Principal Investigator

Ramya Kumar Bio2

Ramya Kumar, PhD

Colorado School of Mines
Office: 337 Alderson Hall

B.E. (Hons.) Chemical Engineering
BITS Pilani, Pilani Campus, 2009

Curriculum Vitae

Ramya Kumar was born in Madurai, India and raised in the coastal city of Chennai (Madras), where she completed her schooling.

Education and training

  • Postdoc, Dept of Chemistry, University of Minnesota, 2021
  • PhD, Chemical Engineering, University of Michigan, 2018
  • B.E. (Hons.) Chemical Engineering, 2009

Professional Experience

  • Assistant Professor, Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering (Jan 2022 onwards)

Awards & Honors

Ramya was fortunate to be awarded the Rackham Predoctoral Fellowship through a university-level competition, which allowed her to chart an independent and ambitious course of research in her final year. She also received a Procter & Gamble Team Innovation Award, the Towner Prize for Outstanding Graduate Student Instructor and several poster prizes.

  • PMSE Future Faculty Scholar, 2019 [PMSE]
  • Spring career development award, 2019 [UMN Postdoctoral Association]
  • Finalist, AIChE graduate student awards, Biomaterials, 2017 [AIChE]
  • Rackham Predoctoral Fellowship, 2017-18, University of Michigan [Rackham]
  • Departmental nominee, 2018, Richard & Eleanor Towner Prize for Outstanding PhD research, College of Engineering, University of Michigan
  • Poster award, Second Place, Material Science & Engineering session, Engineering Graduate Symposium, 2016, University of Michigan [EGS UMICH]
  • Procter & Gamble Team Innovation Award, 2016, 40th Annual Macro Symposium, Department of Macromolecular Science & Engineering, University of Michigan. Presented a poster that was recognized for innovative and collaborative research.
  • Richard & Eleanor Towner Prize for outstanding Graduate Student Instructor (GSI), 2016, University of Michigan. For exceptional & innovative teaching. [UMich Engineering]
  • Poster award, First Place, Material & Chemical Technology session,Engineering Graduate Symposium, 2014, University of Michigan [EGS UMICH]
  • College of Engineering fellowship for incoming students from Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Michigan, September-December 2012.
  • Monali Dey Memorial Award, BITS Pilani, December 2008, alumni memorial award for the most outstanding chemical engineering undergraduate in a graduating class

Current Lab Members

Adam Humpal
Adam Humpal
PhD Student  

Adam graduated from the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities in spring 2022 with a degree in Materials Science and Engineering. While there he was involved in two research projects. The first involved the fabrication of printed radio frequency identification antennas using self-aligned capillarity-assisted lithography for electronics (Prof. Lorraine Francis and Prof. Daniel Frisbie). His second undergraduate research experience focused on the identification of Frank-Kasper phases in tetrablock copolymers (Prof. Frank Bates). Currently, he is pursuing a Ph.D. in Materials Science with research interests in developing versatile polymeric drug delivery platforms. His hobbies are cross-country skiing, rock climbing, camping, and hiking. Adam is co-advised by Prof. Anuj Chauhan.

Jessica Lawson
Jessica Lawson
PhD Student  

Jessica received her undergraduate degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in Materials Science and Engineering in Spring 2022. There, she performed undergraduate research in designing polymers for 3D printing using frontal polymerization (at Prof. Nancy Sottos’ lab). She is currently pursuing her Ph.D. in Materials Science, focusing on developing self-assembled polymer systems for biomaterial applications. Her research interests are primarily in polymer synthesis and characterization. Some of her interests outside of research include cooking, baking, playing soccer and volleyball with friends. Jessica was awarded an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship in 2023.

Ram Prasad Sekar
Ram Prasad Sekar
Postdoctoral Fellow   LinkedIn  
Ram received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Pharmaceutical Sciences from Madras Medical College in Chennai, India, where he worked on the synthesis and characterization of silver nanoparticles for drug delivery applications. He completed Ph.D. degree from Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IITM) (2014-2020) under the supervision of Prof.A.Jayakrishnan and Prof. T.S.Sampath Kumar. His doctoral thesis mainly focused on combinational delivery of anticancer drugs, developing bone void substitutes and multidrug encapsulated ceramic/polymer grafted nanoparticles for bone cancer therapy. He also had a brief career in the pharmaceutical sector, successfully transferring lab-scale drug formulations to pilot-scale production. He recently completed a research associate position at the Rajiv Gandhi Center for Biotechnology (RGCB) in India, where he worked on polymer drug conjugates for brain targeted drug delivery. Ram is more passionate about developing novel therapeutic systems for complex diseases, as well as nanoformulations, materials characterization and biomaterials. Aside from academic research, he enjoys spending time with family and friends, traveling to new places, cooking new dishes in his own unique style, and reading fiction books.

Claire Nelson
Claire Nelson
Undergraduate Student  

Claire is an undergraduate student in majoring in chemistry. Her current research interests are investigating the physical properties of substrate-grafted brush polymers. When not in the lab, you can find her playing and listening to classical music, baking desserts, or learning how to ski.

Aryelle Wright
Aryelle Wright
Masters Student   Profile   LinkedIn  

As a master’s student in Quantitative Bioscience Engineering, Aryelle is keenly exploring the intersection of academia and athletics. Having earned her Bachelor of Science Quantitative Bioscience Engineering in May 2023, she’s currently delving into a focused thesis study on the efficiency and safety of cationic polymer transfection. In addition to her academic pursuits, Aryelle modestly contributes to her college’s athletic community as the Varsity Track and Field Captain for the women’s team, achieving All-American status in the 800m, and holding six school records. Committed to supporting a diverse and inclusive environment, she has transitioned from the role of DEI Chair to President within the Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC), advocating for equity and understanding within both the academic and athletic realms.