Laya Bhavaraju

Graduate Student

Contact Information

Laya Bhahavaraju


  • B.S., Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, Michigan State University
  • Joined the Biological and Biomedical Sciences Program in 2009
  • Advisers:  Michael Madden and Urmila Kodavanti

Research Interests

My research interests include identification of mechanistic responses to petroleum and biodiesel combustion particulate matter in air pollution which lead to cardiovascular and pulmonary injury. The field of biodiesel research is still in its primitive state and we still have to discover what components are created when biodiesel is combusted and the correct methods in which to discover if these components are biologically active. Studies on biodiesel combustion indicate possible unique combustion chemistry of which bioactivity has yet to be studied. Components of petroleum diesel exhaust (PDE) are known to cause adverse cardiovascular health effects, via ROS generation or direct cellular injury. Our goal is to understand differences in the combustion chemistry of biodiesel exhaust (BDE) and petroleum diesel exhaust (PDE) and examine the exposure effects in endothelial cells in vitro and in vivo using rat aortas. Our studies will provide insight into potential bioactive components of BDE that are likely to produce differential endothelial toxicity than what has been observed with PDE.


M.Madden, L. Bhavaraju, U.Kodavanti. (2011). Toxicology of Biodiesel Combustion Products. Biodiesel - quality, emissions and by-products. G. Montero and M. Stoytcheva. Rijeka, Croatia, InTech: 195-214.

Personal Interests

Baking new treats and brining them into lab so I won't eat them all.