Padma Rajagopalan, the Robert H. Hord Faculty Fellow and associate professor of chemical engineering at Virginia Tech, has accepted an invitation from the Center for Scientific Review at the National Institutes of Health to serve as a member of the Biomaterials and Biointerfaces study section. Her term extends from July 1, 2013, until June 30, 2017.

"Members are selected on the basis of their demonstrated competence and achievement in their scientific discipline as evidenced by the quality of research accomplishments, publications in scientific journals, and other significant scientific activities, achievements and honors," wrote Richard Nakamura, director of the Center for Scientific Review in the letter announcing Rajagopalan's appointment.

In this role, Rajagopalan will review grant proposals made to the NIH Biomaterials and Biointerfaces study section and make recommendations for funding. Membership on a study section represents a major commitment of professional time and energy as well as a unique opportunity to contribute to the national biomedical research effort. The NIH is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Rajagopalan's research focus is on biomaterials, cell and tissue engineering.  In 2010, she received the prestigious Faculty Early Career Development award from the National Science Foundation to study the movement of cells under complex environments. At Virginia Tech, she founded and co-directs the Institute for Critical Technology and Applied Science Center for Systems Biology of Engineered Tissues. The goal of the center is to define a new synthesis between tissue engineering and systems biology.

Rajagopalan serves as the program director for a new interdisciplinary graduate education program on "Computational Tissue Engineering." This program focuses on training a new community of graduate students at the confluence of tissue engineering, systems biology, and computer science.

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

Written by David Cox.

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