Tagbo H.R. Niepa is an associate professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering and the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University. Niepa’s lab has three areas of research. The first targets drug-resistant pathogens. Niepa’s methods offer an alternative to antibiotics by using physical chemical factors to create new surfaces that could be activated to eradicate microbes and kill pathogens. The second area of research focuses on interfacial biofilms, particularly the often-overlooked fluid interfaces where biofilms form. Niepa is investigating how interfacial phenomena activate bacteria to generate new materials. The third area of research replicates the human microbiome by encapsulating microbes.

Niepa received his bachelor’s degree in biomedical engineering from Syracuse University, after transferring from the University of Dortmund, Germany. He also received his Ph.D. in chemical engineering from Syracuse University. Niepa held a Postdoctoral Fellowship for Academic Diversity in the University of Pennsylvania’s department of chemical and biomolecular engineering. Most recently, he served as an assistant professor of chemical and petroleum engineering at the University of Pittsburgh.

Niepa received the prestigious National Institutes of Health Director’s New Innovator Award to support unconventional approaches to major challenges in biomedical and behavioral research. He also received a Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Award from the National Science Foundation (NSF).

3111 Doherty Hall
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Tagbo H.R. Niepa
Niepa μBiointerface Lab


2014 Ph.D., Chemical Engineering, Syracuse University

2009 BS, Bioengineering, Syracuse University

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Tagbo H.R. Niepa joins ChemE faculty

In fall 2023, the Department of Chemical Engineering will welcome Tagbo H.R. Niepa as an associate professor.