Dacheng Ren


  • B.E. (major) Applied Chemistry, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, P. R. China, 1996.
  • B.E. (minor) Electrical Engineering, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, P. R. China, 1996.
  • M.E. Chemical Engineering, Tianjin University, P. R. China, 1999.
  • Ph.D. Chemical Engineering, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT, 2003
  • Postdoctoral associate, Chemical Engineering, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, 2003-2005.

Lab/Center Affiliation:

  • Syracuse Biomaterials Institute

Current Research:

We have broad interests in Biotechnology, especially bacterial control. Historically, our understanding of bacterial physiology and development of antibiotics have been focused on planktonic (free-swimming) cells. However, the vast majority of bacteria in nature exist in surface-attached highly hydrated structures comprising of a polysaccharide matrix secreted by the bound bacterial cells, collectively known as biofilms. With up to 1000 times higher tolerance to antibiotics and disinfectants compared to their planktonic counterparts, deleterious biofilms cause serious problems such as chronic infections in humans as well as persistent corrosion and equipment failure in industry. Biofilms are blamed for billions of dollars of losses and more than 45,000 deaths annually in the U.S. alone. Despite the well-recognized significance of biofilms, the biofilm research is still in its infancy. With the efficacy of antibiotics and disinfectants being intrinsically limiting, new approaches especially those with synergistic effects are desired.

Compared to the deleterious biofilms, which cause serious problems in both medical and engineering environments, biofilms of environmentally friendly bacteria have promising applications. Due to their intrinsic tolerance to toxic agents, such biofilms may provide promising solutions to currently unmet challenges such as the high cost in biofuel production due to the low tolerance of microbes to fermentation products and difficulties in bioremediation of toxic contaminants.

In the Biofilm Engineering Laboratory, we have broad interests in biofilm research including genetic basis of multidrug resistance, biofilm control by engineering smart surfaces and biomaterials, development of novel biofilm and persister inhibitors, as well as biofilm engineering for biofuel production.

Courses Taught:

  • CEN551 Biochemical Engineering
  • BEN301 Biological Principles for Engineers


  • Syracuse University LCS Faculty Excellence Award, 2014.
  • NSF CAREER Award 2011-2016.
  • College Technology Educator of the Year, Technology Alliance of Central New York (TACNY), 2010.
  • Early Career Translational Research Award in Biomedical Engineering from the Wallace H. Coulter Foundation, 2009.

Selected Publications:

For a full list of publications, please see http://scholar.google.com/citations?user=85Ty0hAAAAAJ&hl=en&oi=ao.

Fangchao Song, Hyun Koo, and Dacheng Ren. “Effects of material properties on bacterial adhesion and biofilm formation” (Invited Critical Review). Journal of Dental Research. 94: 1027-1034 (2015).

Fangchao Song and Dacheng Ren, “Stiffness of cross-linked poly(dimethylsiloxane) affects bacterial adhesion and antibiotic susceptibility of attached cells”. Langmuir. 30: 10354-10362 (2014).

Huan Gu and Dacheng Ren, “Material and surface engineering to control bacterial adhesion and biofilm formation: a review of recent advances”. Frontiers of Chemical Science & Engineering (Invited Review). 8: 20-33 (2014).

Jiachuan Pan and Dacheng Ren. “Structural effects on persister control by brominated furanones”. Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry Letters. 23: 6559-6562 (2013).

Jiachuan Pan, Xin Xie, Wang Tian, Ali Adem Bahar, Nan Lin, Fangchao Song, Jing An and Dacheng Ren. “(Z)-4-bromo-5-(bromomethylene)-3-methylfuran-2(5H)-one sensitizes Escherichia coli persister cells to antibiotics”. Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology. 97: 9145-9154 (2013).

Huan Gu, Shuyu Hou, Chanokpon Yongyat, Suzanne De Tore and Dacheng Ren. “Patterned biofilm formation reveals a mechanism for structural heterogeneity in bacterial biofilms”. Langmuir. 29: 11145-11153 (2013).

Jiachuan Pan, Fangchao Song, and Dacheng Ren. “Controlling persister cells of Pseudomonas aeruginosa PDO300 by (Z)-4-bromo-5-(bromomethylene)-3-methylfuran-2(5H)-one”. Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry Letters. 23:4648-4651 (2013).

Jiachuan Pan, Ali Adem Bahar, Haseeba Syed, and Dacheng Ren. “Reverting antibiotic tolerance of Pseudomonas aeruginosa PAO1 persister cells by (Z)-4-bromo-5-(bromomethylene)-3-methylfuran-2(5H)-one”. PLoS ONE. 2012, 7(9): e45778. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0045778.

Tagbo H. R. Niepa, Jeremy L. Gilbert and Dacheng Ren. “Controlling Pseudomonas aeruginosa persister cells by weak electrochemical currents and synergistic effects with tobramycin”. Biomaterials. 2012, 33: 7356–7365.

Robert Szkotak, Tagbo H R Niepa, Nikhil Jawrani, Jeremy L Gilbert, Marcus B Jones and Dacheng Ren. “Differential Gene Expression to Investigate the Effects of Low-level Electrochemical Currents on Bacillus subtilis”. AMB Express. 2011, 1:39.

Xi Chen, Mi Zhang, Chunhui Zhou, Neville R. Kallenbach and Dacheng Ren, “Control of bacterial persister cells by Trp/Arg antimicrobial peptides”. Applied and Environmental Microbiology. 2011, 77(14): 4878-4885.

Shuyu Hou, Huan Gu, Cassandra Smith and Dacheng Ren, “Microtopographic patterns affect Escherichia coli biofilm formation on polydimethylsiloxane surfaces”. Langmuir. 2011, 27(6): 2686-2691.

Shuyu Hou, Zhigang Liu, Anne Young, Sheron Mark, Neville Kallenbach and Dacheng Ren, “Structural effects on inhibition of planktonic growth and biofilm formation of Escherichia coli by Trp/Arg containing antimicrobial peptides.” Applied and Environmental Microbiology. 2010,76(6): 1967-1974.

Jiachuan Pan and Dacheng Ren, “Quorum sensing inhibitors: a patent overview”. Expert Opinion On Therapeutic Patents (Invited Review). 2009, 19(11):1581-1601.

Miao Duo, Mi Zhang, Yan-Yeung Luk and Dacheng Ren, “Inhibition of Candida albicans Growth by Brominated Furanones”. Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology. 2009, 84(6):1551-1563.

Shuyu Hou, Erik A. Button, Ricky Lei Wu, Yan-Yeung Luk and Dacheng Ren, “Prolonged Control of Patterned Biofilm Formation by Bio-inert Surface Chemistry”. Chemical Communication. 2009: 1207-1209.