Faculty Profile

Christopher V Rao

Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
Christopher V Rao
Christopher V Rao
Professor, Robert W. Schaefer Scholar
211 Roger Adams Laboratory MC 712
600 S. Mathews
Urbana Illinois 61801
(217) 244-2247


  • Postdoctorate, University of California, Berkeley, 2000-2004
  • Ph.D., University of Wisconsin, 2000
  • B.S., Carnegie Mellon University, 1994

For more information

Research Interests

  • Systems and Synthetic Biology

Selected Articles in Journals

  • C. V. Rao. Exploiting market fluctuations and price volatility through feedback control. Computers and Chemical Engineering, 2013.
  • W. Yuan, G. D. Glekas, G. M. Allen, H. E. Walukiewicz, C. V. Rao (corresponding author), and G. W. Ordal. The importance of the interaction of CheD with CheC and the chemoreceptors compared to its enzymatic activity during chemotaxis in Bacillus subtilis. PloS One, 2012.
  • G. D. Glekas, B. J. Mulhern, A. Kroc, K. A. Duelfer, V. Lei, C. V. Rao (co-corresponding author), and G. W. Ordal. The Bacillus subtilis Chemoreceptor McpC Senses Multiple Ligands Using Two Discrete Mechanisms. Journal of Biological Chemistry, 2012.
  • K. Koita and C. V. Rao. Identification and Analysis of the Putative Pentose Sugar Efflux Transporters in Escherichia coli. PLoS One, 2012.
  • G. D. Glekas, M. J. Plutz, H. E. Walukiewicz, G. M Allen C. V. Rao (co-corresponding author), and G. W. Ordal. Elucidation of the multiple roles of CheD in Bacillus subtilis chemotaxis. Molecular Microbiology, 2012.
  • L. M. Chubiz and C. V. Rao. Transcriptional crosstalk within the mar-sox-rob regulon in Escherichia coli is limited to the rob and marRAB operons. Journal of Bacteriology, 194:4867-75, 2012.
  • K. Wu and C. V. Rao. Computational methods in synthetic biology: towards computer-aided part design. Current Opinion in Chemical Biology, 16:318-322, 2012.
  • C. V. Rao. Expanding the synthetic biology toolbox: engineering orthogonal regulators of gene expression. Current Opinion in Biotechnology, 23(5):689-94, 2012.
  • Y He, A. Kapoor, S. Cook, S. Liu, Y. Xiang, C. V. Rao, P.J. Kenis, and F. Wang. The non-receptor tyrosine kinase Lyn controls neutrophil adhesion by recruiting the CrkL-C3G complex and activating Rap1 at the leading edge. Journal of Cell Science. 124:2153-64, 2011.
  • L. M. Chubiz and C. V. Rao. The role of the mar/sox/rob regulon in regulating outer membrane porin expression. Journal of Bacteriology, 193:2252-60, 2011.
  • V. J. Cannistraro, G. D. Glekas, C. V. Rao, and G. W. Ordal. Cellular Stoichiometry of the Chemotaxis Proteins in Bacillus subtilis, Journal of Bacteriology, 193:3220-7, 2011.
  • K. Wu, H. E. Walukiewicz, G. D. Glekas, G. W. Ordal, and C. V. Rao. Attractant binding induces distinct structural changes to the polar and lateral signaling clusters in Bacillus subtilis chemotaxis. Journal of Biological Chemistry, 286:2587-95, 2011.
  • S. Saini, E. Floess, C. Aldridge, J. D. Brown, P. D. Aldridge, and C. V. Rao. Continuous control of flagellar gene expression by the σ28-FlgM regulatory circuit in Salmonella enterica. Molecular Microbiology, 79:264￿278, 2011.
  • G. D. Glekas, J. R. Cates, T. M. Cohen, C. V. Rao (co-corresponding author), and G. W. Ordal. Site-specific methylation in Bacillus subtilis chemotaxis: The effect of covalent modifications to the chemotaxis receptor McpB. Microbiology, 157: 56￿65, 2011.
  • S. Saini, S. Koirala, E. Floess, P. J. Mears, Y. C . Chemla, I. Golding, C. Aldridge, P. D. Aldridge, and C. V. Rao. FliZ induces a kinetic switch in flagellar gene expression. Journal of Bacteriology,192:6477￿6481, 2010.
  • S. Saini, J. M Slauch, P. D. Aldridge, and C. V. Rao. The role of crosstalk in regulating the dynamic expression of the flagellar, Salmonella pathogenicity island 1 (SPI1), and type I fimbrial genes. Journal of Bacteriology, 192:5767￿5777, 2010.
  • C. Aldridge, K. Poonchareon, S. Saini, T. Ewen, A. Soloyva, C. V. Rao, K. Imada, T. Minamino, and P. D. Aldridge. The interaction dynamics of a negative feedback loop regulates flagellar number in Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium. Molecular Microbiology, 78: 1416￿1430, 2010.
  • L. Chubiz and C. V. Rao. Aromatic acid metabolites of Escherichia coli K-12 can induce the marRAB operon. Journal of Bacteriology, 192:4786￿4789, 2010.
  • S. Saini, J. R. Ellermeier, J. M Slauch, and C. V. Rao. The role of coupled positive feedback in the expression of the SPI1 type three secretion system in Salmonella. PLoS Pathogens, 6(7):e1001025, 2010.
  • S. Saini, J. A. Pearl, and C. V. Rao. SprB is the molecular link between Salmonella pathogenicity island 1 (SPI1) and SPI4. Journal of Bacteriology, 192:2459￿2462, 2010.
  • G. J. Nistala, K. Wu, C. V. Rao (corresponding author), and K. D. Bhalerao. A modular positive-feedback based genetic amplifier. Journal of Biological Engineering, 4:4, 2010.
  • G. D. Glekas, R. M. Foster, J. R. Cates, J. A. Estrella, M. J. Wawrzyniak, C. V. Rao and G. W. Ordal, "A PAS domain binds asparagine in the chemotaxis receptor McpB in Bacillus subtilis," J. Biol. Chem., 285, 1870-1878 (2010).
  • K. Wu and C. V. Rao, "The role of configuration and coupling in autoregulatory gene circuits," Mol. Microbiol., 75, 513-527 (2010).
  • T.A. Desai, C.V. Rao, "Regulation of arabinose and xylose metabolism in Escherichia coli," Appl Environ Microbiol., 76, 1524-32 (2010), [Epub 2009 Dec. 18].
  • G.J. Nistala, K. Wu, C.V. Rao and K.D. Bhalerao, "A modular positive feedback-based gene amplifier," J. Biol. Eng., 4, 4 (2009).
  • T. L. Min, P. J. Mears, L. M. Chubiz, C. V. Rao, I. Golding, Y. R. Chemla, "High-resolution, long-term characterization of bacterial motility using optical tweezers," Nature Methods, 6, 831-5 (2009).
  • S. Saini, J. A. Pearl, and C. V. Rao, "Role of FimW, FimY, and FimZ in regulating the expression of type I fimbriae in Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium," Journal of Bacteriology, 191, 3003-3010 (2009).
  • T. A. Desai, D. A. Rodionov, M. S. Gelfand, E. J. Alm, and C. V. Rao, "Engineering transcription factors with novel DNA-bind specificity using comparative genomics," Nucleic Acids Research, 37, 2493-2503 (2009).
  • M. Onsum and C. V. Rao, "Calling heads from tails: the role of mathematical modeling in understanding cell polarization," Current Opinion in Cell Biology, 21, 74-81 (2009).
  • C. V. Rao and G. W. Ordal, "The molecular basis of excitation and adaptation during chemotactic sensory transduction in bacteria," Contributions to Microbiology, 16, 33-64 (2009).
  • J. D. Brown, S. Saini, C. Aldridge, C. V. Rao, and P. A. Aldridge, "The rate of flagella protein secretion dictates the temporal dynamics of flagellar gene expression," Molecular Microbiology, 70, 924-937 (2008).
  • C. V. Rao and G. W. Ordal. "The three adaptation systems of Bacillus subtilis chemotaxis," Trends in Microbiology, 16, 408-487 (2008).
  • L. M. Chubiz and C. V. Rao, "Computational design of orthogonal ribosomes," Nucleic Acids Research 36, 4038-46 (2008).
  • S. Saini, J. D. Brown, P. D. Aldridge, and C. V. Rao, "FliZ is a post-translational activator of FlhD4C2-dependent flagellar gene expression," Journal of Bacteriology, 190, 4979-88 (2008).
  • D. Lin, C. V. Rao, and J. M Slauch, "The Salmonella SPI1 type three secretion system responds to periplasmic disulfide bond status via the flagellar apparatus and the RcsCDB system," Journal of Bacteriology, 190, 87-97 (2008).
  • M. Onsum and C. V. Rao, "A mathematical model for neutrophil polarization and gradient sensing," PLoS Computational Biology, 3, 436-450 (2007).


  • Robert W. Schaefer Scholar, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2012-2014
  • Helen Corley Petit Scholar, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, University of Illinois, UC, 2011-2012
  • CAST Outstanding Young Researcher Award, American Institute of Chemical Engineers, 2012
  • Inaugural High Impact Paper Award, International Federation of Automatic Control, 2010
  • CAST Directors' Award, American Institute of Chemical Engineers, 2008
  • Excellence in Teaching Award, School of Chemical Sciences, University of Illinois, 2008
  • W. David Smith Graduate Publication Award, American Institute of Chemical Engineers, 2007
  • CAREER Award, National Science Foundation, 2007