Lehigh University Alumni Memorial Building

Anand Jagota Named Vice Provost for Research

Jagota will lead efforts to increase the impact and visibility of research at Lehigh.

Story by

Kelly Hochbein

Anand Jagota, professor of bioengineering and chemical and biomolecular engineering, has been named vice provost for research (VPR), effective July 28.

Anand Jagota

Anand Jagota

As VPR, Jagota will work closely with the provost and the colleges to develop and implement strategies to elevate research at Lehigh. He will foster connections and partnerships across campus; build relationships with funding agencies, donors, and external academic, industry and clinical partners; and implement metrics to track the development of research at Lehigh. In this newly configured role, Anand will continue to be engaged in his own research projects as a member of the Department of Bioengineering, thereby maintaining his first-hand knowledge of the Lehigh research environment. 

“I am excited that Anand has agreed to take on this important role,” said Nathan Urban, provost and senior vice president for academic affairs. “Anand’s experience as a highly research-active faculty member at Lehigh, along with his leadership in efforts to develop a new department and a new college, provide him with a deep understanding of the strengths of Lehigh research. It also will inform his view of the kinds of investments that we will need to make to realize the potential of all Lehigh faculty, students and staff to advance our mission to create, discover and analyze knowledge. I expect that Anand’s previous roles in the private sector will provide him with insight into the ways that Lehigh can partner with large and small companies to enhance the research goals and achievements of our faculty.” 

Said Steve DeWeerth, dean of the P.C. Rossin College of Engineering and Applied Science and chair of the search committee: "We are confident that Anand will be outstanding in the role of Vice Provost for Research, based on his strong research record and his leadership across campus."

Lee Kern, professor of special education and vice chair of the search committee, added: "Anand was selected from a very impressive pool of candidates. It is inspiring to see the wealth of research talent and leadership skills among the Lehigh faculty."

Jagota joined the Lehigh faculty in 2004 as a professor and director of the bioengineering program in the P.C. Rossin College of Engineering and Applied Science. He later served as founding chair of the bioengineering department from 2017 to 2020. More recently, he has served as associate dean of research for the College of Health, a role in which he has advised faculty about research opportunities, connected them with other Lehigh researchers working in similar areas, and led the college’s development of external research partnerships with healthcare and other relevant industries and nonprofits.

“I am excited to be taking on the role of vice provost for research,” said Jagota. “I believe firmly that with appropriate research infrastructure and a revitalized research milieu, Lehigh research can grow significantly in prominence and impact. I also believe that high-quality research is one of the core aims of a university, and successful efforts to strengthen it color all aspects of the university.”

Jagota received his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi (India), and his Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from Cornell University. 

Prior to his arrival at Lehigh, he spent 16 years as a research scientist at the DuPont Company, where he worked on materials problems such as ceramics processing, the design of laminated glass, and biomimetic materials, among others. 

Jagota’s research interests are in biomaterials, interfacial mechanical properties of soft materials, biomechanics, and nanobiotechnology. He has authored three book chapters and more than 150 refereed journal articles. One recent project, a collaboration between Jagota and researchers at Lehigh, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Weill Cornell Medicine, the University of Maryland, and the National Institute of Standards and Technology, explores a new approach to detecting ovarian cancer. Other projects have included exploration of the biomechanics of how the Ebola virus attaches to a host cell and new mechanisms to improve the effectiveness of vehicle tires. Jagota has also collaborated with a team of researchers to create a reversible superglue-like material inspired by snail mucus. His work has been funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF), the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). 

“I’m fortunate to be inheriting an excellent, talented team to work with at the VPR office and am looking forward to collaborating with them on strategic and tactical aspects of supporting our research infrastructure and output across campus,” said Jagota. “It is an honor to take on this important role.”

Story by

Kelly Hochbein