Rustem Ismagilov’s research province is microfluidics, the flow of fluids through submillimeter channels, thinner than a human hair. His specialty in this multidisciplinary field, which emerged in the ‘80s, is to understand and control complex chemical and biological systems at critical times and locations.
Now a professor in the Department of Chemistry and the Institute for Biophysical Dynamics at the University of Chicago, Ismagilov has demonstrated how microfluidics can be used to simulate blood clotting, a system with potential medical applications and that can help researchers better understand and control other biochemical reaction networks, such as the development of an organism from a single cell.
Ismagilov is using microfluidics to understand how spatial structure affects interactions of microbes and microbial communities of the human microbiome and the environment. He is developing a “chemistrode,” a tool similar to an electrode as it delivers local stimuli and records biological response with high time resolution, but does it at the chemical rather than electrical level. He is also expanding his effort in point of care diagnostics to impact global health.
Rustem Ismagilov was born in Ufa, Russia. He graduated from the Higher Chemical College of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, in 1994, before immigrating to the United States to complete his PhD in physical organic chemistry at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, in 1998. He conducted his postdoctoral work at Harvard University, and began his independent research career in 2001, as an assistant professor at the University of Chicago, Department of Chemistry.
Awards and Accomplishments
- American Chemical Society Award in Pure Chemistry (2008)
- Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (2004)
- 100 Top Young Innovators, Technology Review magazine (2004)
- NSF CAREER Award
- Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship
- TR100 Young Innovator Award
- Camille Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award
- Arthur C. Cope Scholar Award
- Cozzarelli Prize, National Academy of Sciences
- Director’s Pioneer Award, National Institute of Health
- ACS Award in Pure Chemistry