Using state-of-the-art approaches, undergraduate, graduate, and postdoctoral students in research labs in the WPI Biology and Biotechnology Department work side by side with faculty members and biotech companies to address critical problems that impact human and environmental health.

Utilizing cutting-edge technology, and enabled by world-class research infrastructure at WPI's Life Sciences and Bioengineering Center, our faculty explore diverse research interests that include topics ranging from cancer biology, neurobiology and microbiology research to studies of brain plasticity and pollinator decline. Student-driven research benefits from close mentorship by dynamic faculty who encourage creativity and inquisitiveness. Driven by interdisciplinary teams of WPI faculty and industry partners, research at WPI is making an impact.

Research Faculty

Tanja Dominko

Investigation of the molecular basis of extracellular environment on gene expression, life span and developmental potential of human cells for applications in regenerative medicine, wound healing and cancer. Learn more about the Dominko lab’s research.

Joseph Duffy

Defining signaling pathways that program cellular diversity and underlie oncogenic and neurodegenerative diseases. Learn more about the Duffy lab’s research.

Natalie Farny

Understanding relationships between cells and their environments.  Using cell biology and synthetic biology approaches to study cellular stress and response to environmental contaminants.  Learn more about Farny​ lab's research.

Amity Manning

Defining regulators of chromatin structure and genome stability in cancer. Learn more about the Manning lab’s research.

Lauren Mathews

Understanding the behavioral and evolutionary processes that affect and generate biological diversity, particularly in aquatic ecosystems and plant-insect interactions. Learn more about the Mathews lab’s research.

Inna Nechipurenko

Uncovering signaling mechanisms of neuronal cilia assembly and function. Learn more about the Nechipurenko's lab’s research.

Reeta Prusty Rao

Infectious Disease research, specifically identification of fungal virulence factors, host defense mechanisms, and novel antimicrobial therapeutics. Learn more about the Rao lab’s research.

Elizabeth F Ryder

Bioinformatics and computational approaches to understanding biological systems. Learn more about the Ryder lab’s research.

Scarlet Shell

Unraveling the mysteries of mycobacterial stress response pathways by investigating the relationships between gene regulation and tolerance of antibiotics and environmental stressors. Learn more about the Shell lab’s research.

Jagan Srinivasan

Defining how neurons interpret social signals both individually and as members of a circuit to produce specific behaviors. Learn more about the Srinivasan lab’s research.

Luis Vidali

Understanding the molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying the role of the cytoskeleton in plant cell organization and growth. Learn more about the Vidali lab’s research.

Pamela Weathers

Investigation of Artemisia annua antimalarial, antimicrobial and anti-cancer drug production in planta, and bioavailability and therapeutic efficacy in vitro and in vivo. Learn more about the Weathers lab’s research.

Biology Meets Physics

Assistant professor Luis Vidali describes his collaboration with assistant professor Erkan Tuzel of the Department of Physics to investigate cell biology and help develop a more active biophysics program at WPI.

Cells to Rebuild the Body

Associate professor Tanja Dominko is investigating plasticity of cells—manipulating skin cells, for example, to help wound healing. She discusses her NIH-recognized research.

Cultivating a New Malaria Treatment

With malaria still raging as one of the most prevalent and deadly infectious diseases of the developing world, hope for a long-lasting and effective treatment moves ahead. Professor Pam Weathers found that whole plant therapy derived from the Artemisia annua plant was more effective than conventional malaria drugs.