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Faculty Scholars

Faculty Scholar Apparao Rao, Ph.D. at  Clemson University, Clemson South Carolina

Apparao M. Rao, Ph.D.

R.A. Bowen Professor
Department of Physics and Astronomy
Clemson University

Contact: 864-656-6759 or arao@clemson.edu  


Who is Professor Rao?

Apparao Rao is currently the R. A. Bowen Professor of Physics and a Fellow of the American Physical Society and AAAS. He received his PhD in physics from University of Kentucky in 1989 and subsequently served as a post-doctoral research associate at MIT until 1991. Later, he joined University of Kentucky as a research assistant professor before coming to Clemson in 2000. His laboratory is dedicated to understanding the atomic, magnetic, electrical, optical, and biophysical/biochemical properties of micro- and nano-structured materials. Apparao’s research interests include the characterization and applications of carbon nanotubes, semiconducting nanobelts, nanowires and thermoelectric materials. His group's strength lies in the ability to synthesize several nano-structured materials (using various growth techniques such as electrical arc, chemical vapor deposition and pulsed laser vaporization) and explore the fundamental physics in nanostructured systems (using a wide range of characterization techniques such as Raman scattering, infrared, UV-visible, fluorescence, non-linear optical spectroscopy, harmonic detection of resonance method, atomic force microscopy, electron microscopy and electrical transport measurements). In addition to two grants from NSF and one grant from DOE/SCUREF, he is presently serving as the principal investigator on NIH/NIEHS R15 grant to understand the interactions of nanomaterials with biomolecules.

How Professor Rao's research is transforming health care

The advancement of nanotechnology applications in many fields such as health care, energy, and transportation relies on the resolution of the potential toxicity of ENMs to living organisms and the environment. For instance, there are more than 40 nanopharmaceuticals in routine clinical use and many more nano-products for cancer treatment are in the pipeline for approval. Despite concerted research efforts in nanotoxicity, there is still a wide gap in the understanding of ENM interactions with living organisms. His research focus at Clemson is elucidating the fundamental interactions between nanomaterials and biomolecules. This research will ultimately help the bench-to-bedside transition of nanomedicine.


Health Research Expertise Keywords

Biophysics, Nanoparticles, Cancer Screening, Drug Delivery, In-vitro Experimentation, Safety