Rohit Pappu

Rohit Pappu

Gene K. Beare Distinguished Professor

Biomedical Engineering

  • Phone
  • Office
    Brauer Hall, Room 2015a


PhD, Tufts University, 1996
MS, Tufts University, 1993
BSc, Bangalore University, 1990


Uncovers the biophysical principles of intrinsically disordered proteins & their connection to cellular processes


Rohit Pappu's research focuses on the form, functions and phase transitions of intrinsically disordered proteins and multivalent macromolecules. His work, which is driven by a combination of polymer physics theories, computational biophysics, machine learning and biochemical experiments in vitro and in living cells, is aimed at understanding how molecular matter is organized in space and time within cells. These foundational studies have a direct impact on the mechanisms that underlie the onset of neurodegeneration and the processes that enable cell proliferation in cancer. The specific neurodegenerative diseases that Pappu focuses on include Huntington’s disease and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Pappu’s work is also enabling the design and discovery of novel, responsive protein- and peptide-based biomaterials for a variety of biotechnological applications. Pappu is a Mercator fellow of the German Research Foundation, fellow of the Biophysical Society, fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineers, and fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.


Professor Pappu joined Washington University in St. Louis in 2001. He received his PhD in biological physics from Tufts University and completed two biophysics postdoctoral fellowships at Washington University and Johns Hopkins University Schools of Medicine. Professor Pappu is the director of the Center for Biomolecular Condensates, co-director of the Center for High Performance Computing, and a member of the Hope Center for Neurological Disorders.