Professor Reeta Rao is a leader in the field of molecular genetics and genomics and has affiliate appointments at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard (Cambridge) as well as the Institute of Drug Resistance at the Univ. of Mass Medical School (Worcester). Her primary research activities are focused on emerging infectious diseases, specifically understanding and managing fungal diseases. She is deeply engaged in the Global Health and Pre Health programs at WPI. Students and research associates in her laboratory are trained to use a variety of high biochemical, molecular-genetic, and genomic tools to study host-microbe interactions to explore fungal virulence strategies and identify novel therapeutics in a high throughput fashion.
In addition, Reeta is committed to the career and professional development of scientists at all levels of training. To keep researchers engaged in Science, she has spree headed a workforce development opportunity - “Next-in-BIO”, aimed at recruiting, retaining and improving the critical skills, knowledge, and resources required for academia as well as the industry. At the Masters level, she champions a skill-based MS degree program designed to provide advanced coursework and laboratory techniques applicable to the biotechnology industry. This was recently recognized among the top two online degree programs in the country. Reeta is a fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology and a recipient of the Waksman outstanding Teacher award from the Society of Industrial Microbiology and Biotechnology. She is a member of several professional societies including, American Society for Microbiology, American Association for the Advancement of Science, Medical Mycology Society of the Americas, The Indus Entrepreneurs, International society for human and animal mycology, National Association of Inventors, Genetic Society of America as well as the Society for Industrial Microbiology and Biotechnology and serves as an academic editor for the PLOS journals.
Professional Highlights & Honors
The Worcester Business Journal covered a WPI forum on the gene-editing technology known as CRISPR. Noted in the article were: Dean, Arts and Sciences, Jean King; Assistant Professor, Social Science, Patricia Stapleton; Associate Professor, Humanities and Arts Bethel Eddy; Associate Professor, Biology and Biotechnology, Rita Rao; and Associate Teaching Professor, Chemistry and Biochemistry, Destin Heilman.
Worcester News Tonight covered a forum held at WPI on the gene-editing technology known as CRISPR.