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Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Department of Biological Sciences
Biology Faculty
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Department of Biological Sciences
1W14 Jonsson-Rowland Science Center
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
110 Eighth Street
Troy, NY 12180-3590

Phone: (518) 276-6446
Fax: (518) 276-2344

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Biology Home Undergraduate Graduate Faculty Research News and Events Contacts
Jonathan S. Dordick

Howard P. Isermann Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering

Education and Training

B.A. Brandeis University
Biochemistry and Chemistry

M.S. Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Biochemical Engineering

Ph.D. Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Biochemical Engineering


Tel: (518) 276-2899
Fax: (518) 276-2207

Office: Center for Biotechnology and Interdisciplinary Studies Rm. 4005

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
110 8th Street
Troy, NY  12180-3590

Research Interests

Protein-material interactions, biocatalysis in drug discovery and human toxicology, bioengineering, and nanobiotechnology.

The Dordick group’s research is focused in three major areas:  Nanobiotechnology, Drug Discovery, and Biocatalyst Design, Optimization and Formulation.  In the Nanobiotechnology group, the goals are to engineer efficient and selective interaction of biomolecules with synthetic nanoscale building blocks to generate functional assemblies. Specifically, the focus is on the preparation, fundamental understanding, and the application of biomolecule-nanoparticle composite materials with tailored structure and function. These resulting functional hybrid materials that integrate biotic and abiotic components can then be used to generate “smart materials” that can sense, assemble, clean, and heal.

For the drug discovery projects, the emphasis is to take advantage of the diversity of natural compounds, as well as the enzymes and metabolic pathways that generate such molecules. By combining the fields of biocatalysis, bioinformatics, metabolic engineering, and high-throughput combinatorial biosynthesis with microsystems engineering, a new area of fundamental and applied research has been developed. This new area, called "molecular bioprocessing" enables the Dordick group to join the technologies of combinatorial biosynthesis with high-throughput biocatalytic technologies, which allow access to nature's "warehouse" of structures and functions, and to be able to manipulate the synthesis of these molecules to yield novel compounds and materials for use in the pharmaceutical, chemical, and agrochemical industries.

The last major focus of the lab is to develop enzymatic capabilities that normally occur at biological conditions (ambient temperatures and pressures in aqueous environments) to more harsh environments typical of industrial processes.  The Dordick group specializes in the use and optimization of enzymatic catalysis in nonaqueous media (organic liquids, gases, and room temperature ionic liquids) as well as computational analysis and design of enzymes for the purpose of stabilization under high temperatures (aqueous media). The common theme of all of the projects is to merge the chemical engineering to address biological questions.

Selected Publications

S.A. Stanley, J.E. Gagner, S. Damanpour, M. Yoshida, J.S. Dordick, and J.M. Friedman (2012), “Radiowave Heating of Iron Oxide Nanoparticles Can Regulate Plasma Glucose in Mice” Science 336, 604-608.

S.-J. Kwon, M. Mora-Pale, M.-Y. Lee, and J.S. Dordick (2012), “Expanding Nature’s Small Molecule Diversity via in Vitro Biosynthetic Pathway Engineering”, Curr. Opin. Chem. Biol. 16, 186-195.

S. Shrivastava, R.W. Siegel, and J.S. Dordick (2012), “Position-Specific Chemical Modification and Quantitative Proteomics Disclose Protein Orientation Adsorbed on Silica Nanoparticles”, Nano Lett. 12, 1583-1587.

N. Grover, I.V. Borkar, C.Z. Dinu, R.S. Kane, and J.S. Dordick (2012), “Laccase- and Chloroperoxidase-Nanotube Paint Composites with Bactericidal and Sporicidal Activity”, Enz. Microb. Technol. 50, 271-279.

C.Z. Dinu, I.V. Borkar, S.S. Bale, A.S. Campbell, R.S. Kane, and J.S. Dordick (2012), “Perhydrolase-Nanotube-Paint Sporicidal Composites Stabilized by Intramolecular Crosslinking”, J. Mol. Catal. B: Enzymatic 75, 20-26.

D.I. Paredes, K. Watters, D.J. Pitman, C. Bystroff, and J.S. Dordick (2011), “Comparative Void-Volume Analysis of Psychrophilic and Mesophilic Enzymes: Structural Bioinformatics of Psychrophilic Enzymes Reveals Sources of Core Flexibility”, BMC. Struct. Biol. 11, 42.

J. Miao, R.C. Pangule, E.E. Paskaleva, E. Hwang, R.S. Kane, R.J. Linhardt, and J.S. Dordick (2011), “Lysostaphin-Functionalized Cellulose Fibers with Antistaphylococcal Activity for Wound Healing Applications. Biomaterials 32, 9557-9567.

H. Wu, J.M. Mora-Pale, J. Miao, T.V. Doherty, R.J. Linhardt, and J.S. Dordick (2011), “Facile Pretreatment of Lignocellulosic Biomass at High Loadings in Room Temperature Ionic Liquids”, Biotechnol. Bioeng. 108, 2865-2875.

J.E. Gagner, M.D. Lopez, J.S. Dordick, and R.W. Siegel (2011), “Effect of Gold Nanoparticle Morphology on Adsorbed Protein Structure and Function”, Biomaterials 32, 7241-7252.

M. Mora-Pale, L. Meli, T.V. Doherty, R.J. Linhardt, and J.S. Dordick (2011), “Room Temperature Ionic Liquids as Emerging Solvents for the Pretreatment of Lignocellulosic Biomass”, Biotechnol. Bioeng. 108, 1229-1245.

T.V. Doherty, M. Mora-Pale, S. Foley, R.J. Linhardt, and J.S. Dordick (2010), "Ionic Liquid Solvent Properties as Predictors of Lignocellulose Pretreatment Efficacy," Green Chemistry, 12, 1967-1975.

P. Asuri, S.S. Bale, R.C. Pangule, D.A. Shah, R.S. Kane, and J.S. Dordick (2007), “Structure, Function, and Stability of Enzymes Covalently Attached to Single-Walled Carbon Nanotubes”, Langmuir Epub Ahead of Print. 

S. Li, S. Gruschow, J.S. Dordick, and D.H. Sherman (2007), “Molecular Analysis of the Role of Tyrosine 224 in the Active Site of Streptomyces coelicolor RppA, a Bacterial Type III Polyketide Synthase”, J. Biol. Chem. 282, 12765-12772.

H.R. Luckarift, B. Ku, J.S. Dordick, and J.C. Spain (2007), “Silica-Immobilized Enzymes for Multi-Step Synthesis in Microfluidic Devices”, Biotechnol. Bioeng. 98, 701-705.

W. Shang, J.H. Nuffer, J.S. Dordick, and R.W. Siegel (2007), “Unfolding of Ribonuclease A on Silica Nanoparticle Surfaces”, Nano Lett. 7, 1991-1995.

S.J. Kwon, M.Y. Lee, B. Ku, D.H. Sherman, and J.S. Dordick (2007), “High-Throughput, Microarray-Based Synthesis of Natural Product Analogues Metabolic Pathway Construction”, ACS Chem. Biol. 2, 419-425.

J.M. Mora-Pale, S. Pérez- Munguía, J.C. González- Mejía, J.S. Dordick, and E. Bárzana (2007), “The Lipase-Catalyzed Hydrolysis of Lutein Diesters in Non-Aqueous Media is Favored at Extremely Low Water Activities”, Biotechnol. Bioeng. 98, 535-542.

S.S. Bale, P. Asuri, S.S. Karajanagi, J.S. Dordick, and R.S. Kane (2007), “Protein-Directed Functionalization of Carbon Nanotubes with Silver Nanoparticles”, Adv. Mater. 19, 3167-3170.

U. Akbar, C.D. Aschenbrenner, M.R. Harper, H.R. Johnson, J.S. Dordick, and D.S. Clark (2007). Direct Solubilization of Enzyme Assemblies with Enhanced Activity in Nonaqueous Media. Biotechnol. Bioeng. Biotechnol. Bioeng. 96, 1030-1039.

P. Asuri, S.S. Karajanagi, R.S. Kane, and J.S. Dordick (2006), “Polymer-Nanotube-Enzyme Composites as Active Antifouling Films”, Small 3, 50-53 (Highlighted in Nature Nanotechnology).

K. Rege, G. Viswanathan, G. Zhu, A. Vijayaraghavan, P.M. Ajayan, and J.S. Dordick  In Vitro Transcription and Protein Translation from Carbon Nanotube-DNA Assemblies. Small 2, 2006 718-722.
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Department of Biological Sciences