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Amala Bhagwat

amala bhagwat2

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About Me

I was born and brought up in Mumbai, India. I completed and earned my undergraduate degree in Chemical Engineering at Institute of Chemical Technology, Mumbai in 2015. I joined Chemical Engineering department at RPI in Fall 2015 for the PhD program. I am co-advised by Prof. Cynthia Collins.

Former Education

Bachelor of Chemical Engineering (B. Chem. Engg.) from Institute of Chemical Technology, Matunga, Mumbai, India (2015)

Ph.D., Chemical Engineering, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, (Expected August 2020)

Research Interests

In the light of emerging multidrug resistance due to broad-spectrum antibiotics amongst major bacterial pathogens, bacterial or bacteriophage encoded modular cell wall lytic enzymes or peptidoglycan hydrolases provide a promising alternative due to their target specificity. My research focuses on fundamental understanding of lytic enzyme behavior against gram-positive bacteria (such as Staphylococcus aureus and Bacillus cereus) in relatively unexplored challenging and realistic environments such as in a microbial community or complex nutrient-rich growth supporting conditions. This fundamental study is important for identification of protein engineering avenues for advancing lytic enzyme application in healthcare and environmental decontamination. While gram-positive bacteria are ideal targets for cell wall lytic enzymes, killing gram-negative bacteria with these enzymes is challenging due to inaccessibility of gram-negative peptidoglycan. My research also focuses on engineering lytic enzymes for antimicrobial activity against gram-negative bacteria, specifically, Pseudomonas aeruginosa.


Bhagwat A, Collins CH, Dordick JS (2019) Selective antimicrobial activity of cell lytic enzymes in a bacterial consortium. Appl Microbiol Biotechnol 103:7041Ð7054. doi: 10.1007/s00253-019-09955-0

Awards and Honors

  • Sir Ratan Tata Memorial Scholarship for academic excellence during the year 2013-2014, Institute of Chemical Technology, Mumbai, India
  • Howard P. Isermann Fellowship for academic year 2015-2016, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY, USA