Kaustubh D. Bhalerao

Associate Professor

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Kaustubh Bhalerao obtained his M.S. and Ph.D degrees from Department of Food, Agricultural and Biological Engineering at The Ohio State University in 2001 and 2004 respectively. His doctoral dissertation was on the reliability of micro electromechanical systems used in biological applications (BioMEMS). He is an associate professor and has been a faculty member in the Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering since 2005.

His current research interests include synthetic biology, biological nanotechnology, social and environmental implications of emerging technologies as well as implications of biological evolution to understanding biological control. He has developed and published synthetic genetic circuits inside bacteria that conceptually resemble electronic circuits, and can be used to manipulate the inner workings of living cells. This research has been featured through several media outlets. He is currently working on developing biocontrol strategies involving virus-like nanoparticles for controlling pathogens relevant to agriculture and human health.

He teaches several courses spanning biological nanotechnology, computational analysis in bioengineering and instrumentation. He has served as an iGEM adviser since the inception of the University of Illinois iGEM team, and has served as a judge for the iGEM competition. He has been invited to national workshops on the regulatory and environmental issues surrounding synthetic biology.