Faculty Directory

Bentley, William E.

Bentley, William E.

Robert E. Fischell Distinguished Professor
Director, Robert E. Fischell Institute for Biomedical Devices
Director, Maryland Technology Enterprise Institute
Fischell Department of Bioengineering
Robert E. Fischell Institute for Biomedical Devices
Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
Brain and Behavior Institute
5102A A. James Clark Hall


Ph.D., University of Colorado at Boulder, 1989


William E. Bentley is the Robert E. Fischell Distinguished Professor of Engineering and was founding Chair of the Fischell Department of Bioengineering. He is currently Inaugural Director of the Robert E. Fischell Institute for Biomedical Devices and director of the Maryland Technology Enterprise Institute (Mtech). He is also appointed to the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at the University of Maryland, College Park and the Institute for Bioscience and Biotechnology Research. At Maryland since 1989, Dr. Bentley has focused his research on the development of molecular tools that facilitate the expression of biologically active proteins, having authored over 350 related archival publications. Recent interests are on deciphering and manipulating signal transduction pathways, including those of bacterial communication networks, for altering cell phenotype. To enable discovery, his lab develops new strategies for opening ‘communication’ between devices and biological systems by the creation and facile assembly of biologically functional interfaces. These concepts are emerging within the fields of ‘biofabrication’ that exploits biological components and processes for assembly and 'bioelectronics" that interface electronics with biology. He has served on advisory committees for the NIH, NSF, DOD, DOE, FDA, USDA, and several state agencies. He has mentored more than 40 PhDs and 15 postdocs, many now in leadership roles within industry, federal agencies, and academia.  He co-founded a protein manufacturing company, Chesapeake PERL, based on insect larvae as mini bioreactors. Dr. Bentley was recipient of the SIM’s Schering-Plough Young Investigator Award, the Charles Thom Award of the SIMB, the Marvin Johnson Award of the BIOT Division in the ACS, and the AIChE’s FPB Division Award. He is also a Fellow of the ACS, AAAS, and AIMBE and is an elected member of the American Academy of Microbiology. 


For the complete list, please visit Professor Bentley's website.

  • Distinguished University Professor (2016)
  • Robert E. Fischell Distinguished Chair of Engineering (2016)
  • Charles Thom Award, Society of Industrial Microbiology and Biotechnology (2013)
  • Elected Fellow, American Chemical Society (ACS) (2013)
  • Elected Member, Electorate Nominating Committee, American Association for the Advancement of Science (2013)
  • Meeting Keynote, Upstream Processing, BIOT Division of American Chemical Society’s 245th National Meeting, New Orleans (2013)
  • AIChE Food, Pharmaceutical and Bioengineering Division Award in Chemical Engineering (2012)
  • University System of Maryland (USM) Regents’ Faculty Award for Research/Scholarship/Creative Activity (2011)
  • Robert E. Fischell Distinguished Professor (former)
  • Herbert Rabin Distinguished Professor (former)
  • Fellow, American Academy of Microbiology (AAM) (2007)
  • Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science (2001)
  • Fellow, American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (2001)
  • Maryland's Outstanding Young Engineer, Maryland Science Center (1998)
  • Washington Academy of Sciences Allen C. Davis Medal (1998)
  • Schering-Plough Young Investigator Award (1996)
  • Dow Outstanding New Faculty Award from the American Society for Engineering Education (1995)
  • Society of Industrial Microbiology Outstanding Achievement in Engineering Sciences Award


  • American Academy of Microbiology
  • American Association for the Advancement of Science
  • American Chemical Society
  • American Institute of Chemical Engineers
  • American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering
  • Biomedical Engineering Society


Biomolecular and metabolic engineering; cell-cell communication; heterologous protein expression; device/bio interfaces.

  • Metabolic and Biomolecular Engineering - Quorum Sensing and in vivo Genetic Manipulation
  • Biofabrication Engineering of Biological Signaling (bBIOS)
  • Bridging the communication gap between biology and electronics through the use of redox molecules
  • Characterization of AI-2 uptake in E. coli quorum sensing circuitry
  • Development of a generic strategy for the covalent assembly of proteins onto patterned surfaces, including sensor surfaces

For more information, please visit Professor Bentley's web site.

  • For a complete list of publications, please visit Professor Bentley's web site
  • Stephens, K., Pozo, M., Tsao, C.-Y., Hauk, P., and W.E. Bentley (2019) Bacterial co-culture with cell signaling translator and growth controller modules for autonomously regulated culture composition, Nature Communications, 10, 4129, DOI: 10.1038/s41467-019-12027-6.
  • McKay, R., Ghodasra, M., Schardt, J., Quan, D.N., Pottash, A.E., Shang, W., Jay, S.M., Payne, G.F., Chang, M.W., March, J.C., and W.E. Bentley (2018) A Platform of Genetically Engineered Bacteria as Vehicles for Localized Delivery of Therapeutics: Toward Applications for Crohn's Disease, Bioengineering and Translational Medicine, 3(3): 209-221, DOI: 10.1002/btm2.10113.
  • Tschirhart, T., Kim, E., McKay, R., Ueda, H., Wu, H.C., Pottash, A.E., Zargar, A., Negrete, A., Shiloach, J., Payne, G.F., and W.E. Bentley (2017) Electronic Control of Gene Expression and Cell Behaviour in Escherichia coli Through Redox Signaling, Nature Communications, 8:14030, DOI:10.1038/ncomms14030.
  • Hwang, I.Y., Koh, E., Wong, A., March, J.C., Bentley, W.E., Lee, Y.S., and M.W. Chang (2017) Engineered Probiotic Escherichia coli Can Eliminate and Prevent Pseudomonas aeruginosa Gut Infection in Animal Models, Nature Communications, 8, 15028, DOI:10:1038/ncomms15028.
  • Terrell J.L., Wu H.C., Tsao C.Y., Barber N.B., Servinsky M.D., Payne G.F., and Bentley W.E. (2015) Nano-guided cell networks as conveyors of molecular communication, Nature Communications, doi: 10.1038/ncomms9500.
  • Payne, G.F., Kim, E., Cheng, Y., Wu, H-C., Ghodssi, R., Rubloff, G.W., Raghavan, S.R., Culver, J.N, and W.E. Bentley (2013) Accessing Biology’s Toolbox for the Mesoscale Biofabrication of Soft Matter, Soft Matter, doi:10.1039/c3sm50527h.
  • Kim, E., Gordonov, T., Liu, Y., Bentley, W. E., and G. F. Payne (2013) Reverse engineering to suggest biologically relevant redox activities of phenolic materials, ACS Chemical Biology 8, 716-724.
  • Liba, B. D., Kim, E., Martin, A. N., Liu, Y., Bentley, W. E., and G.F. Payne (2013) Biofabricated film with enzymatic and redox-capacitor functionalities to harvest and store electrons, Biofabrication 5, 015008.
  • Wu, H. C., Tsao, C. Y., Quan, D. N., Cheng, Y., Servinsky, M. D., Carter, K. K., Jee, K. J., Terrell, J. L., Zargar, A., Rubloff, G. W., Payne, G. F., Valdes, J. J., and  W.E. Bentley (2013) Autonomous bacterial localization and gene expression based on nearby cell receptor density, Molecular Systems Biology 9, 636.
  • Bentley, W.E., and G.F. Payne (2013) Nature’s Other Self-Assemblers, Science, 341(6142): 136-137.
  • Carter, K.K., Valdes, J.J., and W.E. Bentley (2012) Pathway Engineering via Quorum Sensing and sRNA Riboregulators – Interconnected Networks and Controllers, Metabolic Engineering, 14(3): 281-288.
  • Terrell, J.L., Gordonov, T., Cheng, Y., Wu, H.C., Sampey, D., Luo, X., Tsao, C.Y., Ghodssi, R., Rubloff, G.W., Payne, G.F., and W.E. Bentley (2012) Integrated Biofabrication for Electro-Addressed In-Film Bioprocessing, Biotechnology Journal, 7(3):428-439.
  • Cheng, Y., Tsao, C.-Y., Wu, H.-C., Luo, X.L., Terrell, J.L., Betz, J., Payne, G.F., Bentley, W.E., and G.W. Rubloff (2012) Electroaddressing Functionalized Polysaccharides as Model Biofilms for Interrogating Cell Signaling, Advanced Functional Materials, 22(3):519-528.
  • Liu, Y., Terrell, J.L., Tsao, C.-Y., Wu, H.C., Jawaji, V., Kim, E., Cheng, Y., Wang, Y.F., Ulijn, R.V., Raghavan, S.R., Rubloff, G.W., Bentley, W.E., and G.F. Payne (2012) Biofabricating Multifunctional Soft Matter with Enzymes and Stimuli-Responsive Materials, Advanced Functional Materials, 22(14):3004-3012.
  • Luo, X.L., Wu, H.C., Tsao, C.-Y., Cheng, Y., Betz, J., Payne, G.F., Rubloff, G.W., and W.E. Bentley (2012) Biofabrication of Stratified Biofilm Mimics for Observation and Control of Bacterial Signaling, Biomaterials, 33(20): 5136-5143.
  • Gamby, S., Roy, V., Guo, M., Smith, J.A.I., Wang, J.X., Stewart, J.E., Wang, X., Bentley, W.E., and H.O. Sintim (2012) Altering the Communication Networks of Multispecies Microbial Systems Using a Diverse Toolbox of AI-2 Analogues, ACS Chemical Biology, 7(6):1023-1030.
  • Kim, E., Liu, Y., Bentley, W.E., and G.F. Payne (2012) Redox Capacitor to Establish Bio-Device Redox-Connectivity, Advanced Functional Materials, 22(7):1409-1416.
  • Gray, K. M., B. D. Liba, Y. Wang, Y. Cheng, G. W. Rubloff, W. E. Bentley, A. Montembault, I. Royaud, L. David, G. F. Payne (2012) Electrodeposition of a Biopolymeric Hydrogel: Potential for One-step Protein Electroaddressing. Biomacromolecules, 13(4), 1181-1189.
  • Quan, D., W.E. Bentley (2012) Gene Network Homology in Prokaryotes Using a Similarity Search Approach: Queries of Quorum Sensing Signal Transduction. PLoS Computational Biology. E1002637.
  • Tsao, C.-Y., Quan, D.Q. and W.E. Bentley (2012) Development of the Quorum Sensing Biotechnological Toolbox. Current Opinion in Chemical Engineering, DOI: 10.1016/j.coche.2012.09.008.
  • Liu, Y., J. L. Terrell, C.-Y. Tsao, H.-C. Wu, V. Javvaji, E. Kim, Y. Cheng, Y. Wang, R. V. Ulijn, S. R. Raghavan, G. W. Rubloff, W. E. Bentley, G. F. Payne. (2012) Biofabricating Multi-functional Soft Matter with Enzymes and Stimuli-Responsive Materials. Advanced Functional Materials, doi: 10.1371/journal.pcbi.1002637.
  • Tsao, C.Y., Hooshangi, S., Wu, H.C., Valdes, J.J., and W.E. Bentley (2010) Autonomous Induction of Recombinant Proteins by Minimally Rewiring Native Quorum Sensing Regulon of E. coli, Metabolic Engineering, 12(3):291-297.
  • Carter, K.K., Valdes, J.J., and W.E. Bentley (2011) Pathway Engineering via Quorum Sensing and sRNA Riboregulators – Interconnected Networks and Controllers, Metabolic Engineering, (Epub, PMID22155614).
  • Luo, X.L., Buckhout-White, S., Bentley, W.E., and G.W. Rubloff (2011) Biofabrication of Chitosan-Silver Composite SERS Substrates Enabling Quantification of Adenine by a Spectroscopic Shift, Biofabrication, 3(3):034108.
  • Cheng, Y., Luo, X., Tsao, C.-Y., Wu, H.C., Betz, J., Payne, G.F., Bentley, W.E., and G.W. Rubloff (2011) Biocompatible multi-address 3D Cell Assembly in Microfluidic Devices Using Spatially Programmable Gel Formation, Lab on a Chip, 11(14):2316-2318.
  • Kamaraju, K., Smith, J., Wang, J., Roy, V., Sintim, H.O., Bentley, W.E., and S. Sukharev (2011) Effects on Membrane Lateral Pressure Suggest Permeation Mechanisms for Bacterial Quorum Sensing Molecules, Biochemistry, 50(32):6983-93.
  • Wang, Y., Liu, Y., Cheng, Y., Kim, E., Rubloff, G.W., Bentley, W.E., and G.F. Payne (2011) Coupling Electrodeposition with Layer-by-Layer Assembly to Address Proteins within Microfluidic Channels, Advanced Materials, 23(8):5817-5821
  • Fernandes, R., Roy, V., Wu, H.C., and W.E. Bentley (2010) Engineered biological nanofactories trigger quorum sensing response in targeted bacteria, Nature Nanotechnology, 5(3)213-217.
  • Fernandes R., Luo, X., Tsao, C.-Y., Payne, G.F., Ghodssi, R., Rubloff, G.W., and W.E. Bentley (2010) Biological Nanofactories Facilitate Spatially Selective Capture and Manipulation of Quorum-Sensing Bacteria in a BioMEMS Device, Lab on a Chip, 10(9):1128-1134.
  • Roy, V., Fernandes, R., Tsao, C.Y., and W.E. Bentley (2010) Cross Species Quorum Quenching Using A Native AI-2 Processing Enzyme, ACS Chemical Biology, 5(2):223-232.
  • Yang, X.H., Kim, E., Liu, T., Shi, X.W., Rubloff, G.W., Ghodssi, R., Bentley, W.E., and G.F. Payne (2010) In-film Bioprocessing and Immunoanalysis with Electroaddressable Stimuli-Responsive Polysaccharides, Advanced Functional Materials, 20(10):1645-1652.
  • Liu, Y., Kim, E., Ghodssi, R., Rubloff, G.W., Culver, J.N., Bentley, W.E., and G.F. Payne (2010) Biofabrication to Build the Biology-Device Interface, Biofabrication, 2(2):220.
  • Li, J., Attila, C., Wang, L., Wood, T.K., Valdes, J.J., and W.E. Bentley (2007) Quorum Sensing in E. coli is Signaled by AI-2/LsrR: Effects on sRNA and Biofilm Architecture, Journal of Bacteriology, 73:4100-4109.
  • Fernandes, R., Tsao, C.Y., Hashimoto, Y., Wang, L., Wood, T.K., Payne, G.F., and W.E. Bentley (2007) Magnetic Nanofactories: Localized Synthesis and Delivery of Quorum-Sensing Signaling Molecule Autoinducer-2 to Bacterial Cell Surfaces, Metabolic Engineering, 9:228-239.
  • Kim, E.J., Kramer, S.F., Hebert, C.G., Valdes, J.J., and W.E. Bentley (2007) Metabolic Engineering of the Baculovirus-Expression System via Inverse "Shotgun" Genomic Analysis & RNA Interference (dsRNA) Increases Product Yield and Cell Longevity, Biotechnology and Bioengineering, 98:645-654.
  • March, J.C., and W.E. Bentley (2007) RNAi-based Tuning of Cell Cycling in Drosophila S2 cells- effects on Recombinant Protein Yield, Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology, 73: 1128-1135.
  • Lewandowski, A.T., Small, D.A., Chen, T., Payne, G.F., and W.E. Bentley (2006) Tyrosine-based "activatable pro-tag": enzyme-catalyzed protein capture and release, Biotechnology and Bioengineering, 93:1207-1215.
  • Chang, W., Small, D.A., Toghrol, F., and W.E. Bentley (2006) Global Transcriptome Analysis of Staphylococcus aureus Response to Hydrogen Peroxide, Journal of Bacteriology, 188:1648-1659.
  • Gonzalez Barrios, A.F., Zuo R., Hashimoto, Y., Yang, L., Bentley W.E., and T.K. Wood (2006) Autoinducer 2 Controls Biofilm Formation in Escherichia coli Through a Novel Motility Quorum-sensing Regulator (MqsR, B3022), Journal of Bacteriology, 188:205-316.
  • Li, J., Wang, L., Hashimoto, Y., Tsao, C-Y., Wood, T.K., Valdes, J.J., Zafiriou, E., and W.E. Bentley (2006) Stochastic Model of E. coli AI-2 Quorum Signal Circuit Reveals Alternative Synthesis Pathways, Nature Molecular Systems Biology.
  • Wang, L., Hashimoto, Y., Tsao, C.-Y., Valdes, J.J., and W.E. Bentley (2005) cAMP and cAMP Receptor Protein (CRP) Influence Both  Synthesis and Uptake of Extracellular Autoinducer-2 in Escherichia coli, Journal of Bacteriology, 187:2066-76.
  • Yi, H., Wu, L.Q., Rubloff, G.W., Ghodssi, R., Payne, G.F., and Bentley, W.E., (2005) Signal-Directed Sequential Assembly of Biomolecules on Patterned Surfaces. Langmuir, 2:2104-2107.
  • Bleckwenn, N. A., Golding, H., Bentley, W. E., Shiloach, J., (2005) Production of Recombinant Proteins by Vaccinia Virus in a Microcarrier Based Mammalian Cell Perfusion Bioreactor, Biotechnology and Bioengineering, 90:663-674.
  • Chang, W., Small, D.A. Toghrol, F., and W.E. Bentley (2005) Microarray Analysis of Toxicogenomic Effects of Peracetic Acid on Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Environmental Science & Technology, 39:5893-5899.
  • Chang, W., Small, D.A., Toghrol, F., and W.E. Bentley (2005) Microarray Analysis of Pseudomonas aeruginosa Reveals Induction of Pyocin Genes in Response to Hydrogen Peroxide, BMC Genomics, 6.115-129.
  • Wang, L., Li, J., March, J.C., Valdes, J.J., and W.E. Bentley (2005), luxS-Dependent Gene Regulation in Escherichia coli K-12 Revealed by Genomic Expression Profiling, Journal of Bacteriology, 187:8350-8360.
  • Yi, H., Wu, L.Q., Bentley, W.E., Ghodssi, R., Rubloff, G.W., Culver, J.N., Payne, G.F., (2005) Biofabrication with Chitosan, Biomacromolecules, 6:2881-2894.

Bill Weigand, Former ChBE Faculty Member, Dies at 84

Bill Weigand, who had served as a professor at the University of Maryland, where he retired, has passed away.

UMD-born Bleeding Management Tech Available Nationwide

Initial research for Rapid-Seal began in Srinivasa Raghavan's Complex Fluids and Nanomaterials Laboratory.

Student Researchers Recognized with Wylie Dissertation Fellowships

Fourteen Clark School students pursuing their Ph.D.s in engineering have been awarded Ann G. Wylie Dissertation Fellowships by the University of Maryland Graduate School.

2020 Dean's Doctoral Student Research Awards

The competition recognizes distinguished graduate student researchers in order to help propel their careers and demonstrate the value of high-quality engineering research.

NSF Awards $1M Grant to UMD Researchers

The interdisciplinary project will explore the molecular connection between the gut and the nervous system.

ChBE Alumni Looks Back Fondly on Tenure at UMD

Vineet Agrawal (B.S. '98) discusses his progression in the field of biomedical engineering.

Researchers Engineer Bacteria to Hunt Down Pathogens in the Gut

Nature Communications highlights University of Maryland alum’s latest efforts to program E.coli to combat infections.

BIOE, IBBR Researchers Develop Electrogenetic Device for Activating Gene Expression via Electrodes

System holds promise for study of biological systems, biosensors and bio-hybrid devices.

Fischell Receives National Medal of Technology and Innovation

UMD Alum, BioE Professor of Practice to Receive White House Honor

Fisher Named Chair of the Fischell Department of Bioengineering

Dr. John P. Fisher to succeed Dr. William E. Bentley as department chair, effective Jan. 4, 2016.

Bacteria Prowl for Pathogen Prey

Alumnus Matthew Wook Chang's custom E. Coli target hospital-acquired infections.

2011-2012 ChBE Undergraduate Awards

Exceptional students recognized by the Department, Clark School, and professional societies.

Gupta, Simons Win Inaugural Undergraduate Research Awards

Students recognized for work in bacterial signaling, metabolic networks.

Fight Bacteria With Bacteria

Alumnus creates bacterium that sacrifices itself to save you.

Sriram Honored as Outstanding Engineer of the Year

Science Center honors metabolic engineering expert, high-profile grant winner who guides successful students.

Alumnus' Work on Artificial Intestine Featured in L.A. Times

John March (Ph.D. '05) grows cells in 3-D.

2010-2011 ChBE Undergraduate Awards

Exceptional students recognized by the Department, Clark School, and professional societies.

Gupta Wins Goldwater Scholarship

ChBE junior receives premier award for undergraduates.

Gupta Wins HHMI Fellowship

Undergraduate to study quorum sensing, inhibition of bacterial communication.

Alumna Named 2009 Fischell Fellow

Deborah Sweet to develop oral chemotherapy drug delivery system.

Bentley, Hung, Culver Gene Therapy Research Covered By Wired

Repurposed virus could be used to deliver siRNA to diseased cells.

Genomic Research Receives EPA Award

Microarray Research Laboratory wins Scientific and Technological Achievement Award.

Alumnus March Awarded Hartwell Foundation Grant

Funding will support development of new type 1 diabetes treatment.

New Bioengineering Wing Unveiled

$7.6M, 7,400-square-foot addition to Kim Building serves as new department home.

Alumni Excel in Academia, Research

Former Bentley Group members work with "designer bacteria", therapeutics, biofuels, viruses and vaccines.

"Side Effects May Not Include…"

Clark School shows in vivo "nanofactories" can make and deliver targeted drugs.

$1 Million For Nano-Bio Initiative

Deutsch Foudation will fund Clark School bioengineering research on the nanoscale.