Mallidi wins Sunrise Award

The Tufts School of Engineering award recognizes the scholarly accomplishments of a junior faculty member within the School.
From left to right: Professor and Dean of Research Matt Panzer, Assistant Professor Srivalleesha Mallidi, Dean of the School of Engineering Kyongbum Lee, and Interim Chair of the Department of Biomedical Engineering Sergio Fantini.

Each year, Tufts University’s Engineering Faculty Research Awards Committee (EFRAC) selects one junior faculty member to present with the Sunrise Award, based on outstanding scholarly accomplishments within their discipline. Assistant Professor Srivalleesha Mallidi of the Department of Biomedical Engineering received the 2023 award and was honored at a recent School of Engineering faculty meeting.

The awarding committee is composed of members of the School of Engineering, including Professor and Dean of Research Matt Panzer of the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, and members of the Engineering Dean’s Council. Nominees are put forth by their respective departments, and each department can only select one nominee. Nomination speaks to the candidate’s exemplary work and their well-respected position among their peers.  

Mallidi earned her MS and PhD degrees in biomedical engineering from the University of Texas at Austin and joined Tufts in 2019. Prior to Tufts, she taught courses as adjunct faculty at Wentworth Institute of Technology and was an assistant professor at the Wellman Center for Photomedicine, Harvard Medical School, where she maintains an affiliate position to continue her research collaborations within the center. Her research interests span ultrasound imaging, photoacoustic imaging, multi-modality imaging, image-guided surgery, and therapeutics and nano drug delivery systems.

Much of Mallidi’s work is at the intersection of optics, acoustics and nanomaterials, and her research has large implications for cancer detection and treatment, drug delivery methods, and more. At Tufts, she leads the Integrated Biofunctional and Therapeutics Laboratory (iBIT Lab), which aims to understand the structural, functional, molecular, and biomechanical heterogeneity of pathologies such as cancer using non-invasive acoustic and optical imaging techniques with nanomaterials and biological models.

In addition to her research, Mallidi fosters a community-oriented lab environment. When she was awarded the Tufts Biomedical Engineering and Chemical Engineering Society (BEaChES) Exemplary Engineer Award in 2022, students described her as “kind, accommodating, and invested in students.” She was further recognized for her supportive role towards students with a 2023 Faculty Mentorship Award from the Graduate Student Council.

Mallidi has been lauded for her research over the course of her career. During her graduate years, she won a New Investigator Award from the Central Texas Clinical Research Forum for her work on molecular-specific photoacoustic imaging. During her postdoctoral tenure at Massachusetts General Hospital, she won the Young Investigator Award at the Frontiers in Biomedical Imaging Science Symposium held at Vanderbilt University. She was also awarded the American Society of Lasers in Medicine and Surgery Research Award for junior faculty and Rising Star Award from the International Photodynamic Association.

“Dr. Mallidi’s dedication to her research is outstanding. This honor is very well-deserved,” says Professor and Dean of Research Matt Panzer of the Tufts Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering. “She truly exemplifies the creativity, passion, and drive that is critical to advancing engineering research that can benefit the lives of others.”   

Read more about the Engineering Faculty Research Awards.