Chandrasekhar Rama Kothapalli (Chandra Kothapalli)
 Title: 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


Publication link

Faculty Only:
Update Profile

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. He was a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Biological Engineering Department at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He joined CSU in August 2011 as an Assistant Professor, was tenured and promoted to Associate Professor in 2016, and to Full Professor in 2022.

So far, Dr. Kothapalli's research has resulted in two issued patents (one licensed to industry), more than 70 peer-reviewed publications in reputed journals, book chapters, and conference proceedings, and > 110 conference and seminar presentations. In 2020, he received the Distinguished Faculty Award for Research from CSU, besides multiple Faculty Merit awards. He holds adjunct staff appointments in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at the Lerner Research Institute in Cleveland Clinic, and in the Division of General Medical Sciences at the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine.

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. He integrates his background and expertise in stem cells, tissue engineering, biomaterials and nanotechnology to develop long-lasting solutions for vascular and neural clinical conditions. His other interests include developing specialized microfluidic platforms to understand molecular mechanisms and signaling pathways involved in heterotypic cellular interactions. These microfluidic devices will allow for precise control of the cellular and non-cellular microenvironments at physiologically relevant length- and time- scales. He collaborates with researchers at CSU, Cleveland Clinic, Akron, Case Western, and other academic institutions. He also spends significant amount of time in teaching and mentoring undergraduate and graduate students in chemical and biomedical engineering principles.
Honors and Awards:
* Washkewicz College of Engineering Dean's Award, 2023
* University Distinguished Faculty Research Award, 2020
* Elected Full Member, Sigma XI, 2020
* Presidential Scholar, Medical University of South Carolina, 2008
* Student travel award, International Conference on Hyaluronan, 2007
* Outstanding graduate student, MS&E Student Chapter, U. Conn, 2004-2005
* Arthur E. Focke Leadershape Award, American Society for Materials, 2005
* Second prize, Best Research Presentation, American Society for Materials, 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:
Vyshnavi Ciluveru, Applied Biomedical Engineering, 2022-
Smriti Bohara, Applied Biomedical Engineering, 2021-
Elif Ertugral, Applied Biomedical Engineering, 2022-

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:
Ryan Abnavi (PhD in CHE, 2020, Data Analytics Scientist)
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 Assistant Professor, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, NY)
Hope Zehr, Chemical Engineering, 2021
Tyler Grubb, MS, BME, 2020
Alexa Roberts (MS, BME)
Nandini Padaraju (MS, CHE)
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 & Poultry Safety, Cancer biology
Teaching Areas:
Tissue Engineering
Chemical Engineering Methods
Doctoral Students Seminar
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
Professional Experience:
* Professor, Chemical and Biomedical Engineering, Cleveland State University, 2022-
*Associate Professor (tenured), Chemical and Biomedical Engineering, Cleveland State University (CSU), 2016-2022
*Director of Doctoral programs, Washkewicz College of Engineering, CSU, 2016-
*Director, Biomechanics and Tissue Engineering Lab (BTEL), CSU, 2011-
*Adjunct Associate Professor, Department of Biomedical Engineering, Lerner Research Institute, Cleveland Clinic, 2012-
*Adjunct Assistant Professor, Division of General Medical Sciences, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, 2012-
*Assistant Professor, Chemical and Biomedical Engineering, CSU, 2011-2016
*Research Associate, Biomedical Engineering, City University of New York, 2010-2011
*Postdoctoral Fellow, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Mentor: Roger Kamm, PhD, Department of Mechanical & Biological Engineering, 2008-2010
University Service:
*Member, Faculty Advisory Board, Career Services, CSU, 2022-
*Chair, Search Committee, tenure-track faculty positions in Chemical & Biomedical Engineering, 2020-21
*Trained Facilitator, NSF ASPIRE Alliance funded Center for the Improvement of Mentored Experiences in Research (CIMER) Mentor training curriculum, Evidence-based approaches to implement mentor training, 2021.
*Member, CSU Academic Steering Committee, 2021-
*Member, CSU Faculty Senate, 2021-
*Chair, Search Committee, tenure-track faculty position in Chemical and Biomedical Engineering, 2022
*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: Frontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology Journal, Journal of Tissue Science and Engineering, Journal of Regenerative Medicine, Biophysica Journal,

Reviewer for numerous funding agencies in US and abroad.

Reviewer for > 50 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.

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

American Society for Materials-Hartford, Executive committee member, 2005-06
Research Grants:
Improved pathogen control for poultry processing: Experimentally-validated mathematical models for scalding, chilling, and post-chilling. USDA-NIFA-AFRI. Role: Co-PI; (PI: Dan Munther); 07/2023 ¿ 06/2026; $498,177.

Glial scar morphology informed tunable biomimetic platforms toward spinal cord injury repair. National Science Foundation, Role: PI; 06/2021-05/2024; $299,996.

Design and development of a multifunctional nanoplatform for augmented elastic matrix repair. National Science Foundation. Role: PI; 09/2019-08/2022; $299,872.

Modeling tools to reduce pathogen cross-contamination and enhance compliance for poultry chilling. CSU Faculty Research Development Award. Role: Co-PI; 2021-2022; $24,950.

Mathematical modeling tools for practical chlorine control in produce wash process. Center for Produce Safety. Role: Co-PI; Jan-Dec 2018; $47,847.

Stimulating elastogenesis by human aneurysmal smooth muscle cells via exogenous NO delivery. CSU Faculty Research Development Award. Role: PI; 2019-2020; $24,850.

Design and implementation of microreactors. CSU Summer Research Award. Role: PI; 2019; $4500.

Modeling pathogen cross-contamination and chlorine dynamics in fresh produce wash-cycles.
USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA)-Agriculture and Food Research Initiative. Role: Co-PI; 2017-2020; $258,251.

Interdisciplinary research on the optimization, fabrication & implementation of micromixers. CSU Summer Research Award. Role: PI; 2018; $5000.

Mechanistic study of developmental neurotoxicity on 3D cultured stem cell microarrays.
National Institutes of Health-NIEHS 1R01ES025779-01. Role: Co-PI; 2015-2019; $1,306,634.

Development of micromixer based chemical reactors. CSU Summer Research Award. Role: PI; 2017; $7930.

REU: Synthesis, assembly, and characterization of soft matter. National Science Foundation. Role: Co-I; (PI: Jessica Bickel & Kiril Streletzky); 2017-2020; $312,303.

Development of Micromixer based Microreactors for Nanoparticle Synthesis. CSU Summer Research Award. Role: PI; 2016; $8560.

Prevention and control of cross-contamination of fresh produce during commercial wash cycle. CSU Faculty Research Development Award. Role: Co-PI; 2015-2016; $24,908.

MRI: Acquisition of an integrated atomic force microscope/ Inverted optical microscope for interdisciplinary research at Cleveland State University. National Science Foundation. Role: PI; 2013-2016; $289,939.

Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP). National Science Foundation. Role: Faculty Advisor; 2012-2015; $126,000.

Mechanisms of glioma cell migration. CSU Faculty Research Development Award. Role: PI; 2012-2013; $19,650.

Investigating axonal biology using microfluidic devices. CSU Summer Research Award. Role: PI; 2012; $9096.