Ben Hackel is an assistant professor at the University of Minnesota. He earned his BS in chemical engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and went on to earn his PhD from MIT in 2009. He spent the next three years working as a postdoctoral fellow at Stanford studying radiology.
At the University of Minnesota, he leads a group of researchers in studying therapeutic efficacies in multiple cancer types. Early detection of tumor formation can substantially improve patient prognosis via reduced probability of metastasis, improved therapeutic effectiveness, and reduced tumor burden. His research applies engineering principles to chemistry, biology, and physiology to enhance the limits of disease detection, with a particular focus on in vivo molecular imaging of tumors. This approach can yield increased specificity and sensitivity relative to traditional imaging and enable a molecular understanding of disease biology thereby providing utility for diagnostics, therapeutic monitoring, drug development, and scientific research.