Rama Bansil, PhD

Emeritus Professor, Physics

Rama Bansil
590 Commonwealth Ave


Rama Bansil is professor emeritus of Physics at Boston University. She is the first female physics professor at Boston University, and has received accolades for her contributions to the field of physics, biopolymer engineering, polymer engineering, photonics, nanoscience, nanobiotechnology, biophysics and biochemistry. In total, she has received almost 3 million dollars of funding throughout her career.

Rama Bansil’s primary interest is in gels, which are found in numerous products of daily use, have fascinating visco-elastic properties, fundamentally different than solids or liquids. Bansil’s laboratory is devoted to interdisciplinary research ranging from Polymer Physics to Biophysics. Through a variety of experimental methods such as light scattering, small-angle X-ray and neutron scattering, and microscopy complemented by computer simulations of model gels, Bansil’s group has elucidated the structure of gels at the molecular level, the physics of gel formation, diffusion in gels and the kinetics of phase transitions and chemical reactions in gels. Current research projects include the phase behavior of multiblock copolymer gels and their application to develop templates for nanoscale devices. Many living tissues are in the form of gels, which has excited a great deal of interest as a substrate for tissue regeneration. Bansil and her collaborators at Harvard Medical School have focused their attention on understanding the role that gelation of mucin (a glycoprotein found in the mucus layer) plays in preventing the stomach from being digested by the highly acidic gastric juice that it secretes. Their studies using dynamic light scattering and atomic force microscopy have contributed to a detailed mechanism of how mucin molecules gel under acidic conditions.

Other Positions

  • Assistant Professor, Physiology & Biophysics, Boston University School of Medicine
  • Graduate Faculty (Primary Mentor of Grad Students), Boston University School of Medicine, Graduate Medical Sciences


  • University of Rochester, PhD
  • University of Delhi, MSc
  • University of Delhi, BSc


  • Published on 9/26/2018

    Constantino MA, Jabbarzadeh M, Fu HC, Shen Z, Fox JG, Haesebrouck F, Linden SK, Bansil R. Bipolar lophotrichous Helicobacter suis combine extended and wrapped flagella bundles to exhibit multiple modes of motility. Sci Rep. 2018 Sep 26; 8(1):14415. PMID: 30258065.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 6/26/2018

    Su C, Padra M, Constantino MA, Sharba S, Thorell A, Lindén SK, Bansil R. Influence of the viscosity of healthy and diseased human mucins on the motility of Helicobacter pylori. Sci Rep. 2018 Jun 26; 8(1):9710. PMID: 29946149.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 9/29/2017

    Bansil R, Turner BS. The biology of mucus: Composition, synthesis and organization. Adv Drug Deliv Rev. 2018 Jan 15; 124:3-15. PMID: 28970050.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 11/16/2016

    Constantino MA, Jabbarzadeh M, Fu HC, Bansil R. Helical and rod-shaped bacteria swim in helical trajectories with little additional propulsion from helical shape. Sci Adv. 2016 Nov; 2(11):e1601661. PMID: 28138539.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 10/14/2015

    Martínez LE, Hardcastle JM, Wang J, Pincus Z, Tsang J, Hoover TR, Bansil R, Salama NR. Helicobacter pylori strains vary cell shape and flagellum number to maintain robust motility in viscous environments. Mol Microbiol. 2016 Jan; 99(1):88-110. PMID: 26365708.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 10/10/2013

    Bansil R, Celli JP, Hardcastle JM, Turner BS. The Influence of Mucus Microstructure and Rheology in Helicobacter pylori Infection. Front Immunol. 2013; 4:310. PMID: 24133493.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 9/28/2012

    Barz B, Turner BS, Bansil R, Urbanc B. Folding of pig gastric mucin non-glycosylated domains: a discrete molecular dynamics study. J Biol Phys. 2012 Sep; 38(4):681-703. PMID: 24615227.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 8/28/2010

    Li M, Liu Y, Bansil R. Kinetics of hexagonal cylinders to face-centered cubic spheres transition of triblock copolymer in selective solvent: Brownian dynamics simulation. J Chem Phys. 2010 Aug 28; 133(8):084905. PMID: 20815592.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 8/11/2009

    Celli JP, Turner BS, Afdhal NH, Keates S, Ghiran I, Kelly CP, Ewoldt RH, McKinley GH, So P, Erramilli S, Bansil R. Helicobacter pylori moves through mucus by reducing mucin viscoelasticity. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2009 Aug 25; 106(34):14321-6. PMID: 19706518.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 4/3/2007

    Celli JP, Turner BS, Afdhal NH, Ewoldt RH, McKinley GH, Bansil R, Erramilli S. Rheology of gastric mucin exhibits a pH-dependent sol-gel transition. Biomacromolecules. 2007 May; 8(5):1580-6. PMID: 17402780.

    Read at: PubMed

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