Balaji Narasimhan

Balaji Narasimhan


Anson Marston Distinguished Professor in Engineering, Vlasta Klima Balloun Faculty Chair


5001 ATRB
2213 Pammel Dr.
Ames, IA 50011-1101


Selected Honors and Awards

  • Fellow, American Institute for Chemical Engineers, 2021
  • Chartered Member, Vaccines against Microbial Diseases Study Section, NIH, 2021-25
  • Fellow, National Academy of Inventors, 2020
  • Fellow, International Academy of Medical and Biological Engineering, 2019
  • Society of Biomaterials Clemson Award for Contributions to the Literature, 2019
  • ISU Award for Outstanding Achievement in Research, 2015
  • ISU College of Engineering David R Boylan Eminent Faculty Award for Research, 2015
  • Vlasta Klima Balloun Faculty Chair, 2015-
  • Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science, 2011
  • Plenary Speaker for Area 15, Annual AIChE Meeting, Minneapolis, MN, 2011
  • IITSINE Alumni Service Award, 2011
  • Vlasta Klima Balloun Professor of Engineering, 2010 Iowa State University
  • Award for Mid-Career Achievement in Research, 2008 Fellow, American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering, 2008
  • Named by MIT’s Technology Review Magazine as one of the World’s Top 100 Young Innovators with the TR100 Award, 2003
  • ISU Foundation Early Excellence in Research Award, 2003
  • 3M Non-Tenured Faculty Award, 2003
  • ISU Engineering Student Council Leadership Award, 2002
  • Whitaker Foundation Biomedical Engineering Research Award, 2000
  • Best Doctoral Dissertation in Mathematics, Physical Sciences, and Engineering, Purdue University, 1996


  • Ph.D. Chemical Engineering, Purdue University, 1996
  • B.S. Chemical Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay, 1992

Research Interests


Dr. Narasimhan’s research is focused on the molecular design of nanoscale polymer systems and biomaterials to precisely control molecular architecture and functionality in these systems. His research has received funding from NIH, DOD, NSF, USDA, VA, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Whitaker Foundation, the Roy J. Carver Foundation, the W.M. Keck Foundation, the Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation, and industry. His current research thrusts are in the areas of engineered biomaterials for controlled delivery of drugs, peptides, and vaccines, metabolically optimized nanovaccines, and functionalized nanomedicines. 


Selected Recent Publications 

  • L Liu, MJ Wannemuehler, and B Narasimhan, “Biomaterial nanocarrier-driven mechanisms to modulate anti-tumor immunity,” Current Opinion Biomed Eng 20, 100322 (2021). doi: 10.1016/j.cobme.2021.100322
  • S Senapati, RJ Darling, KA Ross, MJ Wannemuehler, B Narasimhan, and SK Mallapragada, “Self-assembling synthetic nanoadjuvant scaffolds crosslink B cell receptors and represent new platform technology for therapeutic antibody production,” Sci Adv 7(32), eabj1691 (2021). doi: 10.1126/sciadv.abj1691
  • SM Kelly, KR Larsen, R Darling, BH Bellaire, MJ Wannemuehler, and B Narasimhan, “Single-dose combination nanovaccine induces both rapid and durable humoral immunity and toxin neutralizing antibody responses against Bacillus anthracis,” Vaccine 39(29), 3862-70 (2021)
  • LM Stephens, KA Ross, KL Legge, JS McLellan, B Narasimhan, and SM Varga, “Prefusion F-based polyanhydride nanovaccine induces both humoral and cell-mediated immunity resulting in long-lasting protection against respiratory syncytial virus,” J Immunol 206(9), 2122-34 (2021). doi: 10.4049/jimmunol.2100018
  • AS Mullis, N Peroutka-Bigus, KS Phadke, BH Bellaire, and B Narasimhan, “Nanomedicines to counter microbial barriers and antimicrobial resistance,” Current Opinion Chem Eng 31, 100672 (2021). doi: 10.1016/j.coche.2021.100672
  • BW Schlichtmann, M Hepker, B Palanisamy, M John, V Anantharam, AG Kanthasamy, B Narasimhan, and SK Mallapragada, “Nanotechnology-mediated therapeutic strategies against synucleopathies in neurodegenerative disease,” Current Opinion Chem Eng 31, 100673 (2021). doi: 10.1016/j.coche.2021.100673
  • L Liu, P Kshirsagar, J Christiansen, SK Gautam, A Aithal, M Gulati, S Kumar, JC Solheim, SK Batra, M Jain, MJ Wannemuehler, and B Narasimhan, “Polyanhydride nanoparticles stabilize pancreatic cancer antigen MUC4β,” J Biomed Mater Res 109A(6), 893-902 (2021)
  • T Mania, E Grego, P Boggiatto, RE Sacco, B Narasimhan, and JL McGill, “Applications of nanovaccines for disease prevention in cattle,” Front Bioeng Biotechnol 8, 608050 (2020). doi: 10.3389/fbioe.2020.608050
  • E Grego, A Siddoway, M Uz, L Liu, J Christiansen, SM Kelly, KA Ross, SK Mallapragada, MJ Wannemuehler, and B Narasimhan, “Polymeric nanoparticle-based vaccine adjuvants and delivery vehicles,” Current Topics Microbiol Immunol (2020). doi: 10.1007/82_2020_226
  • BW Schlichtmann, N Kondru, M Hepker, AG Kanthasamy, V Anantharam, M John, B Ban, SK Mallapragada, and B Narasimhan, “Enzyme immunoassay-based platform for accurate detection of serum pathological alpha synuclein in Parkinson’s Disease patients,” ACS Chem Neurosci 11, 4179-90 (2020)
  • RJ Darling, S Senapati, J Christiansen, L Liu, AE Ramer-Tait, B Narasimhan, and MJ Wannemuehler, “Polyanhydride nanoparticles provide low inflammatory dendritic cell activation and antigen delivery leading to improved CD8+ T cell memory and delayed tumor progression,” Int J Nanomed 15, 6579-92 (2020)
  • E Norris, AS Mullis, Y Phanse, LC Bartholomay, B Narasimhan, and JR Coats, “Biodistribution of biodegradable polyanhydride particles in Aedes aegypti,” PLoS Neg Trop Dis 14(9), e0008365 (2020)
  • A Thukral, KA Ross, B Narasimhan, H Steinberg, and AM Talaat, “A single dose polyanhydride-based nanovaccine against Johne’s disease,” npj Vaccines 5, 15 (2020). doi: 10.1038/s41541-020-0164-y
  • SM Kelly, A Mitra, S Mathur, and B Narasimhan, “Synthesis and characterization of novel rapidly-degrading polyanhydrides as vaccine adjuvants,” ACS Biomater Sci Eng 6, 265-76 (2020)
  • DA Wagner-Muniz, SM Kelly, N Peroutka-Bigus, RJ Darling, AC Petersen, BH Bellaire, MJ Wannemuehler, and B Narasimhan, “Single dose combination nanovaccine induces both rapid and long-lived protection against pneumonic plague,” Acta Biomater 100, 326-37 (2019)
  • S Dhakal, S Ghimire, S Renu, KA Ross, YS Lakshmanappa, BT Hogshead, P Bernardo, CW Lee, MJ Wannemuehler, B Narasimhan, and GJ Renukaradhya, “Evaluation of CpG-adjuvanted polyanhydride-based intranasal influenza nanovaccine in pigs,” Vet Microbiol 237, 108401 (2019). doi: 10.1016/j.vetmic.2019.108401
  • JL McGill, SM Kelly, M Guerra-Maupome, E Winkley, J Henningson, B Narasimhan, and RE Sacco, “Vitamin A deficiency impairs the immune response to intranasal vaccination and RSV infection in neonatal calves,” Sci Rep 9(1), 15157 (2019). doi: 10.1038/s41598-019-51684-x
  • EI Wafa, SM Geary, KA Ross, JT Goodman, B Narasimhan, and AK Salem, “Pentaerythritol-based lipid A bolsters the antitumor efficacy of a polyanhydride particle-based cancer vaccine,” Nanomedicine: Nanotechnol Biol Med 21, 102055 (2019). doi: 10.1016/j.nano.2019.102055
  • BA Kingstad-Bakke, SS Chandrasekar, Y Phanse, KA Ross, S Marulasiddappa, Y Kawaoka, JE Osorio, B Narasimhan, and AM Talaat, “Effective mosaic-based nanovaccines against avian influenza in poultry,” Vaccine 37, 5051-8 (2019)
  • AS Mullis, SR Broderick, AM Binnebose, N Peroutka-Bigus, BH Bellaire, K Rajan, and B Narasimhan, “Data analytics approach for rational design of nanomedicines with programmable drug release,” Mol Pharmaceutics 16, 1917-28 (2019)
  • K Banerjee, S Gautam, P Kshirsagar, KA Ross, G Spagnol, P Sorgen, MJ Wannemuehler, B Narasimhan, S Kumar, SK Batra, and M Jain, “Amphiphilic polyanhydride-based recombinant MUC4-nanovaccine activates dendritic cells,” Genes & Cancer 10(3-4), 52-62 (2019)
  • SM Kelly, A Upadhyay, A Mitra, and B Narasimhan, “Analyzing drug release kinetics from water-soluble polymers,” Ind Chem Eng Res 58, 7428-37 (2019)
  • RJ Darling, S Senapati, SM Kelly, ML Kohut, B Narasimhan, and MJ Wannemuehler, “STING pathway stimulation results in a differentially activated innate immune phenotype associated with low nitric oxide and enhanced antibody titers in young and aged mice,” Vaccine 37(20), 2721-30 (2019)
  • M Espinosa-Cotton, SN Rodman, KA Ross, I Jensen, K Miller, AJ McLaren, R Dahl, K Gibson-Corley, V Badovinac, B Narasimhan, and AL Simons, “Interleukin-1 alpha modulates anti-tumor efficacy of cetuximab in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma,” J ImmunoTher Cancer 7, 79-95 (2019)
  • S Senapati, RJ Darling, D Loh, IC Schneider, MJ Wannemuehler, B Narasimhan, and SK Mallapragada, “Pentablock copolymer micelle nanoadjuvants enhance cytosolic delivery of antigen and improve vaccine efficacy while inducing low inflammation,” ACS Biomater Sci Eng 5(3), 1332-42 (2019)
  • KA Ross, S Senapati, JR Alley, RJ Darling, JT Goodman, M Jefferson, M Uz, B Guo, KJ Yoon, DA Verhoeven, ML Kohut, SK Mallapragada, MJ Wannemuehler, and B Narasimhan, “Single dose combination nanovaccine provides protection against influenza A virus in young and aged mice,” Biomater Sci 7, 809-21 (2019)
  • PA Lueth, SL Haughney, AM Binnebose, AS Mullis, ND Peroutka-Bigus, B Narasimhan, and BH Bellaire, “Nanotherapeutic provides dose sparing and improved antimicrobial activity against Brucella melitensis infections,” J Contr Rel 294, 288-97 (2019)
  • Z Zacharias, KA Ross, EE Hornick, JT Goodman, B Narasimhan, TJ Waldschmidt, and KL Legge, “Polyanhydride nanovaccine induces robust pulmonary B and T cell immunity and confers protection against homologous and heterologous influenza A virus infections,” Front Immunol 9, 1953 doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2018.01953 (2018)
  • TM Brenza, BW Schlichtmann, B Bhargavan, JE Vela Ramirez, RD Nelson, MG Panthani, JM McMillan, B Kalyanaraman, HE Gendelman, V Anantharam, AG Kanthasamy, SK Mallapragada, B Narasimhan, and GD Kanmogne, “Biodegradable polyanhydride-based nanomedicines for blood to brain drug delivery,” J Biomed Mater Res A 106(11), 2881-90 (2018)
  • S Renu, S Dhakal, E Kim, JT Goodman, YS Lakshmanappa, MJ Wannemuehler, B Narasimhan, PN Boyaka, and GJ Renukaradhya, “Differential expression of B cell activation factor regulates breadth of antibody responses to nanoparticle-based nasal vaccines,” Cellular Immunol 329, 27-30 (2018)
  • JT Goodman, AS Mullis, L Dunshee, A Mitra, and B Narasimhan, “Automated high throughput synthesis of protein-loaded polyanhydride nanoparticle libraries,” ACS Comb Sci 20(5), 298-307 (2018)
  • L Sharpe, JE Vela Ramirez, O Haddadin, KA Ross, B Narasimhan, and NA Peppas, “pH-responsive microencapsulation systems for the oral delivery of polyanhydride nanoparticles,” Biomacromolecules 19(3), 793-802 (2018)
  • DA Wagner-Muniz, SL Haughney, SM Kelly, MJ Wannemuehler, and B Narasimhan, “Room temperature stable PspA-based nanovaccine induces protective immunity,” Front Immunol 9, 325 doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2018.00325 (2018)
  • JL McGill, SM Kelly, P Kumar, S Speckhart, SL Haughney, J Henningson, B Narasimhan, and RE Sacco, “Efficacy of a mucosal, polyanhydride nanovaccine for use against respiratory syncytial virus infection in the neonatal calf,” Sci Rep 8, 3021 doi:10.1038/s41598-018-21292-2 (2018)
  • R Schaut, M Brewer, JM Hostetter, K Mendoza, J Vela Ramirez, SM Kelly, J Jackman, G Dell’Anna, JM Howard, B Narasimhan, W Zhou, and DE Jones, A single dose polyanhydride-based vaccine platform promotes and maintains anti-GnRH antibody titers,” Vaccine 36, 1016-23 (2018)
  • K Banerjee, S Kumar, KA Ross, B Poelaert, MW Nasser, S Gautam, A Aithal, R Bhatia, MJ Wannemuehler, B Narasimhan, JC Solheim, SK Batra, and M Jain, “Emerging trends in the immunotherapy of pancreatic cancer,” Cancer Lett 417, 35-46 (2018)