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Rustem F. Ismagilov

Ethel Wilson Bowles and Robert Bowles Professor of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering; Director of the Jacobs Institute for Molecular Engineering for Medicine
Contact information for Rustem F. Ismagilov
Contact Method Value
Mail Code: MC 210-41
Office: 236A Spalding Laboratory
Phone: 626-395-8130
Email: rustem.admin@​
B.S., Higher Chemical College of the Russian Academy of Sciences, 1994; Ph.D., University of Wisconsin, Madison, 1998. Miles Professor, Caltech, 2011-13; Bowles Professor, 2013-; Director, Jacobs Institute, 2013-.

Research Interests

Global Health; Microbial communities and biophysics of the gut microbiome; Diagnostics and antimicrobial susceptibility testing; Microfluidics and single molecule and single cell analysis;   Complex Networks of reactions, cells and organisms

Dual appointments in Biological Engineering and Medical Engineering

Research Group Manager: Natasha Shelby

Members of Ismagilov Group have backgrounds in chemistry, biology, engineering, medicine, and biophysics—creating a rich, interdisciplinary environment in which to solve real-world problems. Uniting the group's diverse interests is a commitment to improve global health, specifically via their work on the human microbiome and in vitro diagnostics.

Ismagilov Lab has pioneered the development of microfluidic technologies (including droplet-based microfluidics and SlipChip). Microfluidics enables ultrasensitive, quantitative biomarker measurements, and provides tools with which to control and understand the dynamics of complex chemical and biological networks. Such capabilities are poised to revolutionize medicine—enabling rapid point-of-care diagnoses under a variety of settings outside of centralized clinical laboratories. Currently, the group is applying these innovative technologies to develop rapid diagnostics of antimicrobial susceptibility. In the context of the human microbiome, the lab works to understand host-microbe interactions that may lead to new therapeutics.  These technologies are also enabling new single-molecule measurements and single-cell analyses.

Selected Awards

Research Corporation Research Innovation Award, 2001; Camille and Henry Dreyfus New Faculty Award, 2001; Searle Scholar Award, 2002; Dupont Young Professor, 2003; Office of Naval Research Young Investigator, 2003; Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE), 2003; Beckman Young Investigator, 2003; Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship, 2004; NSF CAREER Award, 2004; Cottrell Scholar, 2004; TR100 Young Investigator Award, 2004; Camille Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award, 2005; Arthur C. Cope Scholar Award, 2005; Journal of Physical Organic Chemistry Award for Early Excellence in the Field of Physical Organic Chemistry, 2006; National Academy of Sciences Cozzarelli Prize, 2007; National Institutes of Health Director’s Pioneer Award, 2007; American Chemical Society Award in Pure Chemistry, 2008; American Association for the Advancement of Sciences Fellow, 2010; Forward under 40 Award University of Wisconsin Alumni Association, 2012; Blavatnik Young Scientist Honoree 2015; Burroughs Wellcome Fund Innovation in Regulatory Science (IRSA) Fellow, 2015