Chandrasekhar Rama Kothapalli (Chandra Kothapalli)
 Title: Associate Professor
Director, Doctor of Philosophy in Engineering Programs
 Dept: Chemical & Biomedical Engineering
 Office: FH 460
 Phone: 216-687-2562,  216-687-2562
 Fax: 216-687-9220
 Address: 2121 Euclid Ave. FH 460, Cleveland, OH 44115

Courses Taught


Faculty Only:
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Research Keywords:
Biomechanics and mechanobiology, Stem Cells (mesenchymal, embryonic, human/rat/mice), Regenerative medicine, Tissue engineering, Microfluidics, Nanotechnology, Biomedicine, Soft materials, Toxicology, Produce safety and food chemistry
Ph.D., Bioengineering, Clemson University, 2008
M.S., Materials Science & Engineering, University of Connecticut, 2005
M.S., Chemical Engineering, Mississippi State University, 2002
B.S., Chemical Engineering, Andhra University, India, 2000
Brief Bio:
Dr. Kothapalli earned Bachelor's in Chemical Engineering from Andhra University, India, and Master's degrees in Chemical Engineering and Materials Sciences from Mississippi State University and University of Connecticut, respectively. He received his PhD in Bioengineering from Clemson University in May 2008. His Postdoctoral Fellowship in the Biological Engineering Department at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology was focused on developing microfluidic assays to evaluate neurite responses to growth factor gradients in vitro, investigation of axonal targeting of projection neurons (e.g., cortico-spinal motor neurons) in three dimensional cultures, and identification of the role of microenvironment on embryonic stem cell differentiation, for wide-ranging applications in cell transplantation therapies. His postdoctoral work at CUNY on glioblastoma cell migration and proliferation in 3D milieu is funded by the "Emergent Behaviors of Integrated Cellular Systems" grant by NSF at CUNY.

Dr. Kothapalli joined CSU in August 2011, and was tenured and promoted to Associate Professor in August 2016. So far, Chandra's research has resulted in two issued patents (one licensed to industry), more than 45 peer-reviewed publications in reputed journals and conference proceedings, and 100 conference and seminar presentations. Among his honors, he was a Presidential Scholar at the Medical University of South Carolina and received multiple Faculty Merit awards at CSU.

At CSU, Dr. Kothapalli built a research program at the interface of engineering and medicine, with strong clinical applications in regenerating diseased or injured tissues and organs. Using state of the art bioengineering approaches, he integrated his background and expertise in stem cells, tissue engineering, biomaterials and nanotechnology for developing long-lasting solutions for vascular and neural clinical conditions. Specifically, his lab formulates strategies which encourage stem cell differentiation into multiple lineages on demand, and enhance their survival, functionality and integration into the host tissue post-implantation. Dr. Kothapalli anticipates significant improvement in the quality of life for those suffering with fatal neurodegenerative or cardiovascular conditions. His other interests include developing highly-specialized microfluidic platforms to understand molecular mechanisms and signaling pathways involved in heterotypic cellular interactions under chemogradients. These microfluidic devices will allow for precise control of the cellular and non-cellular microenvironment at physiologically relevant length- and time- scales. Given the interdisciplinary nature of this research, Dr. Kothapalli collaborates with researchers at CSU and Cleveland Clinic. He also spends significant amount of time in teaching and mentoring undergraduate and graduate students in chemical and biomedical engineering principles.

Dr. Kothapalli  holds an Adjunct Staff appointment in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at the Lerner Research Institute in Cleveland Clinic. He is also an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Division of General Medical Sciences at the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine.
Honors and Awards:
Full Member, Sigma XI, 2020

Member, Sigma XI, 2009

Presidential Scholar, Medical University of South Carolina, 2008

Student travel award, International Conference on Hyaluronan, 2007

Outstanding graduate student, Materials Science and Engineering Student Chapter, University of Connecticut, 2004-2005

Arthur E. Focke Leadershape Award, American Society for Materials, 2005

Second prize for Best Research Presentation, American Society for Materials, Hartford Student night, 2005

President, UConn Materials Science and Engineering Student Chapter, 2004

James Ruppen Graduate Fellowship, University of Connecticut, 2004
Creative and Activities:
Current Lab Members:

Doctoral Students:
Ryan Abnavi, PhD candidate, Chemical Engineering
Rushik Bandodkar, PhD candidate, Chemical Engineering
Colin Wilson, PhD candidate, Applied Biomedical Engineering
Suraj Bastola, PhD candidate, joint with Cleveland Clinic

Master's Students:
Tyler Grubb (MS, BME)
Alexa Roberts (MS, BME)
Nandini Padaraju (MS, CHE)

Undergraduate Students:
Tyler Rhoades (BS, Physics)

Lab Alumni and last known location:

Visiting Professor & Postdoctoral Fellow:
Prof. Heidi Martin, Case Western Reserve University
Dr. Kam-Nyeong Yu (South Korea)

Graduate level:
Gautam Mahajan (PhD in BME, 2019; Currently Postdoctoral Fellow at Harvard University)
Jyotsna Joshi (PhD in BME, 2018; Currently Postdoctoral Fellow at Mayo Clinic, Phoenix)
Kurt Farrell (PhD in BME, 2016; Currently NIH Postdoctoral Fellow, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, NY)
Sean Moore (MS, BME; Currently Product Development Engineer at NextStep Arthropedix)
Tanetta Curenton (BME, Currently pursuing PhD at CSU)
Anthony Sulak (MS, Math, Currently pursuing PhD at Michigan State University)
Ashkan Novin Vajari (BME, Currently pursuing PhD in BME at UConn)
Brian Hama (MS, CHE; Currently Fluids Engineer at NASA Glenn)
Marissa Sarsfield (MS, BME; Currently Process Engineer at Hikma Pharmaceuticals, PA)
Ali Alhradaan (MS, CHE; Currently Field Engineer with Schlumberger, Kuwait)
Arsela Gishto (MS, BME; Currently Researcher at Cleveland Clinic)
Amanda Powell (MS, BME; Currently at Northern Technologies International Corp.)
Sameera Tasneem (MS, BME; Currently at Kremers Urban Pharmaceuticals)
Phillip Simmers (MS, BME; Currently Consultant at Ethicon, Inc.)
Michael Sawonik (MS, BME; Currently Engineer at CIVCO Medical Solutions)
Anjana Subramaniam (MS, BME; Currently Process Improvement Engineer at TRAI-COR PROCESSING)
Sara El-Nimer (MS, BME; Currently Research Engineer at Cleveland Clinic)

Undergrad level:
Isy Herman (Hathaway Brown)
Tyler Rhoades (BS, Physics, CSU)
Ben Bosela (BS, Physics, University of Toledo)
Quinton Wright (BS, MSE, University of Tennessee)
Alexa Roberts (BS, CHE, Honors thesis)
Jamel Richard (BS, CHE, Honors Thesis; Currently with Terves Inc., Cleveland)
Jennifer Vasu (BS, Biology)
Zeiad AbdelMaged (BS, Health Sciences)
Brian Hama (BS CHE Honors Thesis)
Sarah Ali (BS, Biology)
Jacqueline Matz (BS, REU student from Duquesne University)
Tahir Butt (BS, EEE)
Randolph Cook (BS, Engineer with PPG Industries)
James Deyling (BS Honors Thesis; Currently Biologist at Regeneron Inc.)
Brittany Kastan (BS, Chemical Engineer at Verantis Corp.).
Marissa Sarsfield (BS, CHE, Honors Thesis)
Aaron Smith (BS, CHE Honors Thesis)
Edward Jira (BS, CHE, Currently pursuing PhD at Univ. of Illinois-Urbana)
Research Interests:
Biomechanics and mechanobiology, Tissue Engineering, Stem Cell based Regenerative Medicine, Biologically-inspired Materials, Applied Microfluidics, Nanotechnology in Biomedicine, Produce Safety, Cancer biology
Teaching Areas:
Tissue Engineering
Chemical Engineering Methods
Professional Affiliations:
American Heart Association
Society for Biomaterials (SFB)
Biomedical Engineering Society (BMES)
Vascular Biology Working Group
Materials Research Society, 2002-2005
American Society for Materials/ The Materials Society, 2002-2005
University Service:
Member, College of Engineering Faculty Affairs Committee (FAC), 2018-
Member, College of Engineering Graduate Affairs Committee (GAC), 2018-
Member, University Graduate Council, CSU, 2017-
Director, PhD in Engineering Programs, CSU, 2016-present
Member, University Undergraduate Student Success Committee, CSU, 2016-18.
Chair, University Admissions and Standards Committee, CSU, 2015-16.
Member, University Admissions and Standards Committee, CSU, 2012-2015.
Faculty Secretary, Fenn College of Engineering, CSU, 2012-2013.
Search Committee Member for numerous Faculty and Staff recruitments, CSU, 2011-tilldate.
Professional Service:
Editorial Board Member: Journal of Tissue Science and Engineering, Journal of Regenerative Medicine.

Reviewer for >40 journals including Tissue Engineering, Biomaterials, Analytical Chemistry, Acta Biomaterialia, Journal of Royal Society-Interface, PlOS One, Integrative Biology, Materials Science and Engineering C, Materials Letters, Journal of Biotechnology Advances, Artificial Organs, Interface Focus, Bentham Science Publishers, Biomaterials Science.

Member, Abstract Committee, South Carolina Bioengineering Summit, 2007

Editor, Materials Science and Engineering Department Newsletter, University of Connecticut, 2003-05

American Society for Materials-Hartford, Executive committee member, 2005-06
Research Grants:
National Science Foundation
National Institutes of Health
US Department of Agriculture
CSU Research Foundation
Center for Produce Safety