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Raj Raghavendra Rao

Raj Raghavendra Rao

Professor, Department Head and George M. and Boyce W. Billingsley Endowed Chair in Engineering

Biomedical Engineering

College of Engineering

(BMEG)-Biomedical Engineering

Phone: 479-575-8610

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Raj R. Rao, Ph.D. is Professor and Department Head, Biomedical Engineering and is the holder of the George M. and Boyce W. Billingsley Endowed Chair in Engineering in the College of Engineering, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville. He previously served on the faculty in the Department of Chemical and Life Science Engineering in the VCU School of Engineering with an affiliate appointment in the Department of Human and Molecular Genetics in the VCU School of Medicine. Rao received a dual degree in Chemical Engineering [BE(Hons)] and Biology [MSc(Hons) from the Birla Institute of Technology and Sciences, Pilani, India (1993), earned an MS in Biotechnology from the University of Texas, San Antonio (1996) and a Ph.D. in Biological Engineering from the University of Georgia (2001). Following completion of his graduate studies, he conducted postdoctoral research at the Regenerative Bioscience Center, The University of Georgia and then joined the faculty at VCU in the Fall of 2005. His research interests are in the broad area of cellular engineering that utilize interdisciplinary approaches towards development of enabling technologies for regenerative biomedical therapies. With primary support from NIH and NSF, his research and educational programs have contributed to 50+ journal articles, book chapters and conference proceedings; 80+ conference abstracts; and 70+ invited lectures. He is committed to integration of research and education and is actively involved in the dissemination of scientific expertise through organization of training workshops and development of educational modules for K-12 students and the general public. He has served on program committees for conferences organized by the American Institute of Chemical Engineering, the Biomedical Engineering Society and the American Chemical Society. He was recently nominated to serve as the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Biological Engineering, and also serves on the Editorial Board for the Frontiers in Stem Cell Research and the Journal of Stem Cell Research and Therapeutics. Awards and Honors include the NSF-CAREER, Qimonda Professorship and VCU Engineering Student Council Outstanding Professor Award.

Stem Cell Bioprocessing; Biomaterials; Biomarkers; Pluripotency; Genomic Stability; Cancer Stem Cells; Cellular Reprogramming; Neural and Cardiovascular Bioengineering; Regenerative Medicine; International Engineering Education.

  • BE (Hons) Chemical Engineering; Birla Institute of Technology and Technology and Sciences, Pilani, India (1993)
  • MSc (Hons) Biological Sciences; Birla Institute of Technology and Technology and Sciences, Pilani, India (1993)
  • MS Biotechnology; University of Texas at San Antonio, TX, USA. (1996). 
  • PhD Biological Engineering; University of Georgia, Athens, GA, USA (2001). 

2016- George M. and Boyce W. Billingsley Endowed Chair in Engineering 

2016- Editor-in-Chief, Journal of Biological Engineering, BioMed Central

2008-2013: Faculty Early Development (CAREER) award, US National Science Foundation.

2008-2011: Qimonda Professor of Chemical and Life Science Engineering.