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Lola Eniola-Adefeso | Faculty

Lola Eniola-Adefeso

Associate Professor, Chemical Engineering;
Miller Faculty Scholar

B28-G046W NCRC
(734) 936-0856
Fax: (734) 764-7453



Profile Story

As a child, Lola Eniola-Adefeso immersed herself in the realm of fantasy, courtesy of authors like C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien. There was something about the bridging of impossibility that appealed to her, making the circuitry of her mind buzz with interest. Exploring unknown worlds and mysterious territories, it seems, is a skill she developed very early on in her life.

When she entered college, the topography of these fantastical places changed, and Professor Eniola-Adefeso wished to explore the geography of the human body. That curiosity, paired with a love of science and math, drove her to pursue engineering.

"I'm just happy to find information and pass it along. To have people build new information from that is exciting!"
Lola Eniola-Adefeso

"The interest I had in the human body made me more biased toward biomedical-type research," she recalls. "Once I got involved in undergraduate research in that area, it solidified my interest in finding ways to apply engineering to biology."

What truly fascinated her were the inner workings of the vascular system—in particular, addressing the ways in which blood flow and blood cells could impact drug delivery therapy, thereby increasing the efficacy of disease treatments and medication. After she completed her PhD at the University of Pennsylvania, she came to U-M to further her work as an assistant professor, eventually founding the Eniola Research Group in the Department of Chemical Engineering.

"We're essentially focused on trying to use knowledge of how the human body functions to guide the design of sophisticated drug delivery vehicles. The central argument in my lab is that you cannot change the human body and its complexity—you cannot make it work for your system; you have to make your system work for it."

Professor Eniola-Adefeso's research, coupled with the hard work of her lab, has changed the vocabulary of biomolecular engineering. Shifting the focus from the drug itself to how materials interact with blood flow and cells has transformed the field, and it has helped to guide new research and technology.

"I think some of the things we've shown—that a good understanding of blood cell dynamic and blood flow is very important to drug-carrier functionality—have reenergized computational fluid dynamics. Now I see, more and more, the papers coming out trying to model red cell interactions, which is great."

Engineering, to Professor Eniola-Adefeso, is much more than a profession—it's a means of constantly learning and improving both herself and the entire world.

"I'm a typical geek," she admits genially, shrugging her shoulders and smiling. "I'm just happy to find information and pass it along. To have people build new information from that is exciting!"

Short Bio


University of Pennsylvania
PhD Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering '04
MSE Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering '00

University of Maryland, Baltimore County
BSE Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering '99


University of Michigan
Chemical Engineering Department
Ann Arbor, Michigan
Associate Professor, 2014-present
Assistant Professor, 2006-2014

Baylor College of Medicine
Pediatrics/Leukocyte Biology
Houston, Texas, 2004-2006

Research & Teaching


Due to their high specific interaction with their counter-receptors and their carefully regulated expression (limit to inflammation), leukocyte-endothelium adhesion molecules (LECAM) are attractive molecules for vascular targeting in human diseases in which inflammation plays a role. Our research goal is to use knowledge of the cellular inflammatory response and blood flow dynamics to design bio-functionalized particles for targeted drug delivery and imaging.

Work in the lab is divided into 3 major groups:

  1. Cell Adhesion and Migration - Cells of the immune system.
    Our goal is to use in vitro experimental setups to understand the receptor-ligand interactions involved in leukocyte firm arrest and transmigration.
  2. Design of polymeric cells for targeted drug delivery.
    We are working on designing sophisticated leukocyte mimetics that can target therapeutics to diseased vasculature via multiple receptor-ligand interactions with applications in cardiovascular disease and cancer.
  3. Smart Biomaterials for Drug Delivery.
    We working closely with polymer chemists and material scientist to identify new materials for drug delivery. Our work in this area is currently focused on immune response to new materials.


Undergraduate ChE Courses

  • ChE 230 - Material and Energy Balance, Fall 2009, Fall 2010
    ChE 342 - Mass and Heat Transfer, Fall 2006, Fall 2007, Fall 2008

Student Projects

Graduate ChE Courses

  • ChE 696 - Engineering Principle in Drug Delivery and Targeting, Winter 2010

    Honors and Awards

    Honors and Awards

    • American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering, Fellow, 2017
    • Raymond J. and Monica E. Schultz Outreach and Diversity Award, 2017
      College of Engineering, University of Michigan
    • Harold R. Johnson Diversity Service Award (2016)
      The University of Michigan
    • NAE Frontier of Engineering Education, Selected Participant (2012)
    • Provost Teaching Innovation Award (2012)
      The University of Michigan
    • Departmental Research Achievement Award (2012)
      Department of Chemical Engineering at the University of Michigan
    • NSF CAREER (2011)
      National Science Foundation
    • Innovator Award (2010)
      American Heart Association
    • Scientist Development Grant (2007)
      American Heart Association
    • University of Michigan Rackham Faculty Development Grant, 2006
    • APS/NIDDK Travel Fellowship Awards: EB, 2006
    • Baylor College of Medicine NIH T32 Training Grant in Lung Disease, 2004 - 2006
    • Janice Lumpkin Awards For Excellence in Arts & Sciences, 2003
    • NASA Graduate Research Fellowship, 2002-2004
    • GEM Masters Fellowship in Engineering, 1999
    • UMBC Meyerhoff Scholarship, 1997-1999
    • UMBC MARC U* STAR Scholar, 1998 - 1999

    Recent Publications

    • Heslinga, M.J., G.M. Willis, D. Sobzynski, A.J. Thompson and O. Eniola-Adefeso. (2013) “One-Step Fabrication of Agent-Loaded Biodegradable Microspheroids for Drug Delivery and Imaging Applications.” Submitted.
    • Onyskiw, P. and O. Eniola-Adefeso. (2013) “Effect of PEGylation on Ligand-Based Targeting of Drug Carriers to the Vascular Wall in Blood Flow.” Langmuir. 2013. 29(35):11127-34.
    • Thompson, A.J., E.M. Mastria, O. Eniola-Adefeso (2013) “The Margination Propensity of Ellipsoidal Micro/Nanoparticles to the Endothelium in Human Blood Flow” Biomaterials. 2013. 34(23):5863-71.
    • Huang, R.B., A.L. Gonzalez, and O. Eniola-Adefeso. (2013) “Laminar Shear Stress Elicit Distinct Endothelial Cell E-Selectin Expression Pattern via TNFα and IL-1β Activation.” Biotechnology & Bioengineering. 2013. 110(3): 999-1003.
    • Namdee, K., A.J. Thompson, P. Charoenphol and O. Eniola-Adefeso. (2013) “Margination propensity of vascular-targeted spheres from blood flow in a microfluidic model of human microvessels.” Langmuir. 2013. 29(8): 2530-2535.
    • Charoenphol, P., P. Onyskiw and O. Eniola-Adefeso. (2012) “Particle-Cell Dynamics in Human Blood Flow: Implications for Vascular-Targeted Drug Delivery.” Journal of Biomechanics. 2012. 45(16):2822-2828.
    • Heslinga, M.J., T.M. Porter and O. Eniola-Adefeso. Design of nanovectors for therapy and imaging of cardiovascular diseases. Methodists: Debakey Cardiovascular Journal, 2012. 8(1): 13-17
    • Huang, R.B. and O. Eniola-Adefeso. “Shear stress modulation of IL-1β-induced E-selectin expression in human endothelial cells.” PLoS One, 2012. 7(2): e31874.
    • Charoenphol, P., S. Mocherla, D. Dubois, K. Namdee and O. Eniola-Adefeso. “Targeting therapeutics to the vascular wall in atherosclerosis - Carrier size matters.” Atherosclerosis, 2011. 217(2): 364-70.
    • Huang, R.B., S. Mocherla, M.J. Heslinga, P. Charoenphol, and O. Eniola-Adefeso. “Dynamic and cellular interactions of nanoparticles in vascular-targeted drug delivery.” Molecular Membrane Biology, 2010. 27(4-6): 190-205. Second most read article summer 2010.
    • Eniola-Adefeso, O. Bringing Outreach Into the Engineering Classroom – A Mass and Heat Transfer Course Project. Chemical Engineering Education, 2010. 44(4): 280
    • Charoenphol, P., R.B. Huang and O. Eniola-Adefeso. “Potential role of size and hemodynamics in the efficacy of vascular-targeted spherical drug carriers.” Biomaterials, 2010. 31(6): 1392-402.
    • Heslinga, M.J., E.M. Mastria* and O. Eniola-Adefeso. Fabrication of biodegradable spheroidal microparticles for drug delivery applications. Journal of Controlled Release, 2009. 138(3): 235-242.
    • Eniola-Adefeso, O., R.B. Huang and C.W. Smith. Kinetics of LFA-1 Mediated Adhesion of Human Neutrophils to ICAM-1 – Role of E-Selectin Signaling Post-Activation. Annals of Biomedical Engineering, 2009. 37(4): 737-48.
    • Eniola, A.O. and D.A. Hammer. In vitro characterization of leukocyte mimetic for targeting therapeutics to the endothelium using two receptors. Biomaterials, 2005. 26(34): 7136-44.
    • Eniola, A.O., E.F. Krasik, L.A. Smith, S. Gang, and D.A. Hammer. I-domain of lymphocyte function-associated antigen-1 mediates rolling of polystyrene particles on ICAM-1 under flow. Biophysical Journal, 2005. 89: 3577-88.
    • Eniola, A.O. and D.A. Hammer. Characterization of biodegradable drug delivery vehicles with the adhesive properties of leukocytes II: Effect of degradation on targeting efficiency. Biomaterials, 2005. 26(6): 661-670
    • Eniola, A.O., P.J. Willcox and D.A. Hammer. Quantifying Interplay between rolling and firm adhesion elucidated with a cell-free system engineered with two distinct receptor-ligand pairs. Biophysical Journal, 2003. 85(4): 2720-31.
    • Zhang, Y., A.O. Eniola, D.J. Graves, and D.A. Hammer. Specific Adhesion of Micron-Sized Colloids to Surfaces Mediated by DNA Hybridization. Langmuir, 2003. 19(17): 6905-11.
    • Eniola, A.O. and D.A. Hammer. Artificial polymeric cells for targeted drug delivery. Journal of Controlled Release, 2003. 87(1-3): 18-22.
    • Eniola, A.O., S.D. Rodgers and D.A. Hammer. Characterization of biodegradable drug delivery vehicles with the adhesive properties of leukocytes. Biomaterials, 2002. 23(10): 2167-77.
    • Eniola, A.O. and J.A. Lumpkin. Reducing metal-catalyzed oxidation during immobilized Cu-Iminodiacetic acid metal affinity chromatography. Proceedings National Conference of Undergraduate Research, 1998. Volume III: 989-91.