Utkarsh Kapoor

Assistant Professor
Room 361A, EERB

University of Wyoming
College of Engineering and Physical Sciences

Dept. 3295
1000 E. University Avenue
Laramie, WY 82071
Phone: (307) 766-2512
Fax:    (307) 766-6777

Affiliation: Molecular and Cellular Life Sciences Program - Faculty Member

Research Site: 



  • Ph.D. Chemical Engineering: Oklahoma State University, 2018

  • B.E. (Hons.) Chemical Engineering: Birla Institute of Technology & Science (BITS)-Pilani
    University, India, 2012

Professional Experience

  • Postdoctoral fellow, Department of Chemical Engineering, Texas A&M University, 2021 - 2023
  • Postdoctoral researcher, Department of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering, University of Delaware, 2019 - 2021
  • Process Engineer, Grasim Industries Ltd., India, 2013 - 2014

Research Areas

  • Self-assembly; Biophysics; Interface Phenomena; Biomaterials; Polymer Nanocomposites;
    Biomolecular Engineering; Modeling, Simulation & Theory

Research Interests

The goal of our research is to expand the fundamental understanding of self-assembly in
biological systems and design novel materials to make impactful contributions to bioengineering
applications. We are particularly interested in understanding how biomolecules interact, how
molecular-level interactions contribute to biological function, how can we regulate them, and
how these rules can be harnessed to develop materials for new technology.

To this end, we develop molecular models across a variety of spatiotemporal scales: atomistic,
coarse-grained and minimal, enabled with polymer physics theory and machine learning, and
integrate them with Monte Carlo and molecular dynamics simulation techniques to design
computer simulations to probe the dynamic biomolecular self-assembly and phase behavior with
a focus on protein-nucleic acids phase separation and polymer nanocomposites.

Our research is highly collaborative and interdisciplinary. Ultimately, we aim to use advanced
computational techniques to unravel the biology, chemistry, and nanoscience of natural and
synthetic biomolecular self-assembly processes.

Selected Publications

  • U. Kapoor; Y. Kim; and J. Mittal, "A coarse-grained DNA model to study protein-DNA
    interactions and liquid-liquid phase separation", bioRxiv, 2023,
  • C. Her; T. M. Phan; N. Jovic; U. Kapoor; B. E. Ackermann; A. Rizuan; Y. Kim; J. Mittal;
    and G. T. Debelouchina, "Molecular interactions underlying the phase separation of
    HP1α: Role of phosphorylation, ligand and nucleic acid binding", Nucleic Acids Res.,
    2022, 50(22), 12702-12722
  • P. Mohanty; U. Kapoor; D. S. Devarajan; T. M. Phan; A. Rizuan; and J. Mittal,
    "Principles governing the phase separation of multi-domain proteins", Biochemistry,
    2022, 61, 22, 2443–2455
  • U. Kapoor and A. Jayaraman, “Impact of Polydopamine Nanoparticle Surface Pattern
    and Roughness on Interactions with Poly (ethylene glycol) in Aqueous Solution: A
    Multiscale Modeling and Simulation Study”, J. Phys. Chem. B, 2022, 126, 33, 6301–
  • U. Kapoor#; A. Kulshreshtha#; S. C. Brown; and A. Jayaraman, “Understanding the
    Effect of Heterogeneous Particle Functionalization on Graft-Matrix Wetting and Structure
    in Polymer Nanocomposites Containing Grafted Nanoparticles Using Multiscale
    Modeling and Simulation”, ACS Appl. Polym. Mater., 2021, 3, 5642−5655 ; # Equal

Honors and Awards

  • OSU Graduate Research Excellence Award, Oklahoma State University, 2019
  • OSU Foundation Distinguished Graduate Fellowship, Oklahoma State University, 2017
  • Robert L. Robinson Endowed Fellowship, Oklahoma State University, 2017
  • Halliburton Graduate Fellowship in Engineering; Oklahoma State University, 2015
  • Creativity, Innovation and Entrepreneurship Scholarship, Oklahoma State University,
  •  International Society of Automation (ISA) Scholarship, 2016 – 2019

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