The Institute for Systems Research
Maryland Robotics Center
Brain and Behavior Institute
Pamela Abshire is a Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and the Institute for Systems Research at the University of Maryland, College Park. Her areas of specialty are in the fields of VLSI circuit design and bioengineering. Dr. Abshire's research focuses on better understanding the tradeoffs between performance and resources in natural and engineered systems.
Prior to her arrival at the University of Maryland in November, 2001, she was a graduate student in the Sensory Communications and Microsystems Lab in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at The Johns Hopkins University. Her advisor was Andreas G. Andreou, and her dissertation topic was Sensory Information Processing Under Physical Constraints. Her research interests include information theory for physical systems, noise theory for electronic, photonic, and biological systems, analysis and design of sensory information processing systems, and algorithm, VLSI circuit, and microsystem design, especially for low power applications. Dr. Abshire was born in Fayetteville, North Carolina, and grew up in the Roanoke Valley in southwestern Virginia. She graduated as valedictorian of the class of 1988 from Salem High School in Salem, VA. From 1985 to 1988 she also attended the Roanoke Valley Governor's School for Science and Technology in Roanoke, VA. She received her B.S. degree in Physics with Honor in 1992 from the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, CA. Between 1992 and 1995 she worked as a Research Engineer in the Bradycardia Research Department of Medtronic, Inc. in Minneapolis, MN. In 1995 she began her graduate education in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at The Johns Hopkins University. She received her M.S. degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering in 1997 and completed her Ph.D. degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering in October 2001.
Honors and awards
- University of Maryland Distinguished Scholar-Teacher (2021)
- University of Maryland ADVANCE Professor (2020-2021)
- Fellow, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (2018)
- Clark School of Engineering E. Robert Kent Junior Faculty Teaching Award (2011)
- ISR Outstanding Systems Engineering Faculty Award, University of Maryland (2006)
- University of Maryland Invention of the Year Award, Physical Sciences category, “Cell Sensor Based Pathogen Detection” (2005)
- George Corcoran Award, ECE Department, University of Maryland (2004)
- Distinguished Service Award, IEEE Washington Section (2004)
- IEEE Women in Engineering Washington Area Affinity Group, Vice Chair (2004)
- NSF Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Award (2003)
- Co-Chair for Annual WIE Symposium (2003 and 2004)
- Associate Editor, IEEE Transactions on Circuits and Systems II
- Member of IEEE Circuits and Systems Society Technical Committees on Biomedical Circuits and Systems, Nanoelectronics and Gigascale Systems, Neural Systems and Applications, Sensory Systems
- She holds a patent for Cell-based sensing: biological transduction of chemical stimuli to electrical signals (nose-on-a-chip)
CMOS biosensors; adaptive integrated circuits (ICs) and IC sensors; hybrid microsystems incorporating CMOS, MEMS, optoelectronics, microfluidics, and biological components; low power mixed-signal ICs for a variety of applications, including cell-based sensing, high performance imaging, miniature robotics, spike sorting, adaptive data conversion, and closed loop control of MEMS and microfluidic systems
Her research awards include:
NSF CPS: Ant-Like Microrobots—Fast, Small, and Under Control
Hand-held disagnostic instrument
NSF: Cell-Based Olfactory Sensing for Biometrics
NSF: EXP-LA: Olfactory Receptor Cell-Based Detection of Explosives
AFOSR: Air Force Center of Excellence on Nature-Inspired Flight Technologies and Ideas (NIFTI)
BBI Seed Grant: Dance and EEG: Neural correlates of expressive movement
Selected reearch posters:
Olfactory Receptor Cell-Based Odorant Detection
Enabling microsystems for monitoring cells
Handheld Sample Preparation for Complex Samples
CMOS Biosensors for Cell-Based Sensing
Biolabs-on-a-Chip: Bioelectronic Interface to CelIs
Adaptive Log Domain Filters using Floating Gate Transistors
Ideal Observer Analysis of Flash Detection in Blowfly Photoreceptor
Biologically inspired vision systems in standard CMOS
Biologically Inspired Vision Systems in Standard CMOS
Abshire part of CogniSense, a DARPA JUMP 2.0 centerThis center will pursue intelligent sensing to action: Sensing capabilities and embedded intelligence to enable fast and efficient generation of actions.
Abshire is part of new DARPA/SRC JUMP 2.0 Center“CogniSense: The Center on Cognitive Multispectral Sensors” is funded for five years.
Engineering Faculty Selected for New MPower Seed Grant FundingFour projects jointly led by Maryland Engineering and UMB researchers awarded to advance collaborative research in areas of high importance.
Abshire, Ernst receive MPower seed grant for using AI in understanding chronic pain biomarkers"AI Discovery and Sensing for Biomarkers of Chronic Pain” will help unlock the interactions within the body that produce chronic pain.
Alum Timir Datta-Chaudhuri develops VNS biosensor for miceThe invention could transform bioelectronic medicine research.
Congratulations to our December 2021 ISR graduates!ISR advisors graduated 22 Ph.D., 2 M.S., and 4 M.S.S.E. new alumni in December!
Exploring the 'rules of life' of natural neuronal networks could lead to faster, more efficient computersNearly $3 million in NSF funding will enhance understanding of how the parts of a single neuron contribute to neuronal networks' overall learning and computation abilities.
Pamela Abshire is named UMD Distinguished Scholar-TeacherShe is one of six Clark School faculty honored at the university's annual convocation.
New website showcases work of Clark School’s microelectronics researchersThe site offers a first-hand look into Maryland’s capabilities, research and education opportunities in this important field.
Abshire featured in Diamondback story about women facultyDr. Abshire has research interests in sensors and microelectronics.
‘Smellicopter’ drone uses live moth antenna to seek smells, avoid obstaclesTimothy Horiuchi is a co-author on the research published in IOP Bioinspiration & Biomimetics.
Professor Pamela Abshire Named 2020-2021 ADVANCE ProfessorAbshire will serve as a strategic mentor and knowledge broker for faculty within the Clark School of Engineering.
Behtash Babadi and Dana Dachman-Soled Promoted to the rank of Associate Professor with TenureTheir promotions are effective July 1, 2020.
Behtash Babadi promoted to associate professorBabadi has broad research interests in statistical and adaptive signal processing, neural signal processing, and systems neuroscience.
ECE Names 2019-2020 Distinguished Dissertation FellowsDas, Demertziz, Nguyen, and Zou have been selected as ECE Distinguished Dissertation Fellows for 2019-20.
Clark School faculty 'AIM-HI' to address major health challengesThe new UMB-UMCP program has announced its first grants for projects combining AI and medicine.
Real-time imaging platform for lab-on-CMOS biosensor systemsPamela Abshire, Elisabeth Smela and their students developed a platform that generates high-quality images of lab-on-CMOS systems in cell culture environments
Behtash Babadi wins Clark School teaching award for junior facultyThe Clark School annually presents the E. Robert Kent Teaching Award for Junior Faculty at its winter commencement.
Alum Marc Dandin Appointed to Carnegie Mellon FacultyDandin was appointed as an assistant professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.
Khemani and Campos are Qualcomm Innovation Fellowship finalistsThe pair created a reliability-aware circuit design for deep submicron technologies.
Ghodssi gives distinguished lecture on devices for gastrointestinal health at EPFL in SwitzerlandTrip also included visits to the Wyss Center and Imperial College London.
Students advance in Qualcomm Innovation Fellowship competitionTwo ECE/ISR student teams have made it to the proposal phase.
Brain and Behavior Initiative (BBI) hosts Second Annual Seed Grant SymposiumThe University’s Brain and Behavior Initiative (BBI) hosted its Second Annual Seed Grant Symposium on November 14, 2018 at Adele’s in the Stamp Student Union.
Lu, Gollob win ISR annual awardsISR's outstanding graduate student and undergraduate student awards were given at the Institute's welcome back reception.
Simon, Abshire, Elhilali give invited talksThe talks were given in Belgium and Spain.
Pamela Abshire elected IEEE FellowAbshire was selected for her contribution to CMOS biosensors.
BBI Holds 2017 Seed Grant SymposiumOver 115 people attend symposium featuring work and accomplishments of BBI Seed Grant Awardees for FY16/FY17.
ECE Professors Abshire, Goldsman, and Newcomb Participate in ISCAS 2017This year's event focused on the connection from Dreams to Innovation, with the aim of cultivating creative research-driven Ideas in Circuits and Systems as they transition to Innovations and fuel economic development.
BBI FY17 Seed Grant Winners AnnouncedNine projects selected for funding.
ECE Names 2016-2017 Distinguished Dissertation FellowsFive Electrical and Computer Engineering Ph.D. students were selected as ECE Distinguished Dissertation Fellows for 2016-17.
Paley, Abshire, Martins promoted to full Professor by UMD President Wallace LohThe faculty members' new rank will become effective on July 1.
Khaligh wins Clark School junior faculty teaching awardKhaligh will receive the E. Robert Kent Teaching Award for Junior Faculty at winter commencement.
Abshire on “Science Goes to the Movies” Live at World Science FestivalClark School Professor to discuss engineered systems used in drones.
New AFOSR NIFTI Center features eight Clark School facultyCenter will create bio-inspired solutions for small, remotely operated aircraft.
Naviasky, an ECE Student, Spoke at the 2014 Winter CommencementElectrical and Computer Engineering student Emily Naviasky was selected as the student speaker for the 2014 A. James Clark School of Engineering Winter Commencement.
Six graduate students participating in UMD-Trento research exchangeThe program is part of a broad partnership between Maryland and Trento, Italy.
ECE Ph.D. student Timir Datta wins Graduate All-S.T.A.R. FellowshipThe fellowship honors scholarship, teaching, administration and research.
UMD Hosts NSF-Funded Cybersecurity Undergraduate Research ProgramUndergraduate scholars gain research experience through summer program at the Maryland Cybersecurity Center.
Six ISR students named to Future Faculty Fellows programClark School program prepares students for academic careers in Top-50 engineering schools.
Abshire elected to IEEE Circuits and Systems Society boardFaculty member is active in many facets of the professional organization.
MERIT-BIEN and TREND Fair Showcases Undergraduate ResearchMore than 20 undergraduate students participate in research projects sponsored by ECE and IREAP.
Antbot research profiled in Pacific Standard magazineArticle explores potential of antbots in search and rescue operations
Local news website names Abshire to 'brilliant women in tech' listInTheCapital.com is website for innovators in the D.C. metropolitan region.
Wu, Garg and Varna win 2012 Invention of the YearAbshire and Sander were finalists in the annual awards honoring the university's inventions.
Collaborative international projects funded in solar power, cell-based systems, and ultra-low power systemsResearch is part of agreement between Autonomous Province of Trento, Italy, and University of Maryland.
Six ISR grad students in Clark School Future Faculty ProgramProgram helps students prepare for academic careers in top-50 engineering schools.
Pamela Abshire wins Kent Teaching AwardChosen for engaged teaching, curriculum development and advising student research.
MERIT-BIEN and TREND Fair Showcases Undergraduate ResearchStudents present their summer research accomplishments to judges at annual fair.
International partnership agreement being finalizedInternational relationship will include research and education components.
Ching Teo and Yezhou Yang win in Qualcomm Innovation Fellowship competitionTeo is advised by ISR affiliate faculty member Yiannis Aloimonos.
Maryland students impress at National Robotics WeekProjects highlight Maryland Robotics Center research.
Nuno Martins promoted to Associate Professor with TenureDr. Martins' research interests are in control theory, estimation and information theory.
ISR students Datta, Teo are part of finalist teams in Qualcomm competitionQualcomm Innovation Fellowship competition recognizes outstanding Ph.D. students.
MERIT-BIEN and TREND Fair Showcases Undergrads' Summer ResearchStudents present their summer research accomplishments to judges at annual fair.
Martins, Somasundaram, Frazier win awards at ISR's annual ceremonyCongratulations to our outstanding faculty, graduate student and staff member!
Pamela Abshire queries Secretary Robert Gates at export control eventSecretary of Defense spoke on export control to business group, April 20.
Six Clark School faculty become affiliates of ISRISR welcomes Desai, Humbert, Jacob, Paley, Qu and Smela.
MERIT-BIEN Poster Wins Two Awards at NSF Program MeetingUndergraduate summer research earns two awards for most interesting & technically challenging project.
Abshire, Humbert speak at robotics policy eventPanel included representatives from academia, federal government and industry.
Seven ECE Students Named Future Faculty FellowsPh.D. students chosen to participate in Clark School program designed to prepare future professors.
Nathan Siwak, Natalie Salaets given ARCS FellowshipsStudents honored at U.S. Supreme Court reception.
Martins, Abshire, Smela, Bergbreiter win $1.5 million NSF grantThe team will develop self-organizing ant-sized microrobots.
Cell-based sensors featured in The ScientistCross-disciplinary work of Abshire, Smela, Shapiro is highlighted.
Fourteen ISR-affiliated students receive Ph.D.sCongratulations to our ISR-affiliated doctoral graduates!
Abshire and Espy-Wilson receive MIPS grantsFunding will help develop hand-held diagnostic instrument; advanced speech enhancement software.
Four Abshire advisees join industryAlumni join Cadence, Virage Logic, Texas Instruments, Intel.
U.S. Dept. of Commerce taps Abshire for advisory committeeBody will advise Commerce on export controls for research and innovation.
REU students spending summer in researchThe 12 undergraduate students are participating in NSF's Research Experiences for Undergraduates program.
Clark School Researchers Collaborate on New Cell-Based SensorsNew bio-sensors could speed up and improve the detection of pathogens, explosives.
Abshire, Cukier, Simon earn tenureThe three ISR faculty members are promoted to the rank of Associate Professor.
Subrahmanian wins first ISR Faculty Venture FairOnline opinion technology impresses venture capitalists at ISR Systems Symposium.
Abshire, Shapiro, Smela part of biosensor grantResearchers are partnering with IBI, graduate of university's TAP program.
New Scientist highlights cell sensor researchWork of Shapiro, Abshire, Smela improves pathogen detection.
Gupta and Abshire receive MIPS grantsFunding will help develop a radiation sensor and a web-based interface for parts manufacturing.
Integrated CMOS Capacitance Sensors for On-Chip Tracking of Cell Proliferation (ISR IP)This IP is available to license.
Motion Sensor with On-Chip Adaptation and Programmable Filtering (ISR IP)This IP is available to license.
Microfluidic System for Sample Preparation (ISR IP)This IP is available to license.
Cell-Based Sensing: Biological Transduction of Chemical Stimuli to Electrical Signals (Nose-on-a-Chip) (ISR IP)This IP is available to license.
Cell Canary (ISR IP)This IP is available to license.
Undergrads Goldman and Chen Selected as NCMR ScholarsDIA program encourages future scientists to consider technical careers in intelligence.
Abshire, Gupta, Liu receive MIPS grantsProjects include optimization, web interfaces and sensors for commercial products
Twelve REU students welcomedSummer experience gives undergrads the opportunity to work with ISR researchers
ISR awards honor faculty, grad student and staff memberAbshire, Parikh, Luceno receive awards
Ephremides is PI for NSF MRI grant on wireless sensor networksProject will develop experimental prototypes of intelligent embedded systems
Abshire, Horiuchi advise MERIT Fair winnersStudents' topic: biometrics and robot control
University of Maryland ranked No. 1 in nano research and educationTrade publication Small Times cites many factors in ratings
Abshire is PI for NSF grant on cell-based sensingECE/ISR assistant professor will research integrated transduction, actuation and control
ISR faculty win two Invention of the Year awardsFaculty recognized in information science and physical science categories
Rubloff leads new M-CINSE nanotech centerSept 2004—Former ISR director to help the university contribute to cutting-edge nanoscience
ISR faculty showcase research to Honeywell Labs delegationResearch of Baras, Abshire, Ghodssi, Krishnaprasad and Justh featured.
Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)
- Fellow, 2018
- DARPA/SRC: CogniSense: The Center on Cognitive Multispectral Sensors (a JUMP 2.0 Center)
- MPowering the State: AI Discovery and Sensing for Biomarkers of Chronic Pain
- NSF Emerging Frontiers of Learning: Learning the Rules of Neuronal Learning
- BBI Seed Grant: Dance and EEG: Neural correlates of expressive movement
- AFOSR: Air Force Center of Excellence on Nature-Inspired Flight Technologies and Ideas (NIFTI)
- NSF CPS: Ant-Like Microrobots—Fast, Small, and Under Control
- Hand-held disagnostic instrument
- NSF: Cell-Based Olfactory Sensing for Biometrics
- NSF: EXP-LA: Olfactory Receptor Cell-Based Detection of Explosives
- Lab on CMOS Microsystems
- Bat-Inspired Hair Sensor
- Biologically Inspired Vision Systems in Standard CMOS
- Efficient Sensing in Biosystems
- Biologically inspired vision systems in standard CMOS
- Lab on CMOS microsystems
- CPS: Ant-Like Microrobots
- Olfactory Receptor Cell-Based Odorant Detection
- Enabling microsystems for monitoring cells
- Advanced CMOS Imaging
- Handheld Sample Preparation for Complex Samples
- CMOS Biosensors for Cell-Based Sensing
- Advanced CMOS Imaging
- Biolabs-on-a-Chip: Bioelectronic Interface to CelIs
- Adaptive Log Domain Filters using Floating Gate Transistors
- Ideal Observer Analysis of Flash Detection in Blowfly Photoreceptor