Beginning her student career as a Boilermaker at age 6 then on to BS ABE ’95, BS BCHM ’95 at Purdue and Ph.D. in Neuroscience and Neuroengineering from UCLA. Prof. Rickus is a professor of Agricultural and Biological Engineering as well as professor in the Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering. Most recently, Prof. Rickus is the interim vice provost for teaching and learning at Purdue University.
In her current role, Prof. Rickus provides leadership to the Purdue campus in undergraduate education and student success. Named as a Diversity Catalyst Prof. Rickus has continued to support and be an advocate for diversity and inclusion at Purdue. As the Purdue liaison to the UIA Prof. Rickus is a key leader of the Boiler Success Team focused on undergraduate student success.
Prof. Rickus’ work has received awards across multiple areas of teaching, research and advising. As a faculty member, Prof. Rickus has also invested significantly in building, growing and strengthening academic programs, classroom teaching and transformational experiences for students. Prof. Rickus founded the Purdue international genetically engineered machine (iGEM) undergraduate research team and is a member of the Howard Hughes Science Education Alliance bringing authentic research into the classroom.
Prof. Rickus’ research and teaching expertise is in biofunctional materials and biosensors. Prof. Rickus developed an internationally recognized program in the synthesis and application of biofunctional materials for biosensors and biocompatible therapeutics. Collaborating heavily with other researchers her lab has integrated their materials into devices, implants, and 3D culture systems to create integrated platforms for sensing and actuating. Developing new technologies with an impact on important problems in problems in brain cancer, type 1 diabetes, foodborne illness and space biology her research lab has been funded from NIH, NSF, USDA, NASA, the Army Research Office and DARPA. Inducted into the Purdue Innovator’s Hall of Fame her work continues to influence and impact students and faculty innovating across campus functional areas.