Faculty Directory
Neha Kamat

Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering


2145 Sheridan Road
Tech E354
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.; Thavarajah, W.; Lucks, J. B.*; Kamat, N. P.* Robust and tunable performance of a cell-free biosensor encapsulated in lipid vesicles. Science Advances 2022. accepted
  2. Steinkühler, J.; Jacobs, M. L.; Boyd, M. A.; Loverde, S. M.; Kamat, N. P.* PEO-b-PBD diblock copolymers induce packing defects in lipid : hybrid membranes and improve insertion rates of natively folded peptides. Biomacromolecules 2022 accepted
  3. Gunnels, T. F.; Stranford, D. M.; Mitrut, R. E.; Kamat, N. P.*; Leonard, J. N.* Elucidating design principles for engineering cell-derived vesicles to inhibit SARS-CoV-2 infection. Small 2022, 18, 2200125
  4. Vu, T. Q.; Peruzzi, J. A. ; Sant’Anna, L. E.; Kamat, N. P.* Lipid phase separation in vesicles enhances TRAIL-mediated cytotoxicity. Nano Letters 2022, 22, 2627-2634
  5. Boyd, M. A.; Kamat, N. P.* Designing artificial cells towards a new generation of biosensors. Trends in Biotechnology 2021, 39, 927-939
  6. 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
  7. 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 
  8. 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 


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.