Research & Facilities: 

Dr. Jain’s research at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and University of Missouri-Kansas City focused on engineering new light-responsive biochemical tools to control biological processes and deliver large biomolecules for better diagnosis and treatment of diseases. During his graduate research, he developed a collection of photochemical tools to achieve light-activated RNA interference and applied this system to pattern gene expression in cells using light. Later, he developed a different set of photocleavable groups for click-based crosslinking and then applied it to create a photoactivatable insulin depot for the delivery of insulin towards the treatment of type I diabetes. This depot could eliminate the need for multiple injections and can be coupled with other non-invasive glucose monitoring devices in a closed loop to mimic artificial pancreas.

As a postdoctoral associate at MIT, Dr. Jain worked on developing photoactivatable protease nanosensors for more reliable disease detection in the urine. The previous versions of nanosensors containing protease-specific peptide substrates possessed high background cleavage activity while photoactivatable nanosensors allows remote triggering and unveiling of peptide substrates and avoids false positives due to background cleavage activity in the blood enabling detection of disease-specific proteases in the urine more efficiently. More recently, Dr. Jain led the development of CRISPR-plus (CRISPR-precise light-mediated unveiling of sgRNAs) technology that allows control of CRISPR activity with light. This enables multiple genes to be edited with light and hence can be used to study and treat a number of genetic disorders including cancer. All these developed systems present approaches to precisely control biological processes with light in a spatio-temporal manner. In alignment with his present and future research goals, Dr. Jain is currently working on targeted delivery of nucleic acids and proteins using nanoparticles for efficient RNA interference and CRISPR-mediated genome editing. His long-term goal is to translate these systems into patients for better disease diagnosis and treatment.

Facilities: 

Our lab’s expertise in chemically modifying and testing nucleic acids, peptides, and proteins intersects chemistry, biology, nanotechnology and genomics.

  • Chemistry: Chemical modification, purification and characterization of peptides, oligonucleotides, polymers, and small molecules. Jain lab has a dedicated chemistry suite with a hood and equipment.
    • We own a state-of-the-art microwave-assisted peptide synthesizer (CEM’s Liberty Blue), a HPLC (Agilent 1100) for purification, a NanoDrop for UV/Vis (Thermo oneC), a fluorimeter with 384-well capabilities (Biotek), UV crosslinker, a large gravity oven, and various small equipment. Easy access to LC/MS/MS analysis in the proteomics core within the building.
  • Protein Engineering: Jain Lab has an entire pipeline for discovering and engineering proteins. Well equipped with bioinformatics pipeline, plasmid design and reconstruction, recombinant DNA, protein expression and purification.
    • We have Two FPLCs (GE Akta Pure and BioRad Biologic) with affinity, SEC, and IEC set ups, multiple temperature-controlled shakers and centrifuges, incubators, autosonifier, and homogenizer within the lab. Several shared ultracentrifuges, cold room, and dark room on the same floor. Easy access to LC/MS, MALDI, monoclonal antibody production, and bio-layer interferometry as a part of the core facilities within the building. Access to NMR, circular dichroism, and X ray crystallography on campus.
  • Nanotechnology: Jain lab is set up for developing and analyzing a variety of nanoparticles and liposomal formulations.
    • DLS/Zetasizer (coming soon). Easy access to NanoSight NS300 and various electron microscopes within the building. A range of nano-characterization equipment available at the Research Service Center on campus.
  • Molecular Biology: Jain lab is set up for a variety of molecular biology techniques including qPCR, PCR, plasmid design, siRNA design, sgRNA design and screening, in vitro transcription, gel electrophoresis, Western blot, ELISA, and enzymatic assays
    • Two qPCR (Agilent and ViiA 7 systems) and three PCR machines (Thermo 3-block, Eppendorf, and BioRad), an iWestern workflow system (Thermo), and several gel electrophoresis systems. We also own two gel imagers- a phosphorimager/chemiluminescent/fluorescence (GE Typhoon) and a RGB gel imager (Analytik Jena, GelStudio Touch Plus). A variety of liquid handling and small molecular biology equipment are also in the lab. 
  • Tissue Culture: Jain lab is equipped with mammalian cell culture, transfection, transduction, transformation, electroporation, viral production, and microscopy.
    • Dedicated BL2+ tissue culture suite with two large incubators, two 4-ft hoods, two large centrifuges in the room, a fluorescence digital inverted microscope with four color channels (EVOS), an electroporator (Neon), and an automated fluorescence cell counter (Countess). Access to various fluorescence, multiphoton, and confocal microscopes, flow cytometry, cell sorting, and histology core facilities within the building.
  • Genomics: Genome editing with CRISPR/Cas9, mutagenesis and mutation detection, DNA isolation, Sequencing, DNA library preparation for NGS.
    • A shared pyrosequencer. Immediate access to various RNASeq and NGS equipment. Bioinformatics and DNA sequencing core facilities within the building.
  • Animals: Currently animal research has not yet started in the lab. However, Dr. Jain has experience in mice breeding, genotyping, tagging, injections, surgeries, perfusion, organ isolation, magnetic cell isolation, IVIS imaging, and euthanasia.
    • Jain lab owns a Miltenyi’s autoMACS Pro Separator, an isoflurane device, a tissue homogenizer (coming soon). The Jain lab is located in the Cancer and Genetics Research Complex, which has an animal facility within the building. 
  • Computer and software: Dedicated lab server and a computer for individuals and equipment in the lab (>10 total). Softwares for bioinformatics, plasmid design, molecular modeling, graphical design, experimental design, and statistical analysis are available in the lab.
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