DR Vijay Rajagopal

DR Vijay Rajagopal


  • Biophysics
  • Computational Physiology (cancer, heart, breast)
  • Image Analysis
  • Mechanobiology (cancer metastasis, cell motility, red blood cell)
  • Remodeling
  • Soft Tissue Mechanics
  • Synthetic Biology



  • Dr Vijay Rajagopal is a Senior Lecturer at the Department of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Melbourne. He was awarded a PhD in Bioengineering from the Auckland Bioengineering Institute, University of Auckland, NZ in 2007. Dr. Rajagopal received national and international recognition for his contributions to biomechanical modeling of the breast for computer aided tracking of breast tumours at the highly reputed international conference of the Medical Image Computing and Computer Assisted Intervention Society in 2007 as well as the 2008 NZ Young Scientist of the Year Awards. He subsequently focussed his post-doctoral research training to understanding the fundamental physical and chemical mechanisms that regulate cell shape and function. He was awarded a highly competitive award by the Royal Society of New Zealand (Marsden Fast Start, 6% success rate) to develop new methods for computational modeling of heart cell shape, sub-cellular architecture and function. He also gained expertise in microfluidics, cell migration and cytoskeletal mechanics at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research and Technology. In 2014, Dr. Rajagopal was recruited to the University of Melbourne via the Research at Melbourne Accelerator Program to develop a new research group to increase the University's activities in computational physiology and biology as well as cell mechanobiology. Dr. Rajagopal now leads the Cell Structure and Mechanobiology Group, and is a co-founder of the MSE Mechanobiology Lab in the Parkville Biomedical Precinct. Current research projects include: --- Cardiac cell systems biology and mechanobiology in diseases such as diabetic cardiomyopathy and cardiac hypertrophy --- Computational modelling of cancer cell metastasis --- Red blood cell mechanics and malaria --- Breast tissue mechanics with applications in breast cancer diagnosis --- Single ventricle heart mechanics    


Selected publications


Investigator on

Additional Grant Information

  • 2016 Collier Trust Fund: Develop new teaching resources to support students engaging in STEM disciplines to investigate cardiac disease” ($30K) 2016 Vanderbilt University International Research Grant, “Computational Modelling of Cell- Environment Interactions” ($8K) 2015- University of Melbourne, Teaching and Learning Infrastructure Grant: A Biaxial Cell Stretching System to Demonstrate and Train Students in Mechanobiology ($20K) 2012-2015 NZ Govt. Supported Grant: Named Investigator on The Relationship of Nano-structure and function of myocytes in heart failure ($1M) 2010-2014 Govt. Supported Grant: Co P.I. on Bioengineering technologies for Breast and Lung ($4M) 2010 Faculty Development Research Fund for Cardiac Cell Proteins: A 3D Spatial Analysis ($5K) 2009-2012 Royal Society of NZ Marsden Fast Start Grant: P.I. on The Diabetic Heart Under the Mathematical Microscope ($300K) 2009-2010 Philanthropic (undisclosed donor), Breast Biomechanics Research ($600K)    


Education and training

  • PhD, University of Auckland 2007
  • BE (Hons), University of Auckland 2003


Available for supervision

  • Y

Supervision Statement

  • Current research projects for which we are actively recruiting include: (i) How does calcium make our hearts grow? Studying the fundamentals of how heart cells grow in cardiac hypertrophy using state of the art experimental and computational methods. (ii) The diabetic heart under the mathematical microscope. Examining changes in structure and function of cardiomyocytes and investigating new therapeutic targets to alleviate heart disease in diabetic patients. (iii) Multi-scale modeling of cellular mechanobiology. Developing novel computational techniques to simulate cell migration in cancer metastasis. (iv) Single ventricle heart mechanics. Studying the mechanics of the heart of babies and children with only 1 ventricle and investigating ways to improve their lives. (v) Red blood cell mechanics and malaria. Investigating the mechanics of the red blood cell and the ways it is modified by the malaria parasite.