Maksim Royzen

  • Maksim Royzen


    Dr. Royzen’s lab is interested in developing new bio-orthogonal reactions. These are special types of reactions that allow imaging of bio-molecules and bio-processes without disturbing the organism under investigation. In general bio-orthogonal reactions have to be inert to a wide range of chemical functionalities in the cell, such as amines, alcohols, and thiols. They take place in physiological media at neutral pH. All the reagents and the reaction products must be non-toxic. The reaction must occur at a reasonable rate at micromolar concentration, which is typical of in vivo imaging. Several reactions have been developed that satisfy these criteria. One interesting example is an inverse electron demand Diels-Alder reaction between s- tetrazines and trans-cyclooctenes. The Royzen lab is interested in developing similar reactions that will allow live cell and animal imaging using fluorescence, MRI, PET, or other non-invasive imaging techniques. The lab is also interested in developing molecular probes for live cell imaging of RNA. These probes will allow us to answer questions related to RNA biosynthesis, and RNA functions on a subcellular level.