Philip Demokritou

Henry Rutgers Chair in Environmental Bioengineering, School of Public Health // Courtesy Appointment

Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering

Office Hours: TBA

Dr. Demokritou’s research interests are primarily in the areas of nano-aerosol science and technology with an emphasis on the elucidation of particle-bio interactions and  health effects. His particle research spans across the exposure-disease continuum and includes the development of personal monitoring (PM) systems for use in exposure assessment and epidemiological studies and methods for the physico-chemical and biological  characterization of particles. His current research focuses on interactions of engineered nanomaterials (ENMs) with biological systems and the role of ENM structure on bioactivity both in terms of nanosafety research and biomedical applications. His nanosafety research has involved development of in-vitro screening approaches for nano-specific effects (DNA damage, epigenetics, translocation of ENMs across biological barriers, etc), “safer-by-design” approaches for families of ENMs, development of advanced tools and framework approaches for in-vitro/in-vivo dosimetry, life cycle specific risk assessment studies for nano-enabled products (NEPs).  and fate of ENMs in the gastrointestinal tract (GIT).  His current nanoscience research also includes synthesis of nanomaterials using flame spray pyrolysis, nature derived biopolymers for agri-food applications and environmental nanotechnology applications for pathogen inactivation, development of sustainable food package materials and agri-chemical delivery systems  using nature derived biopolymers. Dr. Demokritou is currently the Director of two interdisciplinary research Centers at Harvard University: Harvard-NIEHS Nanosafety Research Center ( and the Center for Nanotechnology and Nanotoxicology at ( He is also currently the Program Director for the Harvard-Nanyang Technological University/Singapore Sustainable Nanotechnology Initiative. In the past, he served as a co-PI of the Harvard-EPA PM Health Effect Center (1999-2010, US EPA star grant) and the Director of the Harvard-Cyprus International Institute for the Environment and Public Health from 2005-2008.  He served as PI, co-PI, or co-investigator on several grants funded by NIH, EPA, NIOSH, NSF, USDA/NIFA, CPSC, and EU research framework (FP7). He holds eight international/US patents and inventions. He is a co-author of two books, numerous book chapters, and more than 180 articles in leading journals in nanoscience, particle health effect, and aerosol engineering fields. Dr. Demokritou’s innovative research was highlighted in major mainstream media and online magazines, including articles published in the Economist, NanoWerk, Chemistry world, The Scientist, ACS C&EN News, MIT News, Harvard Gazette, and NPR news. Dr. Demokritou is currently an Associate Professor at the Harvard School of Public Health and a founding co-editor in chief of NanoImpact (Elsevier)