Photo of Esther Gomez

Esther Gomez

Assistant Professor


  • Chemical Engineering
  • Biomedical Engineering

44 Greenberg Building


Personal or Departmental Website

Research Areas:

Biotechnology and Synthetic Biology, Interfaces and Surfaces

Interest Areas:




  • BS, Chemical Engineering, University of Florida, 2002
  • Ph D, Chemical Engineering, University of California, Berkeley, 2007


Parts of Book

  • Esther Gomez and Celeste M Nelson, 2011, Lithographically-defined two- and three-dimensional tissue microarrays, Springer, New York, New York, United States, pp. 107-116

Journal Articles

  • Akanksha V *Gupta, A N Brigeman, Esther Gomez and Thomas N Jackson, 2018, "Simple polymethylglutarimide microfluidic channels with hydrogel-assisted fluid exchange", IEEE Transactions on NanoBioscience
  • Sandeep M *Nalluri, Joseph W *O'Connor, Gage A *Virgi, Samantha E *Stewart, Dan *Ye and Esther Gomez, 2018, "TGFß1-induced expression of caldesmon mediates epithelial-mesenchymal transition", Cytoskeleton
  • Chao Lang, Yue-xiao Shen, Jacob A LaNasa, Dan Ye, Woochul Song, Tawanda J Zimudzi, Michael A Hickner, Enrique Daniel Gomez, Esther Gomez, Manish Kumar and Robert Hickey, 2018, "Creating Crosslinked Lamellar Block Copolymer Supporting Layers for Biomimetic Membranes", Faraday Discussions
  • D Jake Follmer, Esther Gomez, Sarah E Zappe and Manish Kumar, 2017, "Evaluation of a Research Experiences for Undergraduates program in Chemical Engineering indicates benefit from a collaborative model", Chemical Engineering Education, 51, pp. 145-150
  • D Jake Follmer, Sarah E Zappe, Esther Gomez and Manish Kumar, 2017, "Student Outcomes from Undergraduate Research Programs: Comparing Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) Models", SPUR: Scholarship and Practice of Undergraduate Research, 1, (1)
  • D Jake Follmer, Sarah E Zappe, Enrique Daniel Gomez, Esther Gomez and Shane E Haydt, 2017, "Changing the Conversation: impact of a seminar-based classroom innovation on student perceptions of engineering", International Journal of Engineering Education, 33, pp. 519-526
  • Virginia Aragon-Sanabria, Steven E *Pohler, Vikram J Eswar, Matthew *Bierowski, Esther Gomez and Cheng Dong, 2017, "VE-Cadherin Disassembly and Cell Contractility in the Endothelium are Necessary for Barrier Disruption Induced by Tumor Cells", Scientific Reports, 7, pp. 45835
  • Joseph W *O'Connor, Krunal *Mistry, Dayne *Detweiler, Clayton *Wang and Esther Gomez, 2016, "Cell-cell and cell-matrix adhesion promote alpha smooth muscle actin expression during TGFß1-induced epithelial-myofibroblast transition via Notch and MRTF-A signaling", Scientific Reports, 6, pp. 26226
  • Sandeep M *Nalluri, Joseph W *O'Connor and Esther Gomez, 2015, "Cytoskeletal signaling in TGFb-induced epithelial-mesenchymal transition", Cytoskeleton, 72, (11), pp. 557-569
  • Joseph W *O'Connor, Patrick N *Riley, Sandeep M *Nalluri, Parth K *Ashar and Esther Gomez, 2015, "Matrix rigidity regulates TGF-beta-induced epithelial-myofibroblast transition by controlling cytoskeletal organization and MRTF-A localization", Journal of Cellular Physiology, 230, pp. 1829-1839
  • Thinh P Le, Zhengrong Shang, Lizhu Wang, Nanwen Li, Sameer Vajjala Kesava, Joseph W *O'Connor, Ying Chang, Chulsung Bae, Chenhui Zhu, Alexander Hexemer, Esther Gomez, Alberto Salleo, Michael A Hickner and Enrique Daniel Gomez, 2015, "Miscibility and acid strength govern contact doping of organic photovoltaics with strong polyelectrolytes", Macromolecules, 48, pp. 5162-5171
  • Eric Weidert, Steven E *Pohler, Esther Gomez and Cheng Dong, 2014, "Actinomyosin contraction, phosphorylation of VE-cadherin, and actin remodeling enable melanoma-induced endothelial cell-cell junction disassembly", PLoS One, 9, pp. e108902
  • Joseph W *O'Connor and Esther Gomez, 2014, "Biomechanics of TGFbeta-induced epithelial-mesenchymal transition: implications for fibrosis and cancer", Clinical and Translational Medicine, 3, (23)
  • Joseph W *O'Connor and Esther Gomez, 2013, "Cell adhesion and shape regulate TGF-beta1-induced epithelial-myofibroblast transition via MRTF-A signaling.", PLoS One, 8, (12), pp. e83188
  • Esther Gomez, Qike K Chen, Nikolce Gjorevski and Celeste M Nelson, 2010, "Tissue geometry patterns epithelial-mesenchymal transition via intercellular mechanotransduction", Journal of Cellular Biochemistry, 110, pp. 44-51
  • Esther Gomez, Nathan G Clack, Hung-Jen Wu and Jay T Groves, 2009, "Like-charge interactions between colloidal particles are asymmetric with respect to sign", Soft Matter, 5, pp. 1931-1936
  • Esther Winter and Jay T Groves, 2006, "Surface binding affinity measurements from order transitions of lipid membrane-coated colloidal particles", Analytical Chemistry, 78, pp. 174-180

Conference Proceedings

  • D Jake Follmer, Sarah E Zappe, Manish Kumar and Esther Gomez, 2016, "Examining student outcomes from a research experiences for undergraduates (REU) program: Year two results", American Society for Engineering Education
  • D Jake Follmer, Sarah E Zappe, Esther Gomez and Manish Kumar, 2015, "Preliminary evaluation of a research experience for undergraduates (REU) program: A methodology for examining student outcomes", American Society for Engineering Education
  • Sarah E Zappe, Melissa D Marshall, Enrique Daniel Gomez, Esther Gomez and Angela Lueking, 2012, "Using student ambassadors to relay themes from Changing the Conversation in Engineering First-Year Seminars", American Society for Engineering Education

Research Projects

  • May 2018 - April 2023, "CAREER: Mechanobiology of mesenchymal-epithelial transition," (Sponsor: National Science Foundation).
  • May 2017 - April 2020, "REU Site: Integration of Biology and Materials in Chemical Engineering," (Sponsor: National Science Foundation).
  • August 2016 - July 2018, "Advanced X-ray scattering of plant cell walls," (Sponsor: Department of Energy Center for Lignocellulose Structure and Formation).
  • May 2014 - April 2017, "REU Site: Integration of biology and materials in chemical engineering," (Sponsor: National Science Foundation).

Honors and Awards

  • NSF CAREER Award, National Science Foundation, 2018


Service to Penn State:

  • Member, Undergraduate Curriculum Committee, October 2014 - February 2018
  • Chairperson, Graduate Studies and Research Committee, Engineering Faculty Council, May 2015 - August 2017
  • Member, Academic Integrity Committee, June 2014 - July 2016
  • Member, Graduate Studies and Research Committee, Engineering Faculty Council, August 2014 - May 2015
  • Faculty Mentor, New Student Orientation, May 2014 - August 2014
  • Faculty Mentor, New Student Orientation, May 2013 - July 2013
  • Advisor, Engineering Advising Center, August 2012 - December 2012
  • Coordinator, Learning Factory, August 2012
  • Co-Chairperson, Academic Integrity Committee, August 2016

Service to External Organizations:

  • Co-Chairperson, American Institute of Chemical Engineers, Cell Adhesion and Migration Session, November 2017
  • Co-Chairperson, Biomedical Engineering Society, Substrate Effects in Mechanobiology Session, October 2017
  • Chairperson, American Institute of Chemical Engineers, Biomechanics Session, November 2016
  • Chairperson, American Institute of Chemical Engineers, Biomechanics Session, November 2015
  • Chairperson, Biomedical Engineering Society, Engineered Models of Cancer I Session, October 2014
  • Chairperson, American Institute of Chemical Engineers, Tissue Engineering Microenvironment I and Engineering Cells and Microenvironments for Tissues Sessions, November 2014
  • Chairperson, American Institute of Chemical Engineers, Biomechanics I and Biomechanics II Sessions, November 2013



The Department of Biomedical Engineering administers the undergraduate major in biomedical engineering, and is a part of the university-wide Intercollege Graduate Degree Program, offering both M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Bioengineering. Our work combines traditional engineering principles with medicine and technology for the betterment of human health and society. 

Department of Biomedical Engineering

205 Hallowell Building

The Pennsylvania State University

University Park, PA 16802-4400

Phone: 814-863-6614