Mehmet Sarikaya , PhD

Director, Genetically Engineered Materials Sciences & Engineering Center
Professor, Materials Sciences & Engineering
Adjunct Professor, Chemical Engineering
Adjunct Professor, Oral Health Sciences

Office: 327 Roberts Hall
Phone: 206-543-0724
Fax: 206-543-3100


Based on the fundamental principles of genome-based design, molecular recognition, and self-assembly, we can now engineer peptides for inorganics and synthetic functional molecules as nucleators, catalyzers, growth modifiers, molecular linkers and erector sets, fundamental utilities for nano- and nanobio-technology. Our collaborative research group in this rapidly developing polydisciplinary field, focuses on i. Genetic engineering of inorganic-binding polypeptides; ii. Nature of binding, specificity and assembly of peptides on selective materials using experimental and theoretical tools (protein structure prediction); iii. Multifunctional peptide-nanoparticle hybrid construct development; and iv. Biosynthesis and functional organization of hybrids using inorganic-binding peptides for photonic and medical applications. Some of the focus areas of our research include, combinatorial biology of peptides (via cell surface and phage display); In vivo and in silico design of inorganic binding peptides; protein binding, structure and function (modeling, spectroscopy, & imaging); engineered evolution of proteins;  self-assembly, directed assembly, co-ordinated assembly of nanoparticles and macromolecules; molecular erectors for nanobiotechnology;  whole-tooth regeneration (enamel, dentin, & cementum); biological and biomimetics; bio-nanophotonics (harvesting nanophotonic effects for detecting molecular & NP targets); functional nanoparticle-peptide hybrid constructs for chemical & biological detection; materials science of the neurodegenerative diseases (self-assembly in the brain); multifunctional biomedical probes (e.g., cancer); peptide-based nanoelectronics & nanomagnetics; structure-function relations from natural hard tissues; light, electron, x-ray & scanned probe microscopies & spectroscopies.


  • J.L. Wacker, M.H. Zareie, H. Fong, M. Sarikaya, P. Muchowski, Hsp 70 and Hsp40 Attenuate Formation of Spherical and Annular Polyglutamine Oligomers by Partitioning Monomer, “Nature Structural & Molecular Biology”, 11 (12) 1215-1222 (2004).
  • H. Dai, C. Nguyen, M. Sarikaya, F. Baneyx & D. Schwartz, “Through-mask Anodic Patterning and Film Stability in Biological Media,” Langmuir, 3483-3486, (2004).
  • M.S. Kang, S.H. Kang, H. Ma, K.S. Kim, M. Sarikaya and A. Jen, Efficient Photocurrent Generation Through Self-assembled Monolayer of C60-Mercaptoanthrylphenyleacetylene with Well-ordered Structure, Chemical Communication, 2004.
  • M. Sarikaya, et al, Materials Assembly and Formation using Engineered Polypeptides, Annu. Rev. Mater. Res. 34, 373-408, 2004.
  • M. Sarikaya, C. Tamerler, A. Jen, K. Shulten & F. Baneyx, “Molecular biomimetics: Nanotechnology Through Biology,” Nature-Materials, 2 577-585, (2004).
  • H. Fong, S.N. White, M.L. Paine, W. Luo, M.L. Snead and M. Sarikaya, Enamel Structure-Properties Controlled by Engineered Proteins in Transgenic Mice, J. Bone & Min. Res., 18 (11), 2052-2059, 2003.
  • M.H. Zareie, H. Ma, B.W. Reed, A. Jen & M. Sarikaya, “Controlled Assembly of Conducting Monomers for Molecular Electronics,” Nanoletters, 3(2), 139-142, (2003).
  • C. Tamerler, S. Dincer, D. Heidel and M. Sarikaya, Biomimetic Multifunctional Molecular Coatings Using Engineered Proteins, Prof. Org. Coating, 47 (3-4), 267-274, Sept 2003.


GEMSEC: NSF-funded Genetically Engineered Materials Science & Engineering Center