Mark Riley

Associate Dean for Research

Academic Degrees

  • Ph.D., Chemical and Biochemical Engineering, Rutgers University-Piscataway, NJ
  • M.S., Chemical and Biochemical Engineering, Rutgers University-Piscataway, NJ
  • B.S.E. Cum Laude, Chemical Engineering, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, MI


  • Ph.D.


Professional Service:

  • Committee on Institutional Cooperation, Biomedical Engineering Dept. Heads (2014-present).
  • Energy Sciences Program Review Committee, University of Nebraska-Lincoln (2014-present). 
  • Executive board member of BIOSA (Biotechnology Industry Organization of Southern Arizona) (2011-2012)
  • Inaugural Editor-in-chief, Journal of Biological Engineering (2006–2009)
  • Editor-in-chief Emeritus and Associate Editor, Journal of Biological Engineering (2009-present)
  • Editor for Patents and Literature Reviews, Applied Biochemistry and Biotechnology (1998-2005)

Areas of Research and Professional Interest

  • Bioprocess engineering and biosensors
  • Detection of pathogens in drinking water
  • Lung cell spectroscopy
Teaching Interests
  • Biosystems analysis and design 
  • Fermentations and bioprocess engineering
  • Cell and tissue engineering
  • Graduate research methods

About Mark Riley

Mark R. Riley, Ph.D., is associate dean for Research in the College of Engineering after having served as professor and department head of Biological Systems Engineering from 2012-2017.  Previously he was at the University of Arizona (1997-2012) serving on the faculty and department head in Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering (2009-2012).  

Riley’s research focuses on bioprocess engineering and instrumentation. He has developed sensors to monitor metabolic activities in bioreactors, to detect viruses in drinking water, and to track the toxicological impact of airborne particulates.  In recognition of his development of a sticker sensor to evaluate fruit maturation and ripeness he was awarded the first Arizona Innovation Award presented by Governor Janet Napolitano in 2007. 

Riley was the founding Editor-in-chief of the Journal of Biological Engineering, (2007).  In 2010 he was the President of the Institute of Biological Engineering.  He served as the inaugural chair of the Biological Engineering division of the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers.  He was recognized with the Biomedical Engineering Builders’ Award from the University of Arizona in 2009.  He has been professionally recognized for his teaching and advising of students and in support of biological engineering in ASABE (2015). He was inducted as a Fellow into AAAS in 2016 and as a Fellow in AIMBE in 2018. He currently serves on the Foundation Board for ASABE and Chair of the Development Committee. 

Honors and Awards

  • Inducted as Fellow of AAAS (American Academy for the Advancement of Science), (2016).
  • ASABE Presidential citation for leading the Biological Engineering presidential task force (2015).
  • Big 10 Committee on Institutional Cooperation (CIC) Academic Leadership Program (2013-2014).
  • LEAD-21 Leadership Development Program Class VII (2011-2012).
  • Institute of Biological Engineering Leadership Award (2011).
  • University of Arizona Academic Leadership Institute (2010-2011).
  • President of IBE (Institute of Biological Engineering) for 2010; President-elect (2009); Past-President (2011). 
  • Biomedical Engineering Builders’ Award (University of Arizona), 2009. 
  • Presidential Citation, Institute of Biological Engineering in recognition of service as Editor-in-chief for launching Journal of Biological Engineering (2008). 
  • Awarded the first Arizona Innovation Award presented by Governor Janet Napolitano (2007). 
  • Award for “Excellence in Advising” (student nominated) University of Arizona Honors College (2007). 
  • Presidential Citation, Institute of Biological Engineering in recognition of service as Editor-in-chief responsible for developing the Journal of Biological Engineering (2007). 
  • University of Arizona Dean of Students Faculty Fellow (2001-2004; 2005-2009).
  • Presidential Citation, Institute of Biological Engineering in recognition of hosting the annual conference (2006). 
  • National Association of Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture, Teaching Award of Merit, University of Arizona, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, (2002). 
  • Alpha Epsilon, Agricultural Engineering Honor Society (1998-present).
  • Merck Excellence Fellowship (1993-1995).
  • NIH Biotechnology Pre-doctoral Fellowship (1990-1993).
  • Dean’s List - University of Michigan (1988, 1989). 

Selected Publications

Journal Articles:

Fei Jia, Jeerwan Chawhuaymak, Mark R. Riley, Werner Zimmt, Kimberly L. Ogden, “Efficient extraction method to collect sugar from sweet sorghum,” Journal of Biological Engineering, 7, 1, 1, (2013).; doi:10.1186/1754-1611-7-1. 

Scholz M.J., M.R. Riley, and J.L. Cuello, "Acid hydrolysis and fermentation of algal starches to ethanol by the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae," Biomass & Bioenergy, 48, 59-65 (2013). 

Phat L Tran, Jessica R Gamboa, Katherine E McCracken, Mark R Riley, Marvin J Slepian, Jeong-Yeol Yoon, “Nanowell-Trapped Charged Ligand-Bearing Nanoparticle Surfaces - A Novel Method of Enhancing Flow-Resistant Cell Adhesion,” accepted for publication in Advanced Healthcare Materials, 2, 7, 1019-1027 (2013) doi: 10.1002/adhm.201200250

Lee-Montiel, F., K. A. Reynolds and M. R. Riley, "Detection and quantification of poliovirus infection using FTIR spectroscopy and cell culture," Journal of Biological Engineering, 5:16 (2011), doi:10.1186/1754-1611-5-16

Scholz, M., T. Hoshino, D. Johnson, M.R. Riley, J.L. Cuello, "Flocculation of wall-deficient cells of Chlamydomonas reinhardtii mutant cw15 by calcium and methanol," Biomass and Bioenergy, 35, 12, 4835-4840, (2011), doi:10.1016/j.biombioe.2011.08.020.

Riley, M.R., C.P. Gerba, M. Elimelech, "Biological Approaches for Addressing the Grand Challenge of Providing Access to Clean Drinking Water," Journal of Biological Engineering, 5:2 (2011).

Miles, S.L., R. G.G. Sinclair, M. R. Riley, I. L. Pepper, "Evaluation of Select Sensors for Real Time Monitoring of E. coli in Water Distribution Systems," Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 2011, pp. 2813-2816, Vol. 77, No. 8, doi:10.1128/AEM.02618-10.

Valerie H. Teetor, Denise V. Duclos, Elisabeth T. Wittenberg, Kelly M. Young, Jeerawan Chawhuaymak, Mark R. Riley, Dennis T. Ray, "Effects of planting date on sugar and ethanol yield of sweet sorghum grown in Arizona," Industrial Crops and Products, 34, 2, 1293-1300 (2011) DOI: 10.1016/j.indcrop.2010.09.010.

Zhiyong Yang, Megan K. Fah, Kelly A. Reynolds, Jonathan D. Sexton, Mark R. Riley, Marie-Laure Anne, Bruno Bureau, and Pierre Lucas, "Opto-electrophoretic detection of bio-molecules using conducting chalcogenide glass sensors," Optics Express, Vol. 18, Iss. 25, pp. 26754–26759 (2010).

P. Cross, P., N. Odegaard, M.R. Riley, "Lipoic Acid Formulations for the Removal of Arsenic and Mercury from Museum Artifact Materials," Journal of Archaeological Science, 37, 8, 1922-1928, (2010).

Peterson, D.E., J.M. Collier, M.E. Katterman, R.A. Turner, M.R. Riley, "Cytotoxicity of bacterial-derived toxins to transformed lung epithelial and macrophage cells," Applied Biochemistry and Biotechnology, 160:751–763 (2010), DOI 10.1007/s12010-009-8526-y.;jsessionid=zgPkDOLiADEm14ILQza1.6

Vargas, C. A., A. A. Wilhelm, J. Williams, P. Lucas, K. A. Reynolds, M. R. Riley, "Integrated capture and spectroscopic detection of viruses," Applied Environmental Microbiology, 6431-6440, 75, 20 (2009), doi:10.1128/AEM.02036-08.


Yoon, J.Y. and M. R. Riley, "Grand challenges for biological engineering," Journal of Biological Engineering, 2009, 3:16; doi:10.1186/1754-1611-3-16.

Riley, M.R., "Review of Career Development in Bioengineering and Biotechnology by Guruprasad Madhavan, Barbara Oakley, and Luis Kun (editors)," Journal of Biological Engineering, 2008, 2:16 (25 November 2008).

Riley, M.R., "Addressing uncertainty – pondering how biological systems respond to their environment," Resource, pp. 14-16, (October 2008).

Riley, M.R., "Introducing Journal of Biological Engineering," Journal of Biological Engineering, 2007, 1:1 (10 October 2007).

Riley, M.R. "Alternate methods for assessing respiratory toxicity using non-animal methods," invited editorial on the Alternate Toxicology Web Site ( Posted December 6, 2007.

Chapters in Books (invited):

James H. Dooley, Mark R. Riley, Brahm Verma, "Biological Engineering Definition," accepted for publication in Encyclopedia of Agricultural, and Food, and Biological Engineering Marcel Dekker Pub., New York, NY, 11 pages, Electronic publication, 2nd edition (2010).

P. S. Cross, N. Odegaard, and M. R. Riley, "Aqueous alpha-lipoic acid solutions for removal of arsenic and mercury from materials used for museum artifacts," Chapter 3, pp. 7-10 (2010). Pesticide Mitigation in Museum Collections: Science in Conservation. A.E. Charola and R.J. Koestler, Eds. Smithsonian Contributions to Museum Conservation No.1, Smithsonian Institution Scholarly Press, Washington, DC.

W. Zimmt, N. Odegaard, T.K. Moreno, R.A. Turner, M. R. Riley, B. Xie, and A.J. Muscat, "Pesticide extraction studies using supercritical carbon dioxide," Chapter 8, pp. 51-57 (2010) Pesticide Mitigation in Museum Collections: Science in Conservation. A.E. Charola and R.J. Koestler, Eds. Smithsonian Contributions to Museum Conservation No.1, Smithsonian Institution Scholarly Press, Washington, DC.