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. 




November 2015

The Mrksich group would like to welcome Liang Lin. Liang received his Ph.D. from Peking University and has joined our lab as a postdoctoral fellow.


The Mrksich group would like to also welcome a new Ph.D. student, Jeffrey Huang. Jeffrey received his B.S. and M.S. from National Taiwan University.


July 2014

Professor Mrksich was profiled in CRAIN'S Chicago Business, which featured a look at the SAMDI method.


April 2014

Congratulations Jennifer Grant, a graduate student in the Mrksich group, on receiving a 2014 National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship.


March 2014

Professor Mrksich is featured in Northwestern's news article, "Synthetic Biologists Break New Ground in Medicine, Energy." Take a look at the article here.









Recent Publications


  • 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