Welcome to the Ismagilov group website!

Ismagilov Group is passionate about bringing creativity, science and technology to solve problems in global health. Members of our Group have backgrounds in chemistry, biology, engineering, medicine, and biophysics—creating a rich, interdisciplinary and collaborative environment. We collaborate with clinical teams, industry, and other stakeholders to translate our research into impact. We are pursuing programs in rapid diagnostics of infectious diseases (including several COVID-19 related projects; see https://covid-study.caltech.edu/) and in understanding the interplay of food, gut microbes, and biophysics in human health.

Our societies seem incapable of allocating attention and resources to address infrequent but existential threats. Many (from scientists to philanthropists like Bill Gates) have spoken of the threats of respiratory viruses, but it took the COVID-19 pandemic for us to begin to allocate collective attention to this problem. The rise in antibiotic resistance is another example of an immense but ignored threat. Addressing this problem also requires diagnostic solutions that can be deployed on an unprecedented global scale.

In our lab, we use single-molecule technologies, mathematical modeling, microfluidics, microbiology, and clinical data to develop rapid diagnostics of phenotypic antimicrobial susceptibility, focusing on the most urgent threats from the Centers for Disease Control.

Food is inextricably linked to our well-being, health, and diseases. Food is also linked to incompletely understood conditions such as malnutrition, obesity, and many gastrointestinal disorders. We are working to fill the gaps in our understanding of how food impacts us. For example, food is rich in polymers but the biophysical mechanisms by which these polymers affect us are not well-understood. Our gut microbes mediate our interactions with food, yet little is known about the microbiota of the human small intestine, where more of our food is digested and absorbed. We are working to understand the interactions among the human gut microbiota, human host, and diet. Our arsenal of tools includes single-molecule analysis, high-resolution 3D imaging of gut microbial communities, novel animal models, quantitative analysis of microbial communities, computational modeling, microfluidics, and concepts from engineering and control theory.

In the past, our lab pioneered technologies for performing chemistry in droplet-based microfluidics and SlipChip, and these technologies are now widely used by many others. Innovative ideas that have been incubating in our lab continue to lead to new, significant projects. Our lab culture is one of scientific rigor, creativity, collaboration, and strong mutual support.