Faculty Mentors

T. M. Murali
Murali is an associate professor in the Department of Computer Science at Virginia Tech. He co-directs the ICTAS Center for Systems Biology of Engineered Tissues. He is also affiliated with the Genetics, Bioinformatics and Computational Biology graduate programme. Murali's research group develops phenomenological and predictive models dealing with the function, behaviour, and properties of large-scale molecular interaction networks in the cell. He received his undergraduate degree in computer science from the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras and his Sc. M. and Ph. D. degrees from Brown University.

Padma Rajagopalan
Rajagopalan is an associate professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering at Virginia Tech and the Virginia Tech-Wake Forest School of Biomedical Engineering and Sciences. She directs the ICTAS Center for Systems Biology of Engineered Tissues. Her group focuses on the development of model tissue constructs or functional tissue units and the study of cell-substratum interactions. These tissue constructs mimic the native structure of tissues "in vivo" and to systematically probe cellular response to a variety of cues. Another major focus of her lab is the quantification of cell-substratum interactions via studies of how chemical and mechanical properties of an underlying substratum affect cellular motility and contractility. An increasing focus of her research is exploiting computationally-driven tissue engineering to develop models to predict tissue function, for example, to understand basic liver biology and to study the toxic effects of environmental chemicals on the liver.

Richard Helm
Helm The laboratory of Professor Helm in the Department of Biochemistry focuses on understanding the biochemistry and cell biology of cell/organism quiescence. In essence what are the processes and strategies used by organisms to turn off metabolic activity and become dormant? Application of such processes to mammalian cells could lead to the development of robust cell-based biosensors, long-term storage of labile cell and cell components, and vaccines that do not require refrigeration. Professor Helm has expertise in protein identification by mass spectrometry, NMR spectroscopy, and glycobiology. He directs the Virginia Tech Mass Spec Incubator.

2013 Program Dates: May 28 - August 3
Application deadline is February 4, 2013

Computationally-Driven Experimental Biology in Engineered Tissues is funded by NSF Award No. DBI-1062380