Chemistry Faculty

Mehmet V. Yigit

Ph.D., University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2008

LS 02099
Phone: (518) 442-3002

Lab Website: Yigit Lab

Research Interests



Lab Members



Research Interests:

Our lab is interested in imaging and therapy of cancer using metallic and polymeric nanoparticles. Cancer progresses quietly and can proliferate and metastasize quickly. Therefore detection of cancer at early stages of development is crucial for survival. Treatment at the cellular level with the use of nanotechnology represents an important alternative to current methods. Our research focuses on the synthesis and use of theranostic nanomaterials to prevent and image disease progression. The physical properties of nanoparticles provide imaging capability and siRNA/anti-miRNA synthetic oligonucleotides attached on the nanoparticle surface provide therapeutic response.

Our lab is interested in engineering bio-molecular and chemical sensors using DNA/RNA aptamer and nanoparticle conjugates. Gold and magnetic nanoparticles can be functionalized with target recognition elements and used as sensors for different materials.  When bound to target molecules these nanoparticles assemble/disassemble and alter their physical states which can be visualized by naked eye or by MRI. We are interested in using aptamers as target recognition elements. Aptamers are single-stranded DNA or RNA molecules that can bind a variety of chemical and biological molecules with high affinity and selectivity. Aptamer conjugated nanoparticles are therefore used as sensors for different biological and chemical molecules.


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1.    Ping Wang, Mehmet V. Yigit, Chongzhao Ran, Alana Ross, Lingling Wei, Guangping Dai, Zdravka Medarova and Anna Moore. “A Theranostic Small Interfering RNA Nanoprobe Protects Pancreatic Islet Grafts From Adoptively Transferred Immune Rejection” Diabetes, 2012, online.

2.     Mehmet V. Yigit, Subrata K. Ghosh, Mohanraja Kumar, Victoria Petkova, Anna Moore and Zdravka Medarova. “Context-dependent differences in miR-10b breast oncogenesis can be targeted for the prevention and arrest of lymph node metastasis” Oncogene, 2012, online.

3.     Mehmet V. Yigit, and Zdravka Medarova. “Iron Oxide Nanoparticles and Derivatives for Biomedical Imaging and Application in Cancer Diagnosis and siRNA Therapy” Nano and Micro Flow Systems forBioanalysis, Editors: M.W.Collins & C.S.König, Chapter 1, Springer, 2013.

4.     Mehmet V. Yigit, Anna Moore and Zdravka Medarova. “Magnetic nanoparticles for cancer diagnosis and therapy” Pharmaceutical Research, 2012, 29(5), 1180-1188.

5.     Mehmet V. Yigit, Anna Moore and Zdravka Medarova. “In vivo application of gold nanoparticles for biomedical SERS imaging”, Am. J. Nucl. Med. Mol. Imaging, 2012, 2(2), 232-241.

6.     Mehmet V. Yigit, Leyun Zhu, Marytheresa A. Ifediba, Yong Zhang, Kevin Carr, Anna Moore, and Zdravka Medarova. “Noninvasive MRI-SERS imaging in living mice using an innately bimodal nanomaterial” ACS Nano, 2011, 5(2), 1056–1066.

7.     Ping Wang, Mehmet V. Yigit, Liangli Wei, Guangping Dai, Zdravka Medarova, and Anna Moore. “Combined small interfering RNA therapy and in vivo magnetic resonance imaging in islet transplantation” Diabetes, 2011, 60(2), 565-571.

8.     Mohanraja Kumar, Mehmet Yigit, Guangping Dai, Anna Moore and Zdravka Medarova. “Image-guided breast tumor therapy using a siRNA nanodrug” Cancer Research, 2010, 70(19),7553-7561.

9.     Jung Heon Lee, Mehmet V. Yigit, Debapriya Mazumdar and Yi Lu. “Molecular diagnostic and drug delivery agents based on aptamer-nanomaterial conjugates” Adv. Drug Deliv. Rev. 2010, 62(6),592-605.

10.   Mehmet V. Yigit, Abhijit Mishra, Rong Tong, Jianjung Chen, Gerard C. L. Wong and Yi Lu. “Inorganic mercury detection and controlled release of chelating agents from ion-responsive liposomes” Chem Biol. 2009, 16(9), 937-942.

11.   Mehmet V. Yigit, Debapriya Mazumdar and Yi Lu. “MRI Detection of thrombin with aptamer functionalized superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles” Bioconjugate Chem., 2008, 19(2), 412-417. (Most accessed article of the 1st quarter of 2008, Bioconjugate Chemistry)

12.   Mehmet V. Yigit, Debapriya Mazumdar, Hee-Kyung Kim, Jung Heon Lee, Boris Odintsov and Yi Lu. “Smart "turn-on" magnetic resonance contrast agents based on aptamer-functionalized superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles” ChemBioChem 2007,8(14), 1675-1678.

13.   Jung Heon Lee, Daryl P. Wernette, Mehmet V. Yigit, Juewen Liu, Zidong Wang and Yi Lu. “Site-specific control of distances between gold nanoparticles using phosphorothioate anchors on DNA and a short bifunctional molecular fastener” Angew. Chem. Int. Ed., 2007, 46(47), 9006-9010.

14.   Mehmet V. Yigit, Christopher G. F. Cooper, Yu Wang, Brian Moulton and John C. MacDonald. “Reaction of 1,2-bis(2,6-dicarboxypyridin-4-yl)ethyne with Co(II) generates coordination monomers not polymers: Crystal structure of 4-(2,6-dicarboxypyridin-4-yl)ethynylpyridine-2,6- dicarboxylatotriaqua cobalt(II) monohydrate” Journal of Chemical Crystallography 2006, 36(6), 371-379.

15.   Mehmet V. Yigit, Yu Wang, Brian Moulton and John C. MacDonald. “Generation of linear coordination polymers of catena-[diaqua-(m-pyrazine-2,6-dicarboxylato-N,O,O'-m-N')copper(II)] via in situ hydro(solvo)thermal decarboxylation of pyrazine-2,3,5,6-tetracarboxylic acid” Crystal Growth & Design2006, 6(4), 829-832.

16.   Mehmet V. Yigit, Kasim Biyikli, Brian Moulton and John C. MacDonald. “Bis(imidazolium 2,4,6-tricarboxypyridine) metal(II) complexes: Molecular building blocks that generate isomorphous hydrogen-bonded frameworks” Crystal Growth & Design 2006, 6(1), 63-69.

17.   John C. MacDonald, Mehmet V. Yigit and Kyle Mychajlonka. “Two concomitant polymorphs of a supramolecular model of the Asp---His---Ser catalytic triad” Crystal Growth & Design 2005, 5(6), 2248-2255.


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1.   Zdravka Medarova, Anna Moore, Mehmet V. Yigit and Subrata Ghosh. “Sensors of miRNA activity and uses thereof”. U.S. Patent filing (2012).

2.   Zdravka Medarova, Anna Moore and Mehmet V. Yigit. “Therapeutic nanoparticles and methods of use thereof”. U.S. Patent application. Provisional filing (2011).

3.   Zdravka Medarova, Anna Moore and Mehmet V. Yigit. “Innately multimodal nanoparticles”. PCT Int. Appl.  (2010).

4.   Yi Lu, Mehmet V. Yigit and Debapriya Mazumdar. “MRI contrast agents and high-throughputscreening by MRI”. U.S. Pat. No: 20090098550  (2009).

5.   Yi Lu, Gerard C. L. Wong, Mehmet V. Yigit and Abhijit Mishra. “Amphiphilic substances andfunctionalized lipid vesicles including them”. PCT Int. Pat. No: WO2008089248, (2008).

6.   Yi Lu, Jung Heon Lee, and Mehmet V. Yigit. “Alignment of nanomaterials and micromaterials”. U.S. Patent application. Provisional filing (2006).

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Lab Members:

Dr. Yigit graduated from Bogazici University, Turkey in 2001. Soon after his graduation, he moved to United States for his Master of Science degree in Chemistry at Worcester Polytechnic Institute.  He studied engineering metal organic framework using different transition metals and organic molecules with Prof. John C. MacDonald. After his graduation from Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, he started Ph.D. program at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He pursued his graduate studies under the supervision of Prof. Yi Lu on biomedical applications of aptamer conjugated gold and magnetic nanoparticles. In 2008, after graduation, he moved to Harvard Medical School for his postdoctoral studies. He has worked on engineering and application of therapeutic oligonucleotide functionalized nanoparticles for cancer nanotherapy and imaging on small animals. He is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Chemistry at the University at Albany since 2012. He is interested in engineering functional DNA/RNA or peptide conjugated metallic nanoparticles for biomedical applications


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