We work to advance biotechnology and medicine by combining organic chemistry, chemical biology, and biomaterials.
Our lab strives to maintain a collegial and inclusive environment where people treat each other with respect.
Our first steps into the giant world of tiny RNAs... Reporting a systematic methodology to rapidly generate aptamer-based sensors that can detect oncogenic (and other niche) microRNAs in biological environments native to cells and tissues. Check out the work of Liming, Kern, Tushar, Melih, and Jonathan, titled "MicroRNA Detection in Biological Media Using a Split Aptamer Platform". Now available as a preprint from bioRxiv.
Can the phosphodiester linkage selectivity of DNA polymerases be overcome by enzyme redesign to make non-natural nucleic acids? YES! Describing the first example of a DNA polymerase to display an unnatural activity — catalyzing N-P bond formation! — upon substitution of a metal-binding amino acid in its active site. Tushar and Jonathan, in collaboration with the Khare and York Labs, publish "Introducing a New Bond-Forming Activity in an Archaeal DNA Polymerase by Structure-Guided Enzyme Redesign". Now available as a preprint from bioRxiv, check it out!
Huseyin's collaborative work with Bryan and Rhia on probing cellular nitrosative stress receives funding from the Rutgers Center for Lipid Research.
A powerful marriage of bioorthogonal chemistry and surface chemistry: "Bioorthogonal Functionalization of Material Surfaces with Bioactive Molecules", now available as a preprint from bioRxiv. Kern, John, Melih, and Tushar report a facile and cytocompatible method of functionalizing solid surfaces, which is well positioned for enabling medical and biotechnology applications.
Izgu lab receives a major commercialization grant through a parent National Institutes of Health’s Research Evaluation and Commercialization Hub (REACH) award from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute to Rutgers. This highly competitive grant has been selected by the Rutgers HealthAdvance program, which focuses on advancing innovative technologies with translational potential. For more details check out the Departmental News and the Rutgers Research – HealthAdvance projects.
Bryan receives Rieman Award, which recognizes graduate students for excellence in undergraduate teaching. Congrats Bryan!
John and Kern publish a versatile chemical strategy for site-specific functionalization of materials in ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces. Title: "Catecholamine-Copper Redox as a Basis for Site-Specific Single-Step Functionalization of Material Surfaces". This work provides a robust platform for cell differentiation, tissue engineering, and prevention of biofilm formation. Check it out!
Bryan's research proposal on the investigation of lipid membrane reactivity in diseased cells receives funding from the Rutgers Center for Lipid Research. Congrats Bryan!
A highly configurable RNA-based imaging technology that Tushar is developing leads to a provisional patent. Congrats Tushar, and thanks to the Rutgers ORED and NIH for supporting this technology.
E.C. Izgu receives the NIH, National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB) Trailblazer Award. The NIH / NIBIB Trailblazer Award is a great opportunity for early-stage investigators to pursue high-impact research programs of high interest to the NIH and NIBIB at the interface of the life and physical sciences. We are thrilled to have this recognition from the NIH for our ongoing efforts in building bioorthogonal platforms to investigate aberrant metabolic pathways and how pathogenesis originates in the cell. For details and highlights, check out the Departmental News and Rutgers Newsletter, The Current.
The lab receives Research Grants Program Award from the New Jersey Health Foundation, which will support our studies on the prevention and eradication of biofilms.
The Materials Research Team including the Izgu Lab receives funding from the Chancellor's Office of Rutgers to engineer co-stimulatory protocells as therapeutic agents against cancer.
The next-generation material surface functionalization technology that Zhaojun (John) Jia is developing leads to a provisional patent. Congrats John, and thanks to the Rutgers ORED for supporting our technology. Update: PCT application filed in Dec 2020.
A team of Rutgers faculty including E.C. Izgu receives funding from the Chancellor's Office of Rutgers for the in vitro design and in vivo implementation of synthetic cells.
The lab receives the Charles and Johanna Busch Biomedical Grant Award. Thanks to the Rutgers, Office of Research and Economic Development (ORED) for supporting our research.
E.C. Izgu receives the American Cancer Society Institutional Research Grant
Early Investigator Award. This award is complemented with additional funds from
the Cancer Institute of New Jersey. Thanks to both ACS and CINJ for supporting our research!