Sachin P. Patil

Sachin P. Patil, PhD

  • Professor
Media Expertise:
  • Engineering

Affiliated Programs


  • PhD, Chemical Engineering (2007)
    Michigan State University (MI)

About Me

I envision myself developing courses on upstream and downstream bioprocessing both at the graduate and undergraduate levels at Widener University. My current teaching strengths and interests are Material and Energy Balances (CHE 222), Chemical Engineering Thermodynamics (CHE 330 and ENGR 325), Biochemical Engineering (CHE 427), as well as graduate courses on Bioseparations (ENGR 625) and Pharmaceutical Engineering (ENGR 694).

I have dedicated much of my time to teaching several courses including developing a senior biochemical laboratory as well as mentoring undergraduate research. I have acquired and created several effective teaching techniques and principles. My style of teaching is based on the following principles: engage the students, establish fair and clear grading policies, set clear and realistic goals, give quick feedback, identify and correct misconceptions early, and let the students make mistakes.

I have found that when you raise the bar of expectation, the students will strive to meet that bar. Also, my personal teaching experience has proven that a good way to engage the class is to give short quizzes during class after the discussion of a major concept. They show how well the material has been absorbed and the level of interest exhibited by each student. This also is direct feedback to me to adjust and correct my teaching style, if necessary.

I  believe teaching is one of most important privileges that is bestowed upon a university faculty member. As such, I am passionate about teaching and working with students and providing them with a stimulating learning environment through continued development of new educational materials and teaching techniques. My ultimate goal as an instructor is to produce independent engineering-based problem solvers in my students.

Research Interests

My long-term research interest and goal is to establish an active, externally-funded research program at Widener University with the motto of "Better health through discovery, de novo design, and effective delivery of novel drugs." Despite tremendous medical advances, we still face many health challenges for which there is no effective cure. The age-associated disorders like cancer and Alzheimer's disease are two of the most notorious examples of such devastating diseases.

Cancer is still the second leading cause of death in the U.S. Similarly, there are currently 5.2 million Alzheimer's disease patients in the U.S., and the numbers are expected to rise significantly owing to the aging population of baby boomers and lack of any effective cure. In this context, the primary aim of my research work is to unravel the molecular mechanisms underlying these diseases and use these novel mechanistic understandings to discover and design effective therapeutics against these traditionally-challenging diseases:

Alzheimer's Disease – Apolipoprotein E (ApoE) is one of the most significant risk factors for late-onset or sporadic Alzheimer's disease. ApoE has been shown to be critical in clearing the harmful ApoE deposits from the brain and its ability to do that depends upon its lipidation status. Therefore, there is a growing interest in understanding the underlying mechanisms involved in ApoE lipidation and using these mechanistic understandings to discover drugs to enhance ApoE lipidation status.
My laboratory is investigating potential involvement of abnormal glucose metabolism in poor ApoE lipidation.

Cancer – The p53 protein plays a central role in protecting cells against carcinogenesis. It is inhibited in 50% of human tumors, however, by interaction with the oncogenic MDM2 protein. Therefore, blocking the p53-binding pocket on MDM2 protein by small-molecule drugs, leading to activation of the tumor suppressor p53 protein presents a fundamentally novel strategy against several types of cancers. In this regard, my laboratory is involved in discovery and design of novel molecules that can mimic the p53 structural features involved in binding to the MDM2 pocket with the ultimate aim of blocking p53-MDM2 interaction.

Media Expertise

  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Cancer immunotherapy
  • Drug discovery and development
  • Nanotechnology


  • Sachin P Patil, Elena Fattakhova, Jeremy Hofer, et al. (2022) “Machine-Learning Guided Discovery of Bioactive Inhibitors of PD1-PDL1 Interaction”, Pharmaceuticals, 15(5): 613.​

  • Sachin P Patil, Juliette DiFlumeri, Justin Wellington, et al. (2022) “Alzheimer’s neuroinflammation: A crosstalk between immune checkpoint PD1-PDL1 and ApoE-Heparin interactions?” Medical Hypotheses, 164: 110865.​

  • Elena Fattakhova, Jeremy Hofer, Juliette DiFlumeri, Sachin P Patil (2021) “Identification of the FDA‐Approved Drug Pyrvinium as a Small‐Molecule Inhibitor of the PD‐1/PD‐L1 Interaction”, ChemMedChem, 16(18): 2769-2774.

  • Patil, Sachin P., Pedro J. Ballester, and Cassidy R. Kerezsi. "Prospective Virtual Screening for Novel p53-MDM2 Inhibitors Using Ultrafast Shape Recognition." Journal of Computer-Aided Molecular Design 28, no. 2 (2014): 89–97.
  • Patil, Sachin P., Nhung Tran, Hirosha Geekiyanage, Li Liu, and Christina Chan. "Curcumin-Induced Upregulation of the Anti-Tau Cochaperone BAG2 in Primary Rat Cortical Neurons." Neuroscience Letters 554 (2013): 121–125.
  • Patil, Satchin P., Ryan Ballard, Sheena Sanchez, James Osborn, and David Santangelo Jr. "ApoE: The Link Between Alzheimer's-Related Glucose Hypometabolism and A_ deposition?." Medical Hypotheses 78, no.4 (2012): 494–496.

Professional Affiliations & Memberships

American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE), American Chemical Society (ACS)


  • New Investigator Research Grant (NIRG), Alzheimer's Association-Alzheimer's Research Funding (2013–2015)
  • Faculty Development Grant, Widener University- Funding for Cancer Research (2014–2015)
  • Outstanding Graduate Student Award, Michigan State University (2007)


In the Media


  • Engineering Professor Named Journal Guest Editor

    Sachin Patil, professor of chemical engineering, was invited to serve as the guest editor for a special issue in the peer-reviewed journal Pharmaceuticals. Titled “Alzheimer’s Disease: Small-Molecule Modulators of Novel Therapeutic Pathways,” this special issue is dedicated to gathering novel Alzheimer’s disease mechanisms, with a particular emphasis on targeting these mechanisms using small-molecule drugs. 

    Share link:

  • Professor of Chemical Engineering Sachin Patil and a team of student-researchers published a paper in the journal Computational Biology and Chemistry titled, “Discovery of small-molecule PD-1/PD-L1 antagonists through combined virtual screening and experimental validation.” The paper presented an integrated drug discovery approach leading to identification of a novel PD-1/PD-L1 antagonist that may serve as a starting point for further optimization into potent, small-molecule cancer immunotherapies. The team included students from Widener's chemical engineering and computer science program, as well as Computer Science Professor Jeffrey Rufinus and technician John Stoddart. Michelle DiFrancesco '18, a chemical engineering graduate, served as the student team leader and study first author. She is currently continuing her cancer immunotherapy work at Bristol-Myers Squibb, a leading global biopharmaceutical company. 

    Share link:

  • Engineering Faculty Presents Funded Research at International Symposium

    Sachin Patil, professor of chemical engineering, attended and presented findings at the Heart Development and Disease: From Genes to Cures conference hosted by Keystone Symposia in Santa Fe, New Mexico. The conference gathered researchers from around the world to advance knowledge and understanding of heart formation and homeostatic function and how derangement in these processes lead to diseases and organ dysfunction.

    In his presentation, “Small-molecule stabilizers (and inhibitors) of immune checkpoint PD1-PDL1 for heart disease and beyond,” Patil highlighted his novel findings on the role of immunotherapy in the heart disease treatment. Patil’s research is supported by a funding grant from the W. W. Smith Charitable Trust.  

    Share link: