This includes the interactions of the membrane and zeta potentials, cytoplasm conductivity and membrane conductance, and the role that these play in altering the way in which the cell interacts with its surroundings, including proteins, ions and other cells.  

  • PhD, University of Wales, 1995
  • MEng Electronic Engineering, University of Wales Bangor, 1992
  • DSc Bangor University, 2023

  • Functional Biomechanics (BMED322)
  • bmed321 Mechanical Engineering for Biomedical Engineers

Affiliated Research Institutes/Centers

Research Interests
  • Electromics - the study of the effects of charges and electrical potentials on cell function
  • Dielectrophoresis - using electric fields to analyze and sort cells