Emil Khisamutdinov

Emil Khisamutdinov

Associate Professor of Chemistry


Room:FB 309

About Me

Before joining Ball State in 2014, I spent two years at University of Kentucky as a PostDoc in the lab of a well-known scientist in the RNA nanotechnology field prof. Peixuan Guo. I am a big fun of Neil deGrasse Tyson and enjoy listening/watching PBS. I am self-taught guitarist and currently  practicing play piano together with my daughter.

My College Experience

I teach primarily Biochemistry courses and run a small BioNanoTechnology research Laboratory. My major is in bioorganic and biochemistry. I was involved in research since my junior undergraduate year. I received Ph.D. from Bowling Green State University, and my both B.S. and M.S. from National University of Uzbekistan. My original path was to become a pediatrician, but this has changed when I was first introduced into the biochemistry research lab with multiple “cool” tools that was used to study structures and functions of biomolecules.

What I have Learned?

To obtain a Ph.D. degree, it took me about 23 years of various form of classes, starting from kindergarten. This journey was “bumpy” at times, but I always was driven and motivated by existence of myriad and diverse scientific problems. Therefore, I decided to pursue my career in academia, where I could exploit full potential of academic freedom to uncover questions related to nucleic acids (life’s indispensable molecules). Our lifespan is very short, I learned how to spent more time for the things I have passion and love to.

Degree History

Postdoctoral Scholar, College of Pharmacy, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY

Ph.D., Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, OH

M.S., National University of Uzbekistan, Tashkent, Uzbekistan

B.S., National University of Uzbekistan. Tashkent, Uzbekistan

Related Link:
Emil Research Group

Research summary:

Our laboratory is focused on RNA nanotechnology and involves the design, construction, and application of RNA based nanoparticles. RNA nanotechnology is a vigorous, and rapidly emerging with strong potential for application in diverse fields from nanoelectronics to nanomedicine. RNA molecules not only encode genetic information, but they actively participate in various intracellular functions including gene expression regulation through sophisticated mechanisms; thereby expanding its traditional role as a genetic messenger and revealing it as a functionally versatile molecule. Small interfering and microRNAs (siRNAs and miRNAs, respectively), ribozymes, rib switches, ribosomal RNA, transport RNA (tRNA) are only a few examples of non-coding RNA (ncRNA) elements that play diverse roles in mediating gene expression. To achieve their functions, RNAs fold into a complex three dimensional (3D) architectures. Inspired by these natural 3D RNA elements, the development of artificial or reengineered RNA nanoparticles that will efficiently function in variety of intracellular processes as “smart” nanodevises is our main research interest.


Our research projects are highly interdisciplinary and combine chemistry, biology, physics and material science. Our ultimate goal is the development of new strategies for controlled self-assembly of functional RNA nanoparticles with implications in areas as diverse as nanoelectronics, biosencing, and nanomedicine. Our projects provide students with extensive training in RNA 3D design and with various biochemical techniques including DNA/RNA labeling, PCR, RNA synthesis (in vitro transcription), gel electrophoresis, protein over expression and isolation, Fluorescent and UV- Vis spectroscopy, UV-melting, Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM), Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM).

Selected Publications:  

Tori Goldsworthy, Geneva La’Force, Seth Abels, and Emil F. Khisamutdinov*. “Fluorogenic RNA Aptamers: a Nano-platform for Fabrication of Simple and Combinatorial Logic Gates”. Nanomaterials. 2018, 8(12). p: E984. (doi: 10.3390/nano812098)

Enping Hong, Justin R. Halman, A. B. Shah, Emil F. Khisamutdinov, Marina A. Dobrovolskaia and Kirill A. Afonin, Structure and Composition Define Immunorecognition of Nucleic Acid Nanoparticles. Nano letters. 2018, 18, pp.4309-4321

M. Brittany Johnson, Justin R. Halman, Emily Satterwhite, Alexey V. Zakharov, My N. Bui, Kheiria Benkato, Victoria Goldsworthy, Taejin Kim, Enping Hong, Marina A. Dobrovolskaia, Emil F. Khisamutdinov*, Ian Marriott, Kirill A. Afonin. Programmable Nucleic Acid-based Polygons with Controlled Neuroimmunomodulatory Properties for Predictive QSAR Modeling. Small. 2017, 13(42), (doi: 10.1002/smll.201701255)

My N. Bui, Brittany M Johnson, Mathew Viard, Emily Satterwhite, Angelica N. Martins, Zhihai Li, Ian Marriott, Kirill Afonin, Emil F. Khisamutdinov*. Versatile RNA tetra-U helix linking motif as a toolkit for nucleic acid nanotechnology, Nanomedicine. 2017, 13 (3), pp. 1549-9634 (doi: 10.1016/j.nano.2016.12.018)

Emil F. Khisamutdinov, Daniel L. Jasinski, Hui Li, Kaiming Zhang, Wah Chiu, and Peixuan Guo. Fabrication of RNA 3D Nanoprism for Loading and Protection of Small RNAs and Model Drugs. Adv Mater. 2016, 28(45) pp. 10079-10087. (doi: 10.1002/adma.201603180)

Seth G. Abels and Emil F. Khisamutdinov*. Nucleic Acid Computing and its Potential to Transform Silicon-Based Technology. DNA and RNA nanotechnology journal 2015, 2(1) pp. 13-22 (DOI: 10.1515/rnan-2015-0003)

Emil F. Khisamutdinov, Hui Li, Daniel L. Jasinski, Jiao Chen, Jian Fu, and Peixuan Guo. Enhancing Immunomodulation on Innate Immunity by Shape Transition Among RNA Triangle, Square, and Pentagon Nanovehicles. Nucleic Acids Research, 2014, 42(15):9996-10004. (doi: 10.1093/nar/gku516).

Emil F. Khisamutdinov, Daniel L. Jasinski, and Peixuan Guo. RNA as a Boiling-Resistant Anionic Polymer Material To Build Robust Structures with Defined Shape and Stoichiometry. ACS Nano, 2014, 8 (5), pp 4771–4781. (doi: 10.1021/nn5006254) (editor's choice).

Book Chapters:

Kheiria Benkato, Ben O’Brien, My N. Bui, Daniel Jasinski, Peixuan Guo, and Emil F. Khisamutdinov*. Evaluation of Thermal Stability of RNA Nanoparticles by Temperature Gradient Gel Electrophoresis (TGGE) in Native Condition. In Methods in Molecular Biology. Edited by Eckart Bindewald and Bruce Shapiro, Springer 2017, Vol: 1632; pp 123-133. (doi: 10.1007/978-1-4939-7138-1_8)

Emil F. Khisamutdinov*, My N. Bui, Daniel Jasinski, Zhengyi Zhao, Zheng Cui, Peixuan Guo. Simple Method for Constructing RNA Triangle, Square, Pentagon by Tuning Interior RNA 3WJ Angle from 60° to 90° or 108°. In RNA Scaffolds: Methods and Protocols, Methods in Molecular Biology edited by L. Ponchon. Springer, 2015, Vol: 1316; pp181-193. (doi: 10.1007/978-1-4939-2730-2_15).

Neocles B. Leontis and Emil F. Khisamutdinov. RNA Nanotechnology: Learning from Biologically active RNA Nano-machines. In “RNA Nanotechnology and Therapeutics” edited by P. Guo and F. Haque. CRC press, Taylor and Francis Group, 2013, Chapter #4; 73-108

Course Schedule
Course No. Section Times Days Location
Principles of Bioche 463 1 0930 - 1045 T R FB, room 142
Biochemistry Lab Tec 465 2 1300 - 1550 F FB, room 463
Biochemistry Lab Tec 465 2 1700 - 1750 M FB, room 103
Principles of Bioche 563 1 0930 - 1045 T R FB, room 142
Expl of Sel Tops in 575 2 0000 - 0000
Research in Chemistr 670 1 0000 - 0000
Review of Chem Funda 410 1 1100 - 1215 R FB, room 544
Biochemistry Lab Tec 465 3 1230 - 1520 R FB, room 463
Biochemistry Lab Tec 465 3 1700 - 1750 M FB, room 103
Research in Chemistr 670 2 0000 - 0000
Advanced Topics in C 675 1 0000 - 0000