B. L. Ramakrishna, Ph.D.
My research interests are in two areas -1) Biomineralization, and 2) Science Education. The problems in Biomineralization that we are interested in lie at the crossroads of Biology and Materials Science & Engineering. We investigate biological supramolecular assemblies such as proteins, membranes, and DNA that are capable of incorporating inorganic solids and precisely control their size, shape, and orientation at the nanometer scale. The work will lead to understanding the design principles behind the synthesis of biominerals by a variety of living systems such as plants, fungi and microbes. These are not only fascinating from the fundamental point of view but also have many potential applications. Specifically, in the area of environmental nanobiotechnology, the interest is to investigate the sequestration of heavy metals such as cadmium, copper and lead by plants and microbes with the final goal being the potential applications in bioremediation, prospecting and mining in Arizona as well as for nanosensors. I am committed to bring about innovations in science education by infusion of cutting-edge research through student-scientist partnerships, visualization based technologies, and leading-edge telecommunications. I am exploring mechanisms and methodologies to forge sustainable partnerships between graduate education and K-12 science classrooms and studying their impact on reforming graduate education.