Derek Hansford grew up in northeast Ohio (Jefferson in Ashtabula county), received his B.S. in Materials Science and Engineering from Case Western Reserve University, and his M.S. and PhD in Materials Science and Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley. He joined the faculty at OSU in 1999 in the Biomedical Engineering Research Center, which became the Department of Biomedical Engineering in 2006. He also was instrumental in setting up the Ohio MicroMD Laboratory (now the OSU Nanotech West Laboratory), the premiere laboratory at OSU for micro- and nanofabrication of devices for a wide variety of applications including improving healthcare. He was appointed as the Associate Chair of BME in 2020.
Prof. Hansford works at the interface between materials and biology to understand, control, and design biological responses to materials. This includes a wide array of projects, including microfabrication of traditional and emerging biomaterials for enhanced biological attachment and study, micro- and nanofluidics for control of biological fluids for diagnosis and collection of desirable components, and engineering of devices with enhanced function for biomedical research such as microscope holders that allow direct interrogation of cells at the point of imaging. His research has been funded by NSF, DoD, and NIH.