Piyush K. Jain, PhD
Research Scientist
Prof. Sangeeta Bhatia's Lab
Laboratory for Multiscale Regenerative Technologies
Massachusetts Institute of Technology 

About Dr. Jain
Dr. Jain is currently a Research Scientist in the lab of Prof. Sangeeta Bhatia at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Before joining MIT, he received an interdisciplinary Ph.D. degree in pharmaceutical sciences (major) and Chemistry (minor) from the University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC) and a Bachelors of Pharmacy degree from Dr. Hari Singh Gour University in India. During his Ph.D. under the supervision of Prof. Simon H. Friedman, his research focused on engineering new light-responsive biochemical tools to control biological processes and deliver large biomolecules for the treatment of diseases. Dr. Jain is known for the development of light-activated RNA interference (LARI) for the treatment of cancer and for creating an insulin photoactivated depot (PAD) for the treatment of type I diabetes. As a postdoctoral associate at MIT, Dr. Jain with his team developed photoactivatable protease nanosensors for more reliable cancer detection in the urine and also led the development of CRISPR-plus (CRISPR-precise light-mediated unveiling of sgRNAs) technology that allows control of CRISPR activity with light. All these advanced systems present approaches to control biological processes with light in a spatiotemporal manner. He is currently interested in improving the CRISPR technology itself and on developing targeted delivery of nucleic acids and proteins using nanoparticles for efficient CRISPR-mediated genome editing. His long-term goal is to translate these systems into patients for better disease diagnosis and treatment.
Dr. Jain has received multiple travel awards by American Chemical Society, won several best poster awards and honored with prestigious fellowships including dissertation research fellowship and preparing future faculty fellowship (PFF) at UMKC. His work has been published in the top journals including JACS, Angewandte Chemie, ACS Nano, Nature Protocols, NAR, etc. and he has been listed as an inventor on multiple patents and disclosures. His work, on LARI and PAD, has been featured on the cover/frontispiece of various journals.  His work on PAD and CRISPR+ has been profiled broadly by over 100 websites in the scientific news, blogs and media including CBS, NBC, News Tribune, MIT News, International Business Times, TED Blog, ChemistryViews, Futurism, Sina News, Phs.org, etc.
While at UMKC, Dr. Jain served as a graduate teaching assistant and as a part of his PFF fellowship, he received an opportunity to teach a course on medicinal chemistry to a class of over 100 students as a guest instructor. During his career, he tutored, trained and mentored several high school students, undergraduate students and graduate students and has received teaching certificates from UMKC and MIT. Dr. Jain was elected as the chair of advocacy and community building committees by MIT Postdoctoral Association and has been invited to serve as a panelist for graduate students and as a reviewer for multiple scientific journals that he continually supports. Besides this, Dr. Jain has been instrumental in preparing, writing and securing over $7.7 Million USD from NSF, NIH and DARPA grants for his academic mentors.
  • Research Scientist, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Institute for Medical Engineering and Science, Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research, March 2018-Present (Advisor: Prof. Sangeeta N. Bhatia

  • Postdoctoral Associate, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Institute for Medical Engineering and Science, Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research, June 2013- March 2018 (Advisor: Prof. Sangeeta N. Bhatia

  • PhD, University of Missouri-Kansas City, Pharmaceutical Sciences/Chemistry, May 2013 (Advisor: Prof. Simon H. Friedman)
  • Bachelors of Pharmacy, Dr. Hari Singh Gour University (Central University), India, June 2006
Experience in establishing, securing and managing grant proposals to various funding agencies as a key person:
  • NSF award 1052871, "Chemical methods to control RNA interference with light." (2011-2015) $355,000, PI: Prof. Simon H. Friedman (UMKC) [Link]
    • Involved in research proposal, discussion, preliminary data and writing.
  • NIH award 1DP3DK106921-01, "Cannula-free and pump-free delivery of insulin using light." (2015-2019) $1,372,629PI: Prof. Simon H. Friedman (UMKC) [Link]
    • Contributed as the key person for the research proposal, generating preliminary data as well as writing.
  • DARPA Cooperative Agreement HR0011-13-2-0017, "In Vivo Nanoplatforms (IVN)." $6 MillionPI: Prof. Michael Sailor (UCSD), Prof. Erkki Ruoslahti (Sanford Burnham Prebys), Prof. Sangeeta Bhatia (MIT) [Link]
    • Responsible for monthly, quarterly and annual reporting as well as for writing the renewal of the grant.
Selected Publications (full list is available here
Selected Fellowships and Awards (full list is available here)
  • Dissertation Research FellowshipAwarded to only 4 PhD students in the University, UMKC (2011-2012) 
  • Preparing Future Faculty Fellowship– Awarded to only 5 PhD students in the University, UMKC for three consecutive years, (2008-2011) 
  • Best Poster Awards- Three times winner, Annual Health Sciences Research Summit, UMKC (2011, 2012 & 2013) 
  • American Chemical Society Travel Awards- Competitive travel awards awarded twice, by ACS Division of Biological Chemistry (2009 & 2010)