Carnegie Mellon University

Rachelle Palchesko

Dr. Rachelle Palchesko

Special Faculty Researcher of Biomedical Engineering

  • Scott Hall 4N300A
  • 412-268-3348
Scott Hall 4N300A
Carnegie Mellon University
5000 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213


  • B.S., Biochemistry, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, 2006
  • Ph.D., Chemistry, Duquesne University, 2011 


Dr. Rachelle Palchesko received her B.S. in Biochem in 2006 Summa Cum Laude with a Provost’s Scholarship from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. In 2011, Rachelle then received her Doctorate of Philosophy from the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at Duquesne University under the advisement of Dr. Ellen S. Gawalt. In 2011, Rachelle became a postdoctoral fellow at both the Department of Ophthalmology at the University of Pittsburgh and the department of Biomedical Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University(CMU), where she worked in the labs of Dr. James L Funderburgh and Dr. Adam Feinberg, respectively. From 2013 to 2016, Rachelle worked as a postdoctoral fellow solely in the lab of Dr. Adam Feinberg, until she was promoted to a Special Faculty member in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at CMU under the direction of Dr. Feinberg. Rachelle has taught courses at CMU focusing on Engineering Biomaterials, Polymeric Biomaterials, and Tissue Engineering. 


Dr. Palchesko's research focuses on creating biomimetic extracellular matrix based materials for tissue engineering and cell delivery.  The majority of her research since she joined Adam Feinberg's lab here at CMU has focused on treating corneal blindness due to dysfunction the corneal endothelium using various methods such as: increasing the in vitro expansion of the cells using substrates with varying mechanical properties, engineering a transplant quality corneal endothelium using cultured cells and engineering ECM based scaffolds, and most recently developing a technology to increase the integration of corneal endothelial cells post-injection for cell injection therapy based approaches.  She is currently adapting the cell injection technology for use in the treatment of Cystic Fibrosis and other diseases.

Research Interests: tissue engineering, biomaterials, cell injection therapy, corneal endothelium, cystic fibrosis


Awards and Recognition

  • Member, Sigma Xi Scientific Research Honor Society

  • Fellow, Ocular Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Ophthalmology, 2011-2013