Christopher V. Rao appointed as Department Head


Ed West

Christopher V. Rao
Christopher V. Rao

Please welcome our new Department Head, Professor Christopher V. Rao.

Professor Rao began his tenure as the Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Department Head on January 16, 2023. He succeeds Professor Paul Kenis, who proudly held this position for over the last decade. Professor Rao has been a part of the ChBE department for 18 years, starting in January 2005.

His work applies systems engineering approaches to study biological problems associated with bacterial pathogenesis, inflammation, and biofuel production. Rao looks forward to supporting our students and the department's progression into the future.

Venetria K. Patton, Harry E. Preble Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, stated,

"I am very pleased to announce that Chris Rao has agreed to serve as Head of the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, beginning January 16, 2023, pending OAE approval and approval of the Board of Trustees.  Chris has an excellent record as a scholar and leader, and we have benefited also from his leadership as a member of the LAS Executive Committee. We were very impressed with the strong support that Chris’s ChBE colleagues expressed for his taking on the role of Head, and we look forward to working with him. We are also very grateful to Brendan Harley and Huimin Zhao for their candidacy, and to Deborah Leckband for her service as Interim Head. The excellence of the faculty and staff and their willingness to serve are an outstanding foundation for ChBE in the coming years."

To connect, reach out to Professor Rao via email at