“I am delighted that Professor Jagota has agreed to serve as associate dean for research for the College of Health,” says Elizabeth A. Dolan, interim dean of the College of Health. “His experience founding the bioengineering department, his robust research agenda and his connections across the colleges and with healthcare, industry and federal funding agencies will enable the College of Health to rapidly and thoughtfully grow our research enterprise.”
The newest of Lehigh’s five colleges welcomed its inaugural class during the 2020-21 academic year. It is the first in the nation to offer an undergraduate and graduate degree in population health with a focus on health innovation and technology.
In his new role, Jagota will advise faculty about research opportunities, connect them with researchers working in similar areas across the university, and lead our development of external research partnerships with healthcare and other relevant industries and nonprofits. His appointment will also help support and grow collaborations between the two colleges, extending opportunities for interdisciplinary research.
“There is already a lot of high quality health-related research at Lehigh,” Jagota says. “It is scattered in the colleges and so is less visible than it should be. The College of Health can play a role as a coordinating hub, firstly by developing top-notch research programs in chosen areas, and secondly, by building collaborative bridges with ongoing and new programs both within Lehigh and with selected external partners.”
With a broad focus on interfacial mechanical properties of soft materials, Jagota’s research group works on properties, processing and modeling of DNA interactions with nanomaterials, specifically on its hybrids with carbon nanotubes. He also has interests in nanomechanics, biomechanics, adhesion and friction. In another active project, his group works on biomimetic fibrillar interfaces with enhanced adhesion, friction and compliance achieved by design of near-surface architecture. Currently, Jagota's lab is engaged in research projects in solution-based processing of carbon nanotubes, the biomechanics of viral adhesion and the biomimetics of fibrillar adhesion.
Jagota is also affiliated with two of Lehigh’s Interdisciplinary Research Institutes: the Institute for Functional Materials and Devices (I-FMD) and the Institute for Data, Intelligent Systems, and Computation (I-DISC).
Jagota has authored more than 150 refereed journal articles. He maintains strong collaborations with academic colleagues and participates closely in developing the Ph.D. dissertations of many students. He seeks novel approaches to education and exposition, particularly when it comes to presentation of principles and content.