Photo of Esther Gomez

Esther Gomez

Associate Professor


  • Chemical Engineering
  • Biomedical Engineering

410 Chemical and Biomedical Engineering Building


Personal or Departmental Website

Google Scholar Profile

Research Areas:

Biotechnology and Synthetic Biology; Interfaces and Surfaces

Interest Areas:

Mechanobiology; Structural Characterization of Biological Assemblies Using Advanced X-ray Scattering Tools: The interplay of chemical and mechanical signals acts to control cell behavior and function and the progression of disease; X-ray scattering for the characterization of biological assemblies, including plant cell walls and proteins in solution.




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


Journal Articles

  • Sintu *Rongpipi, William Barnes, Oskar Semianowski, Joshua T *Del Mundo, Cheng Wang, Guillaume Freychet, Mikhail Zhernenkov, Charles T Anderson, Esther W Gomez and Enrique Daniel Gomez, 2023, "Measuring calcium content in plants using NEXAFS spectroscopy", Frontiers in Plant Science, 14, pp. 1212126
  • Joshua *Del Mundo, Sintu *Rongpipi, Hui Yang, Dan *Ye, Sarah Kiemle, Stephanie Moffit, Charles L Troxel, Michael F Toney, Chenhui Zhu, James D Kubicki, Daniel J Cosgrove, Esther Gomez and Enrique Daniel Gomez, 2023, "Grazing-incidence diffraction reveals cellulose and pectin organization in hydrated plant primary cell wall", Scientific Reports, 13, pp. 5421
  • Elise B Gilcher, Nathaniel Kuch, Joshua T *Del Mundo, Samantha Ausman, Leoncio Santiago-Martinez, Catherine Clewett, Esther Gomez, Enrique Daniel Gomez, Thatcher W Root, Brian G Fox and James A Dumesic, 2023, "Evolution of the cellulose microfibril through gamma-valerolactone assisted co-solvent and enzymatic hydrolysis", ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering, 11, (8), pp. 3270-3283
  • Sandeep M *Nalluri, Chinmay S *Sankhe, Joseph W *O'Connor, Paul L *Blanchard, Joelle *Khouri, Steven H *Phan, Gage *Virgi and Esther Gomez, 2022, "Crosstalk between ERK and MRTF-A signaling regulates TGFß1-induced epithelial-mesenchymal transition", Journal of Cellular Physiology, 237, (5), pp. 2503-2515
  • Ishita Chakraborty, Sintu *Rongpipi, Rakesh , Sib Sankar Mal, K K Mahato, Esther Gomez, Enrique Daniel Gomez and Nirmal Mazumder, 2022, "An insight into microscopy and analytical techniques for morphological, structural, chemical, and thermal characterization of cellulose", Microscopy Research and Technique, 85, pp. 1990-2015
  • Jeffrey A Julien, Martin G Fernandez, Katrina M Brandmier, Joshua T *Del Mundo, Carol M Bator, Lucie A Loftus, Esther Gomez, Enrique Daniel Gomez and Kerney Jebrell Glover, 2021, "Rapid preparation of nanodiscs for biophysical studies", Archives of Biochemistry and Biophysics, 712, pp. 109051
  • Michele Fromel, Raymond L Crisci, Chinmay S *Sankhe, Danielle Reifsnyder Hickey, Timothy B Tighe, Esther Gomez and Christian Pester, 2021, "User-Friendly Chemical Patterning with Digital Light Projection Polymer Brush Photolithography", European Polymer Journal, 158, pp. 110652
  • Sintu *Rongpipi, Joshua *Del Mundo, Enrique Daniel Gomez and Esther Gomez, 2021, "Resonant X-ray scattering of biological assemblies", MRS Communications, 11, (1), pp. 1-17
  • Dan *Ye, Sintu *Rongpipi, Sarah Kiemle, William Barnes, Arielle Chaves, Chenhui Zhu, Victoria Norman, Alexander Liebman-Peláez, Alexander Hexemer, Michael Toney, Alison Roberts, Charles Anderson, Daniel J Cosgrove, Esther Gomez and Enrique Daniel Gomez, 2020, "Preferred crystallographic orientation of cellulose in plant primary cell walls", Nature Communications, 11, pp. 1420
  • Megan *Farell, Ava *Self, Christine Guza, Hyewon Song, Luigi *Apollon, Esther Gomez and Manish Kumar, 2020, "Lipid-functionalized graphene loaded with hMnSOD for selective inhibition of cancer cells", ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces, 12, (11), pp. 12407-12416
  • Chao Lang, Dan *Ye, Woolchul Song, ChenHao Yao, Yu-Ming Tu, Clara Capparelli, Jacob LaNasa, Michael A Hickner, Esther Gomez, Enrique Daniel Gomez, Robert Hickey and Manish Kumar, 2019, "Biomimetic separation of transport and matrix functions in lamellar block copolymer channel-based membranes", ACS Nano, 13, (7), pp. 8292-8302
  • Sintu *Rongpipi, Dan *Ye, Enrique Daniel Gomez and Esther Gomez, 2019, "Progress and opportunities in the characterization of cellulose - an important regulator of cell wall growth and mechanics", Frontiers in Plant Science, 9, pp. 1894
  • Dan *Ye, Sintu *Rongpipi, Joshua H Litofsky, Youngmin Lee, Tyler Culp, Sang-Ha Yoo, Thomas N Jackson, Cheng Wang, Esther Gomez and Enrique Daniel Gomez, 2019, "Aluminum oxide free-standing thin films to enable nitrogen edge soft X-ray scattering", MRS Communications, 9, (1), pp. 224-228
  • Dan *Ye, Thinh P Le, Brooke Kuei, Chenhui Zhu, Peter H Zwart, Cheng Wang, Enrique Daniel Gomez and Esther Gomez, 2018, "Resonant soft x-ray scattering provides protein structure with chemical specificity", Structure, 26, pp. 1-9
  • Shixin Huang, Mohamadamin Makarem, Sarah N Kiemle, Yunzhen Zheng, Xin He, Dan *Ye, Esther Gomez, Enrique Daniel Gomez, Daniel J Cosgrove and Seong H Kim, 2018, "Dehydration-induced physical strains of cellulose microfibrils in plant cell walls", Carbohydrate Polymers, 197, pp. 337-348
  • Dan *Ye, Sarah N Kiemle, Sintu *Rongpipi, X Wang, Cheng Wang, Daniel J Cosgrove, Esther Gomez and Enrique Daniel Gomez, 2018, "Resonant soft x-ray scattering reveals cellulose microfibril spacing in plant primary cell walls", Scientific Reports, 8, pp. 12449
  • Tyler Culp, Dan *Ye, M Paul, A Roy, M Behr, S Jons, S Rosenberg, Cheng Wang, Esther Gomez, Manish Kumar and Enrique Daniel Gomez, 2018, "Probing the internal microstructure of polyamide thin-film composite membranes using resonant soft X-ray scattering", ACS Macro Letters, 7, pp. 927-932
  • 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, 75, (5), pp. 201-212
  • 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, 209, pp. 179-191
  • 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, 17, (2), pp. 97-101
  • 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

  • Shawna Dory, Luis Delgado, Stephanie Cutler, Sarah E Zappe, Esther Gomez and Stephanie B Velegol, 2023, "Examining Gender Inclusivity through Sense of Belonging in a Summer Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) Program at a Large, Research University", American Society for Engineering Education
  • Joseph C Tise, Sarah E Zappe, Esther Gomez, Manish Kumar, Rachel MV Croninger and Stephanie Cutler, 2019, "Work-in-Progress: An exploration of students' conceptualization of research after participating in an undergraduate research experience", American Society for Engineering Education
  • Joseph C Tise, Kirsten S Hochstedt, Sarah E Zappe, Esther Gomez and Manish Kumar, 2018, "Lessons Learned from a Chemical Engineering REU: The Importance of Training Graduate Students who are Supervising REU Students", American Society for Engineering Education
  • 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

Honors and Awards

  • PSEAS Outstanding Teaching Award, Penn State Engineering Alumni Society, 2019
  • NSF CAREER Award, National Science Foundation, 2018


Service to Penn State:

Service to External Organizations:




The Penn State Department of Chemical Engineering, established in 1948, is recognized as one of the largest and most influential chemical engineering departments in the nation.

The department is built upon the fundamentals of academic integrity, innovation in research, and commitment to the advancement of industry.

Department of Chemical Engineering

121 Chemical and Biomedical Engineering Building

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University Park, PA 16802

Phone: 814-865-2574