Anandhi Upendran, PhD

Anandhi Upendran, PhD

Medical Pharmacology and Physiology

Assistant Professor
Director of Biomedical Innovation



Anandhi Upendran, PhD, is an Assistant Teaching Professor and Director of Biomedical Innovation in the University of Missouri School of Medicine. Her basic training in bioinorganic chemistry and post-doctoral experience in organometallic chemistry at University of Missouri paved way to work in interdisciplinary areas. Following her post-doctoral training, she founded a start-up, a university spin-off company. She has more than 20 years of research experience in the fields of bioinorganic chemistry, organometallic chemistry, nanomedicine, and preclinical studies. She has working experience in small and large animal models, in vivo animal imaging and GLP toxicity evaluation. In addition, she received her certificate in Regulatory Affairs of drugs and medical devices from Regulatory Affairs Professional Society (RAPS).

In the commercialization arena, Dr. Upendran has completed the Kauffman Fast Trac™ Venture course and is co-founder of two startup companies. As Director of Research for the university start-up company, she has established a record of success in securing SBIR Phase I and Phase II grants and contracts and prepared an IND application for submission to the FDA. She is a recipient of both State and Federal business recognition awards, including a “RISING STAR OF INNOVATION” award that was presented by the Missouri State Legislative Assembly in 2010, and a “TIBBETTS AWARD” presented in the White House in 2012. She honed her skills in the process of Biomedical Innovation, developed curriculum to teach the process of translating research ideas into medical products. She was offered the Director of Biomedical Innovation position at the School of Medicine, MU and started the interdisciplinary “Life Sciences Innovation and Entrepreneurship (LSIE)” graduate certificate program. Recently, she was awarded with NIH R25 training grant from NIA/NIH to initiate the “Biomedical Entrepreneurship Training for Aging” (BETA) program.

Dr. Upendran currently serves as a director for two lead biomedical innovation programs in School of Medicine and for the non-thesis, online Masters’ Biological Engineering program in College of Engineering. She has independent research program, that focuses on evaluating nanoparticle-based drug delivery systems for drug resistant cancers in rodent models and developing nanosensor for early detection of diabetic retinopathy (DR) in adults and retinopathy of prematurity in kids. She has authored two books, published more than 40 research articles in peer-reviewed journals and has 11 issued patents.

Biomedical Entrepreneurship Training Program for Aging (BETA)

Academic Information

Assistant Professor
Director of Biomedical Innovation


1 Hospital Drive
Columbia, MO 65212
United States

P. 573-884-0162

Research Interests

  • Preclinical evaluation of nanoparticle-based drug delivery candidates
  • Delineating drug resistance pathways in ovarian
  • Breast and NSCLC cancer
  • Design, and validation of biomarkers for diabetic retinopathy

Areas of Expertise

  • Designing pre-clinical trials for nanoparticle-based drug delivery platforms
  • Drug and Device Regulatory affairs
  • Education, and training students in Biomedical Innovation


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