Welcome to Milan Mrksich's Group and the
Laboratory for BioInterface Science and Engineering

My group’s interests overlap chemistry, biology and engineering, with an emphasis on the design and synthesis of materials that are biologically active and in applications of the materials to relevant problems in the biological and medical sciences.  Much of our work uses self-assembled monolayers of alkanethiolates on gold to prepare model surfaces that are structurally defined, yet that can have complex compositions and present the ligands in spatially-organized patterns.  We pioneered the design of ‘dynamic substrates’ that present ligands whose activities can be switched on and off in response to electrical or optical signals, particularly for studies that address the responses of adherent cells to changes in the extracellular matrix.  These mimics of the extracellular matrix have led the way to the discovery of novel ligands that mediate cell adhesion.  We have also developed robust surface chemistries for preparing biochip arrays and that are compatible with new analytical methods for analyzing the arrays.  For example, we have developed the SAMDI method, which uses mass spectrometry to analyze the arrays, and we have extended this method to the first label-free approach for high throughput screening, to the functional annotation of recently sequenced genes and towards an understanding of the networks that regulate protein acetylation.  Finally, a recent program is creating defined systems for exploring biochemical reactions to understand the role that localization of enzymes and substrates play in controlling reaction networks. 




September 2016

Congratulations to Pradeep and our collaborators in the Van Duyne and Schatz Groups, for having their paper “Bisboronic Acids for Selective, Physiologically Relevant Direct Glucose Sensing with Surface-Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy” accepted in JACS.

Milan discusses the emerging field of Synthetic Biology and its rapidly developing impact on cancer research. Link to article here.

July 2016

Congratulations to Eric, Pradeep and our collaborators, Professor Al George and Lyndsey Anderson, for having their paper “Measuring Drug Metabolism Kinetics and Drug-Drug Interactions with SAMDI Mass Spectrometry” accepted in Analytical Chemistry.

May 2016

Congratulations to Justin and our collaborators in the Hupp and Farha groups for having their paper “Toward Design Rules for Enzyme Immobilization in Hierarchical Mesoporous Metal-Organic Frameworks” accepted in CHEM.


Congratulations to Eric and Maria for their paper “Cellular Assays with a Molecular Endpoint Measured by SAMDI Mass Spectrometry” accepted for publication in Small.


Milan was interviewed for a story on the role of big data in biology. You can find the article here.

March 2016

Milan, Director of the Center for Synthetic Biology, invites you to celebrate the Center's launch event on March 22, 3pm-6pm in the Ford ITW Calssroom, Evanston campus.



Milan is presenting a talk on the use of SAMDI to measure enzyme activities in lysates from single cells, at this week's Pittcon meeting.


Congratulations to Kristin on acceptance of her paper "Micropatterning Facilitates the Long-Term Growth and Analysis of iPSC-Derived Individual Human Neurons and Neuronal Networks" by Advanced Healthcare Materials.




Milan and Senator Dick Durbin discuss the increase in NIH's budget


Recent Publications

  • Cellular Assays with a Molecular Endpoint Measured by SAMDI Mass Spectrometry. Berns, E.J., Cabezas, M.D., and Mrksich, M. Small., in press.
  • SIRT1 is a Critical Regulator of K562 Cell Growth, Survival, and Differentiation. Duncan, M.T., DeLuca, T.A., Kuo, H.-Y., Yi, M., Mrksich, M. and Miller, W.M. Exp. Cell Res., in press.

  • Micropatterning Facilitates the Long-Term Growth and Analysis of iPSC-Derived Individual Human Neurons and Neuronal Networks. Burbulla, L.F., Beaumont, K.G., Mrksich, M. and Krainc, D. Advanced Healthcare Materials., in press.
  • SAMDI Mass Spectrometry–Enabled High–Throughput Optimization of a Traceless Petasis Reaction. Diagne, A.B., Li, S., Perkowski, G.A., Mrksich, M. and Thomson, R.J. ACS Combinatorial Chemistry., 2015,  17, 658-662. [PDF]
  • Discovery of SIRT3 Inhibitors Using SAMDI Mass Spectrometry. K. Patel, J. Sherrill, M. Mrksich and M.D. Scholle. J. Biomol. Screen., 2015,  20, 842-848. [PDF]

  • Design and Structure Activity Relationship of Tumor-Homing Histone Deacetylase Inhibitors Conjugated to Folic and Pteroic Acids. Q.H. Sodji, J.R. Kornacki, J.F. McDonald, M. Mrksich and A.K. Oyelere. Eur. J. Med. Chem., 2015,  96, 340-359. [PDF]

  • A Gene Expression-Based Comparison of Cell Adhesion to Extracellular Matrix and RGD-Terminated Monolayers. C.J. Sobers, S.E. Wood and M. Mrksich. Biomaterials, 2015, 52, 385-394. [PDF]

  • Acetyltransferase PCAF Regulates Crosstalk-Dependent Acetylation of Histone H3 by Distal Site Recognition. J.R. Kornacki, A.D. Stuparu and M. Mrksich. ACS Chemical Biology, 2015, 10, 157-164. [PDF]

  • Structural, Kinetic and Proteomic Characterization of Acetyl Phosphate-Dependent Bacterial Protein Acetylation.  M.L. Kuhn, B. Zemaitaitis, L.I. Hu, A. Sahu, D. Sorensen, G. Minasov, B.P. Lima, M. Scholle, M. Mrksich, W.F. Anderson, B.W. Gibson, B. Schilling and A.J. Wolfe.  PLOS One, 2014,  DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0094816. [PDF]
  • Combinatorial Screening of Mesenchymal Stem Cell Adhesion and Differentiation Using Polymer Pen Lithography.  M.D. Cabezas, D.J. Eichelsdoefer, K.A. Brown, M. Mrksich and C.A. Mirkin.  Methods in Cell Biology, 2014, 119, 261-276. [PDF]  
  • Self-Assembled Monolayer Facilitates Epithelial-Mesenchymal Interactions Mimicking Odontogenesis.  T. Muni, M. Mrksich and A. George.  Connective Tissue Res., 2014, 55, 26-33. [PDF]  
  • Phenotypic Differences in hiPSC NPCs Derived from Patients with Schizophrenia. K. Brennand, J.N. Savas, Y. Kim, N. Tran, A. Simone, K. Hashimoto-Torii, K.G. Beaumont, H.J. Kim, A. Topol, I. Ladran, M. Abdelrahim, B. Matikainen-Ankney, S. Chao, M. Mrksich, P. Rakic, G. Fang, B. Zhang, J.R. Yates III, F.H. Gage. Mol. Psych., 2014, 1-8. [PDF] 

  • Geometric Control of Cytoskeletal Elements:  Impact on Vimentin Intermediate Filaments.  S.H. Shabbir, M.M. Cleland, R.D. Goldman and M. Mrksich.  Biomaterials, 2014, 35, 1359-1366. [PDF]  

  • Synthesis and Structure-Activity Relationship of 3-Hydroxypyridine-2-thione-Based Histone Deactylase Inhibitors.  Q.H. Sodji, V. Patil, J.R. Kornacki, M. Mrksich and A.K. Oyelere.  J. Med. Chem., 2013, 56, 9969-9981. [PDF] 

  • Profiling Deacetylase Activities in Cell Lysates with Peptide Arrays and SAMDI Mass Spectrometry.  H.-Y. Kuo, T.A. DeLuca, W.M. Miller and M. Mrksich.  Anal. Chem., 2013, 85, 10635-10642. [PDF] 


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    2145 Sheridan Road

    B490 Technolgical Institute

    Evanston IL 60208