He is currently the Edwin H. Murty Professor of Engineering in the Department of Biomedical Engineering and Director of the Center for the Science & Engineering of Living Systems (CSELS) at Washington University in St. Louis.
During his time at Washington University, Dr. Pappu has served as the founding co-Director of the Center for High Performance Computing, the founding Director of the Center for Biological Systems Engineering, a member of the Center for Computational Biology, and a member of the Hope Center for Neurological Disorders. He joined as an assistant professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering in 2001.
In addition to intrinsically disordered proteins (IDPs), Dr. Pappu’s research also focuses on the physical principles underlying protein aggregation and their associations with neurodegeneration, specifically Huntington’s disease, the polymer physics of protein and RNA phase separation focusing specifically on uncovering how sequences encode the driving forces for phase transitions, and leveraging the emerging understanding of IDPs and phase separation to design soft materials with bespoke properties.
He has been elected a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Institute for Biological and Medical Engineers, and the Biophysical Society. He is currently an editorial board member of the Biophysical Journal and a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the Max Planck Institute for Cell Biology and Genetics in Dresden, Germany.
Dr. Pappu received his PhD in Biological Physics from Tufts University in 1996 and completed two postdoctoral fellowships in Molecular Biophysics at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore.