From OpenWetWare
Jump to navigationJump to search

Jerzy Szablowski, Ph.D.

Visit [] for an updated website, a full description of my research, and more information about Acoustically Targeted Chemogenetics.

I am currently a postdoctoral scholar in Shapiro Lab. I work on Acoustically Targeted chemogenetics, a method for noninvasive neuromodulation, combining Focused-Ultrasound BBB opening (FUS-BBBO), gene delivery and chemogenetic control of neural circuits.



California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA
Chemical Engineering, Postdoctoral
Mentor: Mikhail G. Shapiro, Project: Development of Acoustically Targeted Chemogenetics (ATAC) for noninvasive neuromodulation.
06/2015 - current

California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA
Ph.D. Bioengineering, Synthetic and Systems Biology track
Biological Activity of Pyrrole-Imidazole Polyamide in vivo.
Advisor: prof. Peter Dervan

Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA Class: 2009, Science Bachelor in Biological Engineering, with minor in Biology and humanities concentration in Psychology.

27th Tadeusz Czacki high school, Warsaw, Poland Class: 2005, Profile: Math and Physics

• 2nd Annual Imaging Elevated: Utah Symposium for Emerging Investigators, invited presenter, accepted (2018)
• World Molecular Imaging Congress (WMIC) travel award (2018)
• iGEM 2009, 3rd place/112 teams (synthetic standard prize), golden medal, finalist, best new applications area, best experimental measurement (2009)
• Henry and Grazyna Bauer Fellowship for graduate studies (2009)
• BE-BMES/Johnson & Johnson Prize for Excellence in Biomedical Research (2008)
• Physics Olympiad for secondary school students - finalist (2002).

Research experience

Shapiro Lab, Caltech, 06/2015-current
Postdoctoral Scholar, Chemical Engineering
• In vivo development of protein gas vesicles as MRI contrast agents.
• Development of Acoustically Targeted Chemogenetics (ATAC), a method of noninvasive neuromodulation with spatial, temporal, cell-type and molecular pathway specificity for more specific treatment of neuropsychiatric and neurological diseases.

Dervan lab, Caltech, 2010-05/2015
Graduate Research Assistant, Bioengineering
• Preclinical development of Py-Im polyamide shutting down hypoxic adaptation of tumors, without increased angiogenesis or induction of a pro-metastatic gene expression
• Pharmacology and biodistribution of Py-Im polyamides
• Preclinical development of DNA-binding, sequence specific, Py-Im polyamides for anti-estrogenic gene expression regulation.

International Genetically Encoded Machine competition, IGEM Valencia team 2009, Spain
Engineering a cell-based computer monitor.
• Invented the cell-based computer monitor and took part in its development with a team of spanish scientists and students from UPV and Universidad de Valencia.
• Responsible for the design and construction an electrical stimulator and software.

Synthetic Neurobiology group (PI: Edward Boyden), MIT Media Lab, 2007-2009
Undergraduate research assistant

Engineering Light Activated G-protein coupled receptors
• Did preliminary research, developed assays and designed new protein chimeras.
• Mentored and trained two undergraduate researchers over the summer

Frances Arnold Research Group, Caltech, 06-08/2007
Undergraduate research assistant (In collaboration with Langer Lab)
Evolution of highly sensitive MRI sensor for Dopamine
• Developed a directed evolution screen for selection of protein based contrast agents for MRI.
• Achieved thermal stabilization of contrast agents.
• Developed statistical analysis methods and models for the screen.

Langer Lab and Jasanoff Labs, MIT, 2005-2007
Undergraduate research assistant
Functional MRI sensors for noninvasive imaging of Dopamine and kinase activity
• Helped engineering proteins for both sensors. Took part in mutagenesis, testing and design.

Department of molecular biology, Intl. Inst. For Molecular and Cell Bio., Warsaw, Poland, 2004-2005
Functional and structural differences between heat shock protein 90 (Hsp90) variants - Hsp90a and Hsp90b
• Performed molecular biology and tissue culture experiments.

"*" denotes equal contribution
1. Jerzy O Szablowski, Brian Lue, Audrey Lee-Gosselin, Dina Malounda, Mikhail G Shapiro, Acoustically Targeted Chemogenetics for Noninvasive Control of Neural Circuits, accepted 06/2018.
Preprint available at: bioRxiv 241406; doi:
2. Maresca, David, Anupama Lakshmanan, Mohamed Abedi, Avinoam Bar-Zion, Arash Farhadi, George J. Lu, Jerzy O. Szablowski, Di Wu, Sangjin Yoo, and Mikhail G. Shapiro. "Biomolecular Ultrasound and Sonogenetics." Annual review of chemical and biomolecular engineering 0 (2018).
3. Lu, G. J., Farhadi, A., Szablowski, J. O., Lee-Gosselin, A., Barnes, S. R., Lakshmanan, A., ... & Shapiro, M. G. (2018). Acoustically modulated magnetic resonance imaging of gas-filled protein nanostructures. Nature materials, 1.
4. Dan I Piraner, Arash Farhadi, Hunter C Davis, Di Wu, David Maresca, Jerzy O Szablowski, Mikhail G Shapiro, Going Deeper: Biomolecular Tools for Acoustic and Magnetic Imaging and Control of Cellular Function, Biochemistry 56 (39), 5202-5209
5. Mysore VS, Szablowski JO, Dervan PB, Frost PJ, A DNA-binding molecule targeting the adaptive hypoxic response in multiple myeloma has potent in vivo and in vitro anti-tumor effects, Molecular Cancer Research (2016), Mol Cancer Res Published OnlineFirst January 22, 2016
Featured in highlights:
6. Szablowski, Jerzy O.; Raskatov Jevgenij A., Dervan, Peter B. "An HRE-binding Py-Im polyamide attenuates tumor growth and inhibits angiogenesis in vivo."; Molecular Cancer Therapeutics (2015), Mol Cancer Ther molcanther.0719.2015; Published OnlineFirst December 30, 2015
Featured in highlights:
7. Raskatov Jevgenij A.; Szablowski, Jerzy O.; Dervan, Peter B.; "Tumor Xenograft Uptake of a Py Im Polyamide Varies as a Function of Cell Line Grafted: a C-14 Study", Journal of Medicinal Chemistry 2014 57 (20), 8471-8476
8.Yang, Fei; Nickols, Nicholas; Li, Benjamin; Szablowski, Jerzy; Hamilton, Shari; Meier, Jordan; Wang, Chieh-Mei; Dervan, Peter, Animal toxicity of hairpin pyrrole-imidazole polyamides varies with the turn unit, Journal of Medicinal Chemistry 2013 56 (18), 7449-7457
9. Nicholas G. Nickols*, Jerzy O. Szablowski*, Amanda E. Hargrove, Benjamin C. Li, Jevgenij A. Raskatov, Activity of a Py-Im Polyamide Targeted to the Estrogen Response Element, Molecular Cancer Therapeutics 2013;12:675–84.. The article available for free on: , due to selection as a 'AACR's hot topic 2013'.
10. Cristina Vilanova, Ángeles Hueso, Carles Palanca, Guillem Marco,Miguel Pitarch, Eduardo Otero, Juny Crespo, Jerzy Szablowski, Sara Rivera,Laura Domínguez-Escribà, Emilio Navarro, Arnau Montagud, Pedro Fernández de Córdoba, Asier González, Joaquín Ariño,Andrés Moya, Javier Urchueguía & Manuel Porcar, "Aequorin-expressing yeast emits light under electric control" , J Biotechnol. 2011 Mar 20;152(3):93-5. doi: 10.1016/j.jbiotec.2011.01.005. Epub 2011 Feb 1. [[1]]
11. Shapiro MG*, Westmeyer GG*, Romero P, Szablowski JO, Küster B, Shah A, Otey CR, Langer R, Arnold FH, & Jasanoff AP, “Directed evolution of an MRI contrast agent for noninvasive imaging of dopamine. Nature Biotechnology. 28 February 2010. DOI: 10.1038/nbt.1609 [link]
12. Shapiro MG, Szablowski JO, Langer R, Jasanoff AP, Protein nanoparticles engineered to sense kinase activity in MRI, Journal of the American Chemical Society 2009 131 (7), 2484-2486 [link]

1. Szablowski JO, Lue B, Lee-Gosselin A, Malounda D, Shapiro MG, Acoustically Targeted Chemogenetics for noninvasive control of neural circuits, International Society of Therapeutic Ultrasound Annual Meeting (ISTU), 05/15/2018
2. Szablowski JO, Translational research strategies panelist at Field Conference: Development of Radiopharmaceutical Probes for Cancer/Bone Diseases, 2017; Organized by US Dept. of Veteran Affairs, Office of Research and Development
3. Szablowski JO, Acoustically Targeted Chemogenetics, “Neurolunch” Seminar Series, 12/12/2017
4. Szablowski JO, An HRE-binding Py-Im Polyamide Impairs Adaptation of Tumors to Hypoxia, 04/02/2015, Center for the Chemistry of Cellular Signaling Seminar
5. Veena S. Mysore, Nicholas G. Nickols, Jerzy Szablowski, Peter Dervan, Alan Lichtenstein, Patrick J. Frost, Targeting hypoxia-mediated gene transcription with a novel polyamide drug designed to disrupt the HIF1α/β heterodimer binding overcomes resistance to hypoxia in myeloma cell lines, AACR Annual Meeting 2014, San Diego, CA; April 5-9th, 2014
6. Hargrove, Amanda E.; Martinez, Thomas F.; Hare, Alissa A.; Szablowski, Jerzy O.; Brenner, J. Chad; Veeneman, Brendan; Sud, Sudha; Chinnaiyan, Arul M.; Pienta, Kenneth J.; Dervan, Peter B. "DNA-binding Py-Im polyamides targeted to the AR-ERG signaling axis in prostate cancer." poster presentation, Prostate Cancer Foundation Scientific Retreat, Washington, D.C., Oct. 24-26, 2013.
7. Hargrove, Amanda E.; Martinez, Thomas F.; Hare, Alissa A.; Szablowski, Jerzy O.; Sud, Sudha; Pienta, Kenneth J.; Dervan, Peter B. “DNA-binding polyamides as inhibitors of TMPRSS2-ERG activity in prostate cancer.” poster presentation, Gordon Research Conference on Bioorganic Chemistry, Andover, NH, Jun. 9-14, 2013
8. Nicholas George Nickols, Fei Yang, Benjamin C Li, Jerzy O Szablowski, Chieh-Mei Wang, Peter Brendan Dervan, A second-generation DNA-binding pyrrole-imidazole polyamide with antitumor activity, J Clin Oncol 31, 2013 (suppl; abstr e13588)
9. Jerzy Szablowski, Bioengineering and Biological Engineering, 23.09.2010, 14th Science Festival in Warsaw [Educational talk for general audience]
10. Jerzy Szablowski, Protein Engineering or how to make your own enzymes, 23.09.2010, 14th Science Festival in Warsaw [Educational talk for general audience]
11. Westmeyer GG, Shapiro MG, Romero P, Szablowski JO, Otey C, Arnold FH, Jasanoff AP, Imaging Dopamine in the Brain With a Novel MRI Contrast Agent, World Molecular Imaging Congress, sept 24th, 2009
12. Mikhail G. Shapiro, Philip Romero, Jerzy Szablowski, Robert Langer, Frances H. Arnold, Alan Jasanoff, Development of Genetically Encoded Molecular Sensor for Non-Invasive Imaging of Dopamine Using MRI,(2006) The fifth Annual Meeting of the Society for Molecular Imaging.

Personal Interests

My photographs

Valencia, City of Arts and sciences

California Institute of Technology, Beckmann Auditorium

Edinburgh, UK

Boston, MIT crew on Charles River

Nahant, MA
California Institute of Technology

MIT building Nw35

mirror address