Belinda Akpa joined NC State in August 2015 as a Chancellor’s Faculty Excellence Program cluster hire in Synthetic and Systems Biology. Akpa, an assistant professor in the Department of Molecular Biomedical Sciences, develops mathematical models to connect molecular events to dynamic physiological outcomes. She uses numerical simulations to bridge length-scales in integrated computational and experimental investigations, with the aim of accelerating the translation of molecular and cellular level findings to medical applications. Her current interests lie broadly within the realm of quantitative systems physiology, encompassing pharmacology, toxicology, and host-pathogen interactions.
Akpa obtained her bachelor’s degree, master’s degree, and Ph.D. in chemical engineering from the University of Cambridge. As a Cambridge Commonwealth Trust Scholar, she worked in the lab of Lynn Gladden, developing magnetic resonance methodologies for the quantitative study of dynamic heterogeneous systems. Akpa joined NC State after serving on the faculty in the Department of Chemical Engineering at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC), where she initiated an interdisciplinary research program in systems physiology. Her work has been published in chemistry, interface science, pharmaceutical, and clinical journals. She has also mentored graduate and undergraduate research students with academic backgrounds ranging from chemical engineering and biology to pharmacy and astronomy.