BTEC leadership update: Dr. Bala Rao named director of academic programs
Published Nov. 6, 2018
Bala Rao, Ph.D., now serves as BTEC's director of academic programs, effective Nov. 1, 2018. Dr. Rao is an associate professor in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering (CBE) and will continue in that capacity.
“BTEC welcomes Bala and is excited to have him join us as director of academic programs,” said BTEC Acting Executive Director Gary Gilleskie. “In this position, Bala will lead BTEC's existing academic programs, as well as lead the development of new programs and curriculum. BTEC has always had a close relationship with the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, and I am certain that Bala's affiliation with both units will help to keep this partnership strong.” Almost 40% of undergraduates taking BTEC courses are CBE majors.
Dr. Rao’s research group focuses on two areas: molecular mechanisms regulating early human placental development, with emphasis on use of human embryonic stem cells derived from in vitro models; and molecular recognition using non-antibody proteins and peptides, with emphasis on building novel tools for cell biology applications. Prior to joining NC State, Dr. Rao completed postdoctoral work at the University of Toronto. He obtained his doctorate in chemical engineering from MIT.
BTEC's previous director of academic programs, Dr. Michael Flickinger, retired earlier this year.