Tagbo H.R. Niepa is the Arthur Hamerschlag Associate Professor of Chemical Engineering and 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
Google Scholar
Tagbo H.R. Niepa
Niepa μBiointerface Lab


2014 Ph.D., Chemical Engineering, Syracuse University

2009 BS, Bioengineering, Syracuse University

Media mentions

CMU Engineering

Engineering faculty awarded professorships

Carnegie Mellon University has awarded professorships to five exceptional faculty members in the College of Engineering.

Chemical Engineering

Taking microbial research from nano to global

Tagbo Niepa presented at symposia in Colombia and Morocco to facilitate international collaboration and apply innovations from his lab to global health challenges in different contexts.

Cue and Usman earn Emerging Researchers National Conference awards

ChemE Ph.D. students Camila Cue and Huda Usman gave oral presentations at the 2024 Emerging Researchers National (ERN) Conference in STEM. Cue won 1st place in the Technology and Engineering - Biomedical Engineering track of the graduate oral presentations.

Chemical Engineering

Studying microbes in marine environments and microcapsules

Ph.D. student Huda Usman is applying her experience at the prestigious Marine Biological Laboratory to her research miniaturizing the culture system.

Chemical Engineering

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.