Allison Dennis

Associate Professor,  Chemical Engineering
Affiliated Faculty,  Bioengineering


Social Media


  • CN-221


  • EC-230; EC-216

Research Focus

Semiconductor quantum dots (QDs) for biomedical imaging and biosensing


Prof. Dennis earned a BS in Bioengineering and BA in German from Rice University before spending 15 months with the Pharmaceutical Technology Group at the University of Regensburg in Bavaria, Germany, as a Fulbright Scholar. She earned her PhD in Bioengineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology and conducted postdoctoral research in nanomaterials chemistry at the Center for Integrated Nanotechnologies at Los Alamos National Laboratory before starting her independent career at Boston University in the Department of Biomedical Engineering and Division of Materials Science and Engineering. In 2022 the Dennis Lab moved to Northeastern University.


  • BS Bioengineering & BA German, Rice University
  • PhD, Bioengineering, Georgia Institute of Technology

Honors & Awards

  • Scialog ABI (Advanced Biomedical Imaging) Fellow, 2021-2023
  • MAVEN Sr. Scientist, 2021-22
  • Fulbright Scholar, 2002-2003

Professional Affiliations

SPIE, Materials Research Society (MRS), Biomedical Engineering Society (BMES)

Research Overview

Semiconductor quantum dots (QDs) for biomedical imaging and biosensing

Design and Engineering of Nanomaterials and Nanotechnology for Imaging and Sensing (DENNIS) Lab

In the Dennis Lab, we are passionate about using nanobiotechnology to address biomedical challenges. We use our expertise in the design and synthesis of heterostructured semiconductor nanoparticles, colloidal chemistry and stability, and biofunctionalization to develop fluorescent probes for biosensing and biomedical imaging.

Design and Engineering of Nanomaterials and Nanotechnology for Imaging and Sensing (DENNIS) Lab

Selected Research Projects

  • Multiplexed Imaging in the Near Infrared with Indium Phosphide Quantum Shells
    • – Principal Investigator, NIH, NIGMS, R01
  • In Vivo Mapping of Enzyme Activity using SWIR-emitting, Self-illuminating Quantum Dot Sensors
    • – Principal Investigator, NIH, NIBIB, R21

Research Centers and Institutes

  • Institute for Chemical Imaging of Living Systems (CILS)

Selected Publications

  • Sun Y, Zhong X, AM Dennis*.  Minimizing near-infrared autofluorescence in preclinical imaging with diet and wavelength selection. Journal of Biomedical Optics, 2023, 28 (9), 094805 28(9) 094805. 10.1117/1.JBO.28.9.094805.
  • Kays JC, Conti III CR, Margaronis A, Kuszynski JE, Strouse GF, and AM Dennis*. Controlled synthesis and exploration of CuxFeS4 bornite nanocrystals. Chemistry of Materials, 2021, 10.1021/acs.chemmater.1c02029
  • Saeboe AM, Nikiforov A, Toufanian R, Kays JC, Chern M, Casas JP, Han K, Piryatinski A, Jones D, and AM Dennis*. Extending the Near Infrared Emission Range of Indium Phosphide Quantum Dots for In Vivo Imaging. Nano Letters, 2021, 21(7):3271–3279. 10.1021/acs.nanolett.1c00600
  • Toufanian R, Chern M, Kong V, and AM Dennis*. Engineering Brightness-Matched Indium Phosphide Quantum Dots. Chemistry of Materials, 2021, 33(6):1964–1975. 10.1021/acs.chemmater.0c03181
  • Chern M, Garden PM, Baer RC, Galagan JE, AM Dennis*. Transcription Factor Based Small Molecule Sensing with a Rapid Cell Phone Enabled Fluorescent Bead Assay. Angewandte Chemie International Edition, 2020, 59(48):21597-21602. 10.1002/anie.202007575
  • Chern M, Toufanian R, and AM Dennis*. Quantum Dot to Quantum Dot Förster Resonance Energy Transfer: Engineering Materials for Visual Color Change Sensing. Analyst, 2020, 145(17):5754 – 5767. 10.1039/d0an00746c


Oct 07, 2022

Announcing Fall 2022 PEAK Experiences Awardees

Several engineering students and science students mentored by COE faculty are recipients of Northeastern’s Fall 2022 PEAK Experiences Awards. This extraordinary group of students is taking on a range of exciting projects, from exploring axolotl limb regeneration to building a snake-inspired robot to understanding accessibility on Broadway. ASCENT AWARDS Justin Almendral COE’24, “Wearable Art” Mentor: […]

Allison Dennis


Jul 08, 2022

New Faculty Spotlight: Allison Dennis

Allison Dennis joins the Chemical Engineering department in July 2022 as an Associate Professor.

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