Dr. Banahalli R. Ratna is the Director for the Center for Bio/Molecular Science and Engineering (CBMSE) at the Naval Research Laboratory. In this capacity, she provides executive direction and technical leadership in the development of objectives and policies necessary to conduct basic and applied research in areas of bio/molecular science and engineering to meet DON/DoD operational needs. Under her supervision, basic science research projects are pursued that investigate biological and biomimetic processes at the molecular level and learn from biology to design and develop novel systems. The results of the basic science are translated to develop applied technology projects such as alternate energy sources and sensors for broad spectrum pathogen identification and chem/bio agents. She acts as a subject knowledge expert on bio/molecular science and engineering and provides advice to the NRL management. Working with Dr. Ratna are two ST members and a staff of over 80 federal scientists, contractors, post-doctoral fellows, and students. She was selected to the Senior Executive Service (SES) in March 2009.
Dr. Ratna has over 270 technical publications with over 5000 citations and an h-index of 41. She has also authored 25 patents. She has received several NRL Research Publication Awards for her work. She has given more than 150 invited and contributed talks at national and international meetings and universities. She has co-organized a number of national and international conferences. She is a member of the American Physical Society, American Chemical Society, and International Liquid Crystal Society.