Faculty Experts - Jacob Elmer, PhD

Jacob Elmer, PhD

Jacob Elmer, PhD
Assistant Professor
Department of Chemical Engineering
Villanova University College of Engineering

Areas of Expertise

  • Genetic Engineering (including GMO's)
  • Hemoglobin, Blood donation,  Blood loss
  • Dialysis
  • Cancer Issues 


A shortage in human blood donations is a serious and life-threatening issue that plagues developing countries, battlefields and healthcare facilities alike. Professor Elmer’s research is focused on finding a universal donor “blood substitute” that is safe, stable at room temperature for long periods of time, and is an effective oxygen carrier. He can also speak to the development of novel vehicles for gene delivery within the human body to treat cancer.


  • Ph.D., Chemical Engineering, Ohio State University
  • B.S., Biochemical Engineering, University of Missouri
  • B.S., Biological Sciences, University of Missouri

Selected Publications

  • Elmer JJ, Christensen MD, Rege K.  Applying horizontal gene transfer phenomena to enhance non-viral gene therapy.  J Control Release.  2013 172(1):246-257.
  • Elmer J, Palmer AF, Cabrales P.  Oxygen delivery during extreme anemia with ultra-pure earthworm hemoglobin.  Life Sci. 2012 91(17-18):852-859.
  • Elmer J, Zorc K, Rameez S, Zhou Y, Cabrales P, Palmer AF.  Hypervolemic infusion of Lumbricus terrestris erythrocruorin purified by tangential flow filtration.  Transfusion.  2012 52(8)1729-1740.
  • Elmer J, Palmer AF.  Biophysical Properties of Lumbricus terrestris Erythrocruorin and its Potential Use as a Blood Substitute.  J. Funct. Biomater. 2012 3(1):49-60.
  • Elmer J, Harris D, Palmer AF.  Purification of hemoglobin from red blood cells using tangential flow filtration and immobilized metal ion affinity chromatography.  J Chromatogr B Analyt Technol Biomed Life Sci. 2011 879(2):131-8.

Selected Professional Experience

  • Postdoctoral Scholar, Arizona State University
  • Adjunct Faculty, Grand Canyon University
  • Graduate Research Assistant, Ohio State University

Selected Research

  • Manipulating Epigenetic Mechanisms to Enhance Non-Viral Gene Therapy, National Science Foundation Grant, 2014-2017.
  • Development of Learning Modules for Fundamental Biology Concepts and Experiments to Enhance Student Learning and Training, Villanova University Grant, 2014-2015.

About Villanova

Since 1842, Villanova University’s Augustinian Catholic intellectual tradition has been the cornerstone of an academic community in which students learn to think critically, act compassionately and succeed while serving others. There are more than 10,000 undergraduate, graduate and law students in the University's six colleges – the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the Villanova School of Business, the College of Engineering, the College of Nursing, the College of Professional Studies and the Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law. As students grow intellectually, Villanova prepares them to become ethical leaders who create positive change everywhere life takes them.

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