Dr. Balabhaskar Prabhakar Pandian is an M.Sc. in Biotechnology from IIT Bombay in 1997. Later, he obtained his M.S. degree in the Joint Program in Biomedical Engineering between the University of Tennessee and the University of Memphis, and his Ph.D. degree in Engineering from Temple University, Philadelphia, PA, USA.
As part of his M.S. thesis, Dr. Pandian developed an experimental model to study the interaction between radiation damaged vascular cells and white blood cells under physiological fluid flow conditions. The results obtained from his work led to the development of a patented technology for dual radiation-chemotherapy treatment for cancer patients. He received several awards including the outstanding student award and travel awards from the Biomedical Engineering Society and Radiation Research Society to present his research work. He joined CFD Research Corporation in May of 2000 with a primary focus on development of an experimental facility.
Dr. Pandian was inducted into Sigma Xi, Scientific Research Society in 2002. While working on a drug particle adhesion project using static well plates and linear flow chambers, he wrote a grant to the National Institute of Health for development of a Synthetic Microvascular Network (SMN) which reproduced the in vivo morphological, physiological and cellular conditions observed in the microvasculature in a disposable microfluidic platform. This SMN platform was able to accurately predict the in vivo behaviour of drug particles and cells, and formed the core of his research for the Ph.D. degree in Engineering from Temple University, Philadelphia.
Dr. Pandian currently leads a multidisciplinary group of engineers and scientists focused on research and development of microfluidic/nanofluidic-based biological systems, biomedical devices and systems biology. He also serves on the review panel of the National Science Foundation, the American Heart Association, and as an External Associate of VIBRE, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN, USA. He has served as a consultant to several academic institutions, including on the advisory board of the Biomedical Engineering Program at the University of Arkansas and is part of several dissertation committees in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, Temple University. He has more than 50 publications and presentations to his credit and has been an invited speaker at several academic institutions. He also has more than 15 patents awarded or pending.
Some of the key technologies developed under his guidance include the SynVivo family of devices and assays comprising 3D tumor assays, Blood Brain Barrier models, and µHuman-on-Chip assays for drug toxicity. Other technologies developed include a cell sorting device, a microfluidic assay for automated isolation of radiation damaged cells and omic data based systems biological approaches for phenotype prediction. He was recently awarded a Tech Brief Certificate from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration for the development of an automated nucleic acid extraction device.
Dr. Pandian is now focused on developing the next generation of physiological relevant assays, biomedical devices and systems biology platforms and looks forward to the applications of these ‘novel methodologies for improving human health.