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Jonathan S. Dordick - Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Troy, NY, US

Jonathan S. Dordick

Institute Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering and Professor of Biomedical Engineering and Biological Sciences | Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute


Applies biological principles to advance bioengineering and biomanufacturing, stem cell engineering, and drug discovery


Areas of Expertise (7)

Drug Discovery


Biochemical Engineering




Stem Cell Engineering


Jonathan S. Dordick is Institute Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute where he is also the Senior Advisor to the President for Strategic Initiatives. Prof. Dordick served as the Vice President for Research from 2012-2018, the Director of Rensselaer’s Center for Biotechnology & Interdisciplinary Studies from 2008-2012, and as Department Chairman of Chemical and Biological Engineering at Rensselaer (1998-2002) and Chemical and Biochemical Engineering at the University of Iowa (1995-1998).

Prof. Dordick received his B.A. degree in Biochemistry and Chemistry from Brandeis University and his Ph.D. in Biochemical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He has held chemical engineering faculty appointments at the University of Iowa (1987-1998), where he also served as the Associate Director of the Center for Biocatalysis and Bioprocessing, and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (1998-present) where he also holds joint appointments in the departments of Biomedical Engineering and Biological Sciences. Prof. Dordick’s research group includes chemical engineers, bioengineers, materials scientists, biologists, chemists, microbiologists and computational and AI scientists all focused on gaining a quantitative understanding of biological principles and applying them to advance bioengineering and biomanufacturing, stem cell engineering, and drug discovery.

Prof. Dordick has received numerous awards, including the Food, Pharmaceutical and Bioengineering Award of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, Marvin J. Johnson Award and the Elmer Gaden Award both of the American Chemical Society, the International Enzyme Engineering Award, and an NSF Presidential Young Investigator Award. He is an elected Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors, the American Chemical Society, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineers. He presently serves on the Scientific Advisory Boards for several biotechnology companies and venture capital firms, and has cofounded several companies, including EnzyMed (now part of Albany Molecular Research, Inc.), Solidus Biosciences, Inc., and Redpin Therapetuics. He has also served on multiple White House-sponsored panels and committees in biomanufacturing. Dr. Dordick has published over 370 papers and is an inventor/co-inventor on over 40 patents and patent applications.






Ideas @Davos | Jonathan Dordick | Biocatalysis for a Sustainable Future Jonathan S. Dordick Dalian 2009 IdeasLab - Jonathan Dordick


Education (3)

Massachusetts Institute of Technology: Ph.D., Biochemical Engineering 1986

Massachusetts Institute of Technology: M.S., Biochemical Engineering 1983

Brandeis University: B.A., Biochemistry and Chemistry 1980

Media Appearances (4)

Jonathan Dordick Named Fellow of National Academy of Inventors

American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering  online


Jonathan Dordick is the vice president for research and the Howard P. Isermann Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering at Rensselaer. He is a faculty member in the Howard. P. Isermann Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering at Rensselaer, and holds joint appointments in the departments of Biomedical Engineering, Materials Science and Engineering, and Biology. He is a past director of the Rensselaer Center for Biotechnology and Interdisciplinary Studies.

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Enzyme coating kills bacteria in food packaging

The Engineer  online


Engineering researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute have developed a new method to kill pathogenic bacteria in food handling and packaging. The development is claimed to represent an alternative to the use of antibiotics or chemical decontamination in food supply systems.

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Nano-collaboration focus of symposium

WAMC  radio


Collaboration is the focus of a two-day National Academy of Sciences symposium at Hudson Valley Community College in Troy, and nano-technology is at the center of the discussion because of the work at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, the College of Nano-Scale Science and Engineering in Albany and Global Foundries in Malta, Saratoga County. Working together in the nano field is vital according to professor Jonathan Dordick, vice president of research at RPI.

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Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Appoints Biotechnology, Administrative, and Education Leader Jonathan S. Dordick as Vice President for Research

BioSpace  online


Jonathan S. Dordick, the current director of the Center for Biotechnology and Interdisciplinary Studies (CBIS) and Howard P. Isermann Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, has been appointed vice president for research, effective today.

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Articles (3)

Heavy Heparin: A Stable Isotope‐Enriched, Chemoenzymatically‐Synthesized, Poly‐Component Drug

Angewandte Chemie

Brady F Cress, Ujjwal Bhaskar, Deepika Vaidyanathan, Asher Williams, Chao Cai, Xinyue Liu, Li Fu, Vandhana M-Chari, Fuming Zhang, Shaker A Mousa, Jonathan S Dordick, Mattheos AG Koffas, Robert J Linhardt

2019 Heparin is a highly sulfated, complex polysaccharide and widely used anticoagulant pharmaceutical. In this work, we chemoenzymatically synthesized perdeuteroheparin from biosynthetically enriched heparosan precursor obtained from microbial culture in deuterated medium. Chemical de‐N‐acetylation, chemical N‐sulfation, enzymatic epimerization, and enzymatic sulfation with recombinant heparin biosynthetic enzymes afforded perdeuteroheparin comparable to pharmaceutical heparin. A series of applications for heavy heparin and its heavy biosynthetic intermediates are demonstrated, including generation of stable isotope labeled disaccharide standards, development of a non‐radioactive NMR assay for glucuronosyl‐C5‐epimerase, and background‐free quantification of in vivo half‐life following administration to rabbits. We anticipate that this approach can be extended to produce other isotope‐enriched glycosaminoglycans.

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Remodeling of Glycosaminoglycans During Differentiation of Adult Human Bone Mesenchymal Stromal Cells Toward Hepatocytes

Stem Cells and Development

Paiyz E. Mikael, Charles Willard, Aurvan Koyee, Charmaine-Grace Barlao, Xinyue Liu, Xiaorui Han, Yilan Ouyang, Ke Xia, Robert J. Linhardt, and Jonathan S. Dordick

2019 There is a critical need to generate functional hepatocytes to aid in liver repair and regeneration upon availability of a renewable, and potentially personalized, source of human hepatocytes (hHEP). Currently, the vast majority of primary hHEP are obtained from human tissue through cadavers. Recent advances in stem cell differentiation have opened up the possibility to obtain fully functional hepatocytes from embryonic or induced pluripotent stem cells, or adult stem cells. With respect to the latter, human bone marrow mesenchymal stromal cells (hBMSCs) can serve as a source of autogenetic and allogenic multipotent stem cells for liver repair and regeneration. A major aspect of hBMSC differentiation is the extracellular matrix (ECM) composition and, in particular, the role of glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) in the differentiation process. In this study, we examine the influence of four distinct culture conditions/protocols (T1–T4) on GAG composition and hepatic markers. α-Fetoprotein and hepatocyte nuclear factor-4α were expressed continually over 21 days of differentiation, as indicated by real time quantitative PCR analysis, while albumin (ALB) expression did not begin until day 21. Hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) appears to be more effective than activin A in promoting hepatic-like cells through the mesenchymal–epithelial transition, perhaps due to the former binding to the HGF receptor to form a unique complex that diversifies the biological functions of HGF. Of the four protocols tested, uniform hepatocyte-like morphological changes, ALB secretion, and glycogen storage were found to be highest with protocol T2, which involves both early- and late-stage combinations of growth factors. The total GAG profile of the hBMSC ECM is rich in heparan sulfate (HS) and hyaluronan, both of which fluctuate during differentiation. The GAG profile of primary hHEP showed an HS-rich ECM, and thus, it may be possible to guide hBMSC differentiation to more mature hepatocytes by controlling the GAG profile expressed by differentiating cells.

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Designer DNA architecture offers precise and multivalent spatial pattern-recognition for viral sensing and inhibition


Paul S Kwon, Shaokang Ren, Seok-Joon Kwon, Megan E Kizer, Lili Kuo, Feng Zhou, Fuming Zhang, Domyoung Kim, Keith Fraser, Laura D Kramer, Nadrian C Seeman, Jonathan S Dordick, Robert J Linhardt, Jie Chao, Xing Wang

2019 DNA, when folded into nanostructures of customizable shapes, is capable of spacing and arranging external ligands in a desired geometric pattern with nanometer-precision. This allows DNA to serve as an excellent, biocompatible scaffold for complex spatial pattern-recognizing displays. In this report, we demonstrate that a templated designer DNA nanostructure achieves multi-ligand display with precise spatial pattern-recognition, representing a unique strategy in synthesizing potent viral sensors and inhibitors. Specifically, a star-shaped DNA architecture, carrying five molecular beacon-like motifs, was constructed to display ten dengue virus envelope protein domain-III (ED3)-binding aptamers into a 2D pattern precisely matching the pentagonal arrangement of ED3 clusters on the dengue viral surface. The resulting spatial pattern recognition and multivalent interactions achieve high dengue-binding avidity, conferring direct, highly-sensitive, facile, low-cost, and rapid sensing as well as potent viral inhibition capability. Our molecular-platform design strategy could be adapted to detect and combat other disease-causing pathogens, including bacteria and microbial-toxins, by generating the requisite ligand patterns on customized DNA nanoarchitectures.

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