Dr. Prajnaparamita Dhar

Dr. Prajnaparamita Dhar
  • Professor
  • Director of Graduate Studies

Contact Info

Office Phone:
Department Phone:
Lab Phone:
Learned Hall, Room 4132E
1530 W. 15th Street
Lawrence, KS 66045


The primary overarching goals of the PI's research are to understand nature's rules that govern biological self-assembled processes. In particular, the PI is interested in correlating mechanical and structural properties of self-assembled biological processes that ultimately ensure proper functioning of biological systems. At the same time she is interested in developing interdisciplinary collaborations to study interesting problems in biology as well as training the next generation of scientists with interdisciplinary interests. For the past 8 years the PI has been studying interfacial phenomenon in both synthetic and biological amphiphilic molecules using both experimental techniques and theoretical analysis to understand the dynamics of self-assembly at interfaces and more recently in bulk systems. Additionally, the PI has had experience developing two different microrheology techniques (passive and active microrhelogy), both of which have been cited heavily. The PI has had more than five years of experience working with replacement lung surfactants, understanding and relating the role of lipid-protein interactions on structural and mechanical properties of lung surfactants using experimental and theoretical techniques developed by her, as well as guiding graduate and undergraduate student research projects. Her research efforts till date has been heavily cited, and was also recently featured in the NIH Directors blog.

Research interests:

  • Lipid-protein interactions
  • Surfactants at Interfaces
  • microrheology
  • microscopy
  • protein aggregation at surfaces and interfaces
  • microfluidics

Selected Publications

Antunez, Lorena, Andrea Livin``````````good, Cory Berland, and Prajna Dhar. “‘Physicochemical Properties of Aluminum Adjuvants Modulate Reorganization of Phospholipid Domains in Model Membranes.’” Journal Articles. Molecular Pharmaceutics 13, no. 5 (February 2016): 1731–1737.

Chakraborty, Aishik, Nicolas Mucci, M L Tan, A Steckly, T Zheng, Laird Forrest, and Prajna Dhar. “Phospholipid Composition Modulates Carbon Nanodiamond Induced Alterations in Phospholipid Domain Formation.” Journal Articles. Langmuir 31 (April 2015): 5093–5104.

Sprouse, Patricia, Neal T Dittmer, K J Kramer, M Kanost, Prajna Dhar, and Stevin Gehrke. “Characterization of the Secondary Structure of CP30, a Highly Repetitive Ampholytic Protein in Beetle Elytral Cuticle.” Journal Articles. Macromolecular Symposia, 2015.

El-Gendy, N. A., A. Kaviratna, C. J. Berkland, and P. Dhar. “Delivery and Performance of Surfactant Replacement Therapies to Treat Pulmonary Disorders.” Journal Articles. Therapeutic Delivery 4, no. 8 (2013).

Selected Presentations

Dhar, P. (1/1/2015 - 12/31/2015). Lateral Clustering in Lipid and Protein films. University of Minnesota

Chakraborty, A., & Dhar, P. (11/30/2014). Carbon Nanodiamond Induced Alterations in Phospholipid Domain Formation Depends on Lipid Saturation and Headgroup Charge

Ghazvini, S., & Dhar, P. (12/31/2014). 5. Active Microrheology: A tool to monitor phases and phase transitions in phosphatidylethanolamine. ACS Colloids Annual Meeting 2015

Mucci, N., Gamblin, T. C., & Dhar, P. (12/31/2014). Monitoring Adsorption and Aggregation of an Intrinsically Disordered Protein at Solid Substrates. AIChE Annual Meeting 2014. http://www3.aiche.org/proceedings/AuthorDetails.aspx?PersonID=168564

Awards & Honors

KU Women of Distinction

Emily Taylor Center, KU

Grants & Other Funded Activity

Morphogenetic Tissue Movements in Early Embryos. $1158344.00 (55119 (Sub-award amount)). (9/15/2015 - 7/31/2018). Federal. Status: Funded. Collaborator

Preliminary studies of lung surfactant lipid nanoparticle interactions. $30000.00. (2/2/2014 - 6/30/2014). Federal. Status: Funded

Preliminary studies of lung surfactant lipid nanoparticle interactions. $30000.00. (2/2/2014 - 6/30/2014). Federal. Status: Funded

Lipid membrane-protein interactions during the early stages of Tau protein aggregation. $275000.00. Submitted 6/1/2014 (12/31/2014). Federal. Status: Not Funded