Faculty Directory
Neha Kamat

Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering

Contact

2145 Sheridan Road
Tech E353
Evanston, IL 60208-3109

847-467-2671Email Neha Kamat

Website

Kamat Lab


Centers

Center of Synthetic Biology


Departments

Biomedical Engineering

Affiliations

PhD Program in Interdisciplinary Biological Sciences


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Education

NASA Postdoctoral Fellow, Harvard University and Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA

Ph.D. Bioengineering, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA

B.S. Bioengineering, Rice University, Houston, TX


Research Interests

Engineered Membranes, Artificial Cells, Membrane Biophysics, Polymersomes, Biomaterials

Our interests lie in constructing minimal systems, or artificial cells, as a tool to understand and recreate certain cellular behaviors. We are specifically interested in designing mechanically responsive systems that can optically or enzymatically report membrane stress in biological and polymeric environments. By using emerging engineering methods in material science and synthetic biology, we aim to construct macromolecular assemblies that can coordinate both membrane biophysical processes and RNA-regulated chemical processes in order to continuously sense and respond to designed stimuli for medicinal and technological applications.

Our research activities are focused into three areas: (1) designing active interfaces by incorporating membrane proteins into synthetic bilayer membranes (2) designing optical sensors that report membrane tension and stress and (3) engineering compartments that can engage encapsulated reactions based on environmental stimuli. These research areas all utilize self-assembled bilayers as a material scaffold. They advance our understanding of membrane biophysics as well as enable technologies for the design of adaptive and responsive biomaterials.


Selected Publications

    1. Peruzzi, J. A.; Jacobs, M. L.; Wang, K. S.; Kamat, N. P.* Barcoding Biological Reactions with DNA-Functionalized Vesicles. Angewandte Chemie International Edition 2019 in press DOI:10.1002/anie.201911544 
    2. Hilburger, C. E.; Jacobs, M. L.; Lewis, K. R.; Peruzzi, J. A.; Kamat, N. P.* Controlling secretion in artificial cells with a membrane AND gate. ACS Synthetic Biology 2019, 8, 1224-1230
    3. Jacobs, M. J.; Boyd, M. A.; Kamat, N. P.*; Diblock copolymers enhance folding of a mechanosensitive membrane protein during cell-free expression. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 2019, 10, 4031-4036 
    4. Boyd, M. A. and Kamat, N. P.* Visualizing tension and growth in model membranes using optical dyes. Biophys J. 2018, 115, 1307-1315
    5. O’Flaherty, D. K.#; Kamat, N.P.# *; Mirza, F. M.; Li, L.; Prywes, N.; Szostak, J. WÑ. Copying of mixed sequence RNA templates inside model protocells. Journal of the American Chemical Society 2018, 140, 5171-5178 # authors contributed equally; * co-corresponding authors
    6. Jin, L.#; Kamat, N. P. #; Jena, S.; Szostak, J. W. Fatty Acid/Phospholipid Blended Membranes: A Potential Intermediate State in Protocellular Evolution. Small 2017, 1704077. # authors contributed equally
    7. Kamat, N. P.;  Tobe, S.;  Hill, I. T.;Szostak, J. W. Electrostatic Localization of RNA to Protocell Membranes by Cationic Hydrophobic Peptides. Angewandte Chemie 2015
    8. Kamat, N. P.;  Katz, J. S.;Hammer, D. A. Engineering Polymersome Protocells. Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters 2011, 2, 1612-1623.

Patents

1. Daniel A Hammer, Ivan Julian Dmochowski, Gregory Patrick Robbins, Masaya S Jimbo, Michael J Therien, and Neha P Kamat. Polymer Vesicles for Selective Electromagnetic Energy-Induced Delivery. US Patent App. 12/548, 801.