Padma Rajagopalan, the Robert E. Hord Jr. Professor of Chemical Engineering in the College of Engineering at Virginia Tech, was elected into the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering's (AIMBE) College of Fellows.

Rajagopalan was selected for outstanding contributions in research and graduate education in the fields of 3-D tissue mimics and computational tissue engineering.

A formal induction ceremony took place during AIMBE’s 2017 Annual Meeting at the National Academy of Sciences Great Hall in Washington, D.C., on March 20.

“Padma has established an innovative and productive research program of her own, in addition to leading interdisciplinary research and educational programs as director of two Virginia Tech labs,” said David F. Cox, professor and head of chemical engineering. "We are extremely pleased that the AIMBE has chosen to recognize Padma with this much-deserved honor.”

Rajagopalan, a leader in the field of liver tissue engineering, has pioneered unique engineered tissue mimics that dramatically improve our ability to maintain stable and functional cultures of liver cells outside the body. She developed the first 3-D liver mimic that can recapitulate several critical aspects of liver architecture that are found within the body.

Padma Rajagopalan works with students in the Laboratory for Biomaterials and Tissue Engineering.

Padma Rajagopalan with students in the Laboratory for Biomaterials and Tissue Engineering
Padma Rajagopalan works with students in the Laboratory for Biomaterials and Tissue Engineering.

"I am honored to be elected as a Fellow of the AIMBE," said Rajagopalan, program director of the interdisciplinary graduate education program on computational tissue engineering. “I thank my students for their hard work and dedication that allowed us to pursue cutting-edge interdisciplinary research.”

In 2010, Rajagopalan received the Faculty Early Career Development Award from the National Science Foundation to study the movement of cells under complex environments and in the presence of conflicting chemical and mechanical stimuli. These studies promise to provide new insights into tumor metastasis, wound healing, and developmental biology.

Her work has been supported by the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, and the Environmental Protection Agency.

Rajagopalan serves as a member of the Biomaterials and Biointerfaces Study Section for the Center for Scientific Review at the National Institutes of Health.

She founded and co-directs the Institute for Critical Technology and Applied Science Center for Systems Biology of Engineered Tissues. The center seeks to define a new synthesis between tissue engineering and systems biology. Her vision for the center is that seamlessly intertwined experimental and computational models will drive the next generation of advances in tissue engineering and in systems biology.

Rajagopalan received her bachelor's degree and master's degree from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur, and her Ph.D. from Brown University.

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