Vel Murugan

Vel Murugan

Associate Research Professor, Biodesign Virginia G. Piper Center for Personalized Diagnostics


Vel Murugan is an associate research professor at the Biodesign Virginia G. Piper Center for Personalized Diagnostics at Arizona State University. He brings wealth knowledge from both industry and academia. In addition to basic research his group focuses on developing and commercializing diagnostic tests. Murugan’s group utilizes integrated approach to study change in genomic architecture, gene expression upon exposures to agents related to weapons of mass destruction. Before joining, the Biodesign Institute, Murugan worked as the director of assay development at Sanaria Inc., a biotechnology company developing vaccines protective against malaria.

The primary focus of his research is to understand the mechanism underlying genomic changes, especially epigenetic modifications and change in gene expressions upon environmental insults and different disease conditions. His group is involved in the development of diagnostic tests to detect and quantify absorbed dose of radiation for Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA). The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) selected his group as one of the performers for developing a point of care diagnostics to detect exposures to weapons of mass destruction.

As a molecular biologist, he is leading a high throughput cloning team engaged in making expression clones for storage and distribution by DNASU.

Murugan earned both bachelor’s degree in zoology and master’s degree in biology from Madurai Kamaraj University. He holds a PhD in molecular biology from Tata Institute of Fundamental Research and a master’s in business administration from Northeastern University. Murugan completed his postdoctoral training from The University of Texas at Austin and Dana Farber Cancer Institute at the Harvard Medical School.

Interests: Epigenetics, genomics, molecular diagnostics, environmental exposure assessment, industry-academic collaborations, automation and global engagement