Faculty Directory
Neha Kamat

Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering


2145 Sheridan Road
Tech E353
Evanston, IL 60208-3109

847-467-2671Email Neha Kamat


Kamat Lab


Center of Synthetic Biology


Biomedical Engineering


PhD Program in Interdisciplinary Biological Sciences

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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. Boyd, M. A.; Davis, A. M.; Chambers, N. R.; Tran, P.; Prindle, A.; Kamat, N. P.* Vesicle-based sensors for extracellular potassium detection. Cellular and Molecular Bioengineering 2021, 14, 459-469
    2. Boyd, M. A.; Kamat, N. P.* Designing artificial cells towards a new generation of biosensors. Trends in Biotechnology 2021, 39, 927-939
    3. Manzer, Z. A.; Ghosh, S.; Jacobs, M. J.; Krishnan, S.; Zipfel, W.R.; Piñeros, M.; Kamat, N. P.* ; Daniel, S.* Cell-Free Synthesis of a Transmembrane Mechanosensitive Channel Protein into a Hybrid-Supported Lipid Bilayer. ACS Applied Bio Materials 2021, 4, 3101-3112
    4. Jacobs, M. L.; Faizi, H. A.; Peruzzi, J. A.; Vlahovska, P. M.; Kamat, N. P.* EPA and DHA differentially modulate membrane elasticity in the presence of cholesterol. Biophysical Journal 2021, 120, 2317-2329
    5. 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 
    6. 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
    7. 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 
    8. Boyd, M. A. and Kamat, N. P.* Visualizing tension and growth in model membranes using optical dyes. Biophys J. 2018, 115, 1307-1315


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.