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Laboratory for Noninvasive Neuroengineering

We are developing technologies for noninvasive control and monitoring of the brain. In our work, we combine synthetic biology, molecular engineering, and strategies for enhanced gene and drug delivery into the central nervous system. Our goals are to understand neural circuit function and treat brain disorders with fewer side effects.

Keywords: gene delivery, protein engineering, neuromodulation, viral vector engineering, ultrasound

For examples, see our current research. 

For position availability: email:
















































Congrats to Dr. Sin Lee on becoming the first Ph.D. graduate of the lab!

New paper: Engineering viral vectors for acoustically targeted gene delivery is published in Nature Communications. Congrats to all authors!

New article in Chemical Engineering Progress (CEP) by Dr. Szablowski on how molecular engineering can help to study and treat the brain.


Congrats to Dr. Sho Watanabe for receiving the Japanese Society for the Promotion of Science Fellowship (JSPS) fellowship!

New paper in Nature Biotechnology introducing the synthetic serum marker paradigm. Congrats to the team! See: Engineered serum markers for non-invasive monitoring of gene expression in the brain 

New preprint: Congrats to Dr. Zhimin Huang on developing Regionally-Activated Interstitial Drugs, or RAID


New grant: Dr. Szablowski receives the NIH Director's New Innovator Award (DP2). We will use it to develop tools for monitoring gene expression in the brain with blood sampling.

New paper: Congrats to Shirin Nouraein et al. on a new paper in Gene Therapy, Acoustically targeted noninvasive gene therapy in large brain volumes.

Interview with Dr. Szablowski on our approach to accelerate drug discovery and therapy development out in Popular Mechanics.

Student award: Congrats to Sangsin Lee for receiving the Trainee Highlight Award from the NIH BRAIN initiative!

Student awards: Congrats to Andrei Mitrofan for receiving multiple awards at graduation, including Outstanding Senior in Bioengineering Award, James S. Waters Creativity Award, and Excellence in Capstone Engineering Award.

Student award: Congrats to Ryan Wang for becoming a Goldwater Scholar!

Student award: Congrats to Ryan Wang for receiving the Sigma Xi Society Grant in Aid of Research!

New preprint: Congrats Shirin Nouraein et al. on showing that naturally-occurring AAVs can be safely and noninvasively delivered to large swathes of the brain to enable 60% transduction efficiency and genome editing. See: Acoustically Targeted Noninvasive Gene Therapy in Large Brain Regions

Dr. Szablowski receives DARPA Young Faculty Award (YFA) to simplify drug development and design therapeutic strategies for enhanced thermal adaptation. News: Popular Mechanics

New paper: Congrats to Sangsin Lee and Shirin Nouraein on a new accepted paper Targeted immunosuppression enhances repeated gene delivery in Gene Therapy

New Grant: We've received an R21 from NIH to work on the noninvasive molecule delivery to the eye. The work will be done in collaboration with Dr. Ben Frankfort at Baylor College of Medicine.

Dr. Szablowski receives NIBIB Trailblazer Award to support the work on noninvasive monitoring of gene expression in the brain.

Joon Pyung Seo receives APP Travel Award. Congrats!

New preprint: Congrats Sangsin Lee et al. on a developing a novel  class of gene expression reporters - Released Markers of Activity or RMA, see the preprint: Engineered Serum Markers for Noninvasive Monitoring of Gene Expression in the Brain

Congrats to Andrei Mitrofan on receiving an REA International service award!

New preprint: Congrats to Sangsin Lee and Shirin Nouraein on a newly submitted manuscript titled: Targeted immunosuppression enhances repeated gene delivery 


Dr. Szablowski selected as a 2021 Packard Fellow in Science and Engineering

New paper: Congrats to Boao, Sin, and our collaborators in Robinson lab on a newly accepted review paper in Current Opinion in Biotechnology titled: Biohybrid approaches to interface with the nervous system: the best of both worlds.


New Grant: The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research will be supporting our work on identifying new markers for early detection and staging of Parkinson's Disease in collaboration with Drs. Sameer Sheth and Nora Vannegas-Arroyave.


New preprint: Congratulations to Jake Trippett and our team of collaborators at Caltech for developing a viral vector engineered for acoustically-targeted gene delivery.

New Grant: G. Harold and Leila Y. Mathers Charitable Foundation will support our work on Acoustically Targeted Chemogenetics (ATAC).

Congratulations to Manwal Harb, and a lab alum Tsvetelina Baryakova for their NSF GRFP fellowships and to Joycelyn Yiu for the NSF GRFP honorable mention!

New grant: John S. Dunn Foundation will support our work on treating neurodevelopment disorders. Read more



Congratulations to Manwal Harb for being selected for NSF NRT Bioelectronics program.

New paper: a peer-reviewed publication is now in press - a protocol for high-precision FUS-BBBO. Congrats to Manwal Harb for his first co-authorship on a paper.

New grant: We have received a grant from The Welch foundation to develop site-specific therapeutics for brain disorders. 

Invited Talk at Columbia University

Invited talk at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, Neuroscience Center, as a part of #MSNSeminars

ATAC in the news.

Our work on noninvasive neuromodulation was featured in the news. Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News published an informative article on DREADDs, which also featured ATAC technology.


Noninvasive neuromodulation and Acoustically Targeted Chemogenetics


Gene therapy and gene delivery for the CNS

Site-specific therapeutics

Viral vector and protein engineering

for neuroscience


Noninvasive Monitoring of Deep Tissue Physiology

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6100 Main St., Houston, TX 77005-1892 
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 1892 Houston, TX 77251-1892

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