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Piyush Jain - University of Florida. Gainesville, FL, US

Piyush Jain

Assistant Professor | University of Florida

Gainesville, FL, UNITED STATES

Piyush Jain researches the molecular basis of DNA and ways to improve technologies such as CRISPR and Cas.


Piyush Jain is an assistant professor and Shah Rising Star Professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering in the Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering. Piyush and his research group are generating insights and solutions to problems with genome engineering, specifically Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats (CRISPR) and Cas systems with applications in science, medicine, agriculture, biotechnology and biomanufacturing.

Areas of Expertise (7)

CRISPR/Cas systems


Nucleic Acids

Gene Editing


Protein Engineering

Responsive Systems

Media Appearances (3)

Nobel Prize for chemistry honors exquisitely precise gene-editing technique, CRISPR – a gene engineer explains how it works

The Conversation  online


Researchers have been able to manipulate large chunks of genetic code for almost 50 years. But it is only within the past decade that they have been able to do it with exquisite precision – adding, deleting and substituting single units of the genetic code just as an editor can manipulate a single letter in a document.

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Rapid home-based coronavirus tests are coming together in research labs — we’re working on analyzing spit using advanced CRISPR gene editing techniques

The Conversation  online


A desperately needed tool to curb the COVID-19 pandemic is an inexpensive home-based rapid testing kit that can detect the coronavirus without needing to go to the hospital.

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Researchers hope CRISPR gene-editing technology can yield rapid at-home COVID-19 test

CBC Radio  radio


Piyush Jain, a biomolecular scientist and assistant professor at the University of Florida, says the technique could be used to detect the RNA — a molecule related to DNA — of SARS-CoV-2, which causes COVID-19, in human saliva.

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Articles (4)

Engineering highly thermostable Cas12b via de novo structural analyses for one-pot detection of nucleic acids

Cell Reports Medicine

Long T. Nguyen, et. al


CRISPR-Cas-based diagnostics have the potential to elevate nucleic acid detection. CRISPR-Cas systems can be combined with a pre-amplification step in a one-pot reaction to simplify the workflow and reduce carryover contamination. Here, we report an engineered Cas12b with improved thermostability that falls within the optimal temperature range (60°C–65°C) of reverse transcription-loop-mediated isothermal amplification (RT-LAMP).

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Programmable RNA detection with CRISPR-Cas12a

Nature Communications

Santosh R. Rananaware, et. al


CRISPR is a prominent bioengineering tool and the type V CRISPR-associated protein complex, Cas12a, is widely used in diagnostic platforms due to its innate ability to cleave DNA substrates. Here we demonstrate that Cas12a can also be programmed to directly detect RNA substrates without the need for reverse transcription or strand displacement.

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A thermostable Cas12b from Brevibacillus leverages one-pot discrimination of SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern


Long T. Nguyen, et al.


Current SARS-CoV-2 detection platforms lack the ability to differentiate among variants of concern (VOCs) in an efficient manner. CRISPR/Cas-based detection systems have the potential to transform the landscape of COVID-19 diagnostics due to their programmability; however, most of these methods are reliant on either a multi-step process involving amplification or elaborate guide RNA designs.

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Clinical validation of engineered CRISPR/Cas12a for rapid SARS-CoV-2 detection

Communications Medicine

Long T. Nguyen, et al.


The coronavirus disease caused by SARS-CoV-2 has swept through the globe at an unprecedented rate. CRISPR-based detection technologies have emerged as a rapid and affordable platform that can shape the future of diagnostics.

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