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Sumona Sarkar (Fed)

Research Interests  

  • Cell therapy and regenerative medicine
  • Analytical method development
  • Cell counting and cell viability measurements
  • Cell characterization and critical quality attributes
  • Bioprocessing
  • Artificial intelligence and machine learning for cell characterization
  • Bio-mineralization and osteogenic differentiation measurements
  • Bone marrow stromal cell characterization
  • Cell-material interactions

Additional Information:


NIST-NRC Postdoctoral Fellowship program

NIST is looking for postdoctoral applicants interested in developing and applying novel tools to support the characterization of cells. Two-year fellowships are available through the NIST-NRC Postdoctoral Fellowship program. The program is open to US Citizens only, offers competitive salary and benefits, with research proposal and application deadlines annually on February 1 and August 1. Contact NIST staff and see the NIST-NRC webpage for more information.

Current Project Opportunities



Cell Characterization for Cell Therapy and Regenerative Medicine
Left: Confocal microscopy image of NIH 3T3 E1 mouse osteoblastic cells after 21 days of culture stained for nuclei (blue, DAPI), actin cytoskeleton (yellow, phalloidin) and mineral (red, calcein blue). Middle: Confocal microscopy image of a human marrow stromal cell (hMSC) in a nanofiber scaffold, outlined for morphology analysis (red, actin cytoskeleton (phalloidin), green, computer generated outline). Right: NIH 3T3 fibroblasts in a hemocytometer counting chamber. Cell counting is a fundamental measurement for the biosciences and efforts are underway to improve confidence in cell counting. 

Standards Activities

  • U.S. Expert to ISO TC/276 Biotechnology:  Project leader for cell counting, cell characterization and cell viability standards (Working Group 3, Analytical methods)
  • Member of USP Biological Monographs 5 – Advanced Therapies Expert Committee
  • Member of ASTM F04 Committee on Medical and Surgical Materials and Devices

Honors and Activities

  • Department of Commerce Gold Award 2022
  • NIST Bronze Award 2017
  • Mentor, NIST-University of Maryland PREP program
  • Mentor, NIST-Montgomery College Internship program
  • Mentor, NIST SURF student program
  • NIST Sigma XI Most outstanding biology and biotechnology poster presentation, 2013
  • NIST-NRC Postdoctoral Fellow, January 2012 – January 2014 
  • Best Student Paper, International Symposium on Surface and Interface of Biomaterials
  • Physical Cell Biology Fellow, 2008-2009
  • Graduate Student Award for Inspired Teaching, 2008
  • Engineering Design Education Fellow, 2007 - 2008
  • Duke University Summer Undergraduate Research Fellow, 2002    

Selected Publications  


  • Compositions and Methods for Treating a Disorder or Defect in Soft Tissue. Michele Marcolongo, Edward Vresilovic, Benjamin Jackson, Sumona Sarkar, Caroline Schauer.


Sensor Technologies for Quality Control in Engineered Tissue Manufacturing

Mary Clare McCorry, Marcie Black, Chrysanthi Williams, Greta Babakhanova, Sumona Sarkar, Nathan Swami, Katherine A. Mirica, Sarah Boermeester, Abbie Underhill
The use of engineered cells, tissues, and organs has the opportunity to change the way injuries and diseases are treated. Commercialization of these
Created July 30, 2019, Updated February 10, 2023