Division Chairs

Biomaterial Interfaces

Sapun Parekh

University of Texas at Austin
E-mail: sapun_parekh @ avs.org

SAPUN PAREKH is an Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Texas in Austin, where he also finished his undergraduate studies in Electrical Engineering in 2002. In 2008, Parekh finished his Ph.D. at the University of California at Berkeley under the mentorship of Dan Fletcher where he worked on developing force microscopy tools to study polymerization of actin networks and established some of the first in vitro measurements of dendritic actin networks and build a new-at-the-time side-view atomic force microscope. As a postdoc he moved to the National Institute of Standards and Technology in Gaithersburg, Maryland as a National Research Council Fellow working on stem cell mechanobiology and bioimaging with coherent Raman microscopy. He developed one of the first broadband coherent Raman instruments that could be used in cellular imaging and was the first to use the technology in characterizing stem cell differentiation.

After a 1.5 year stay as an American Association of the Advancement of Science Policy Fellow at the National Science Foundation, he was appointed as a group leader at the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research in 2012 and held this position (with tenure) until December 2018. During this time, his group further developed coherent Raman and nonlinear fluorescence microscopy to study molecular biophysics of materials and cells, using the these measured to produce spatially resolved protein structural measurements in cells and biomaterials to better understand the molecular basis of pathology. Since 2019, he has returned to Texas and continued his work, further expanding in cancer biophysics and instrumentation development for cellular diagnostics.

His research interests are focused on the broad areas of protein networks in biomaterials and cells, mechanochemical signaling in cancer, and protein aggregation in neurodegeneration and diabetes. His expertise includes high precision optical and force microscopy instrumentation, experimental cellular biophysics, biomaterials, polymer characterization.

Prof. Parekh has received a number of awards including being chosen as an Advanced Bioimaging Fellow from Scialog, a Marie Curie Integration grant, a Human Frontier in Science Grant, and an NSF CAREER award.