May 20, 2024

The Chilkoti lab cleaned up at our department retreat at Wrightsville beach on the North Carolina coast. Congratulations to Kat on being awarded the NSF Graduate Research Fellowships Program award, Erica and Emilie for winning 2nd place in the retreat rapid fire talks competition for their rap battle, and Dan for winning 2nd best poster at the poster session! We had a great time at the beach doing yoga, playing volleyball, and learning about all the incredible science happening in our department.  

Kat receives the NSF GRFP!

Kat winning NSFGRFP

Erica and Emilie win 2nd place for their rap battle!

Erica and Emilie win 2nd place

Dan wins 2nd place for his poster!

Dan with poster

Kat links the the Chilkoti and Collier labs!


Attempt the "find everyone in the lab in the department photo" challenge (IMPOSSIBLE)

May 5, 2024

Exciting news from our lab! We are proud to announce the publication of our latest paper in Nature Communications, describing the development of new synthetic IDPs that allow for the soluble expression of difficult proteins in E. coli. These synthetic IDPs allowed our team to express and purify large amounts of active mTdT, Z2-LO10, and TEV protease, three proteins which are known to otherwise be difficult to express solubly in E. coli. Congratulations to co-first authors Dr. Nick Tang, Jonathan Su, and Dr. Yulia Shmidov, and everyone else who contributed to this work! 

The article is available online at or as a PDF at

March 13, 2024

Congrats to Parul on her marriage to Tristan! The wedding was in India, giving lab members the opportunity to take a few weeks off for the adventure of a lifetime, guilt-free ("don't worry about your experiments, enjoy India!" - Tosh, in an email to the India crew). We got the chance to to visit Parul's village outside of Delhi, and Dr. Sonal organized an unbelievable trip around Delhi, Agra, Jaipur, Jodhpur, and Udaipur. Greatest hits included: monkeys, Sikh temples, Hindu temples, Jain temples, Zach's newfound love for Laal Maas, crowded tuktuk rides, udaipur rooftop meals, and the invaluable chance to experience a new and different culture. 


Congratulations Parul!

Everyone at the wedding

Colors and Kurtas

Group at Paruls house

Making friends (with the wedding photographer)


A beautiful misty sunrise at the Taj Mahal

Everyone at the TajMahal

Who needs the "Japiur" instagram filter when in Japiur?

Everyone in Jaipur

February 13, 2024

Our lab would be nothing without the illustrious, industrious, conscientious, sedulous, diligent, amazing, incomparable, fantastic, and all-time favorite lab manager, Krissey! Dr. Dan Joh and the lab surprised Krissey with cupcakes for her birthday during Rachel's group meeting. Happy Birthday, Krissey!

Lab surprising Krissey for her birthday

December 17, 2023

Josh and his wife Amber hosted an incredible white elephant holiday party for the lab. The gift exchange included multiple plants, a shockingly pleasant island-themed calendar, childhood toys, and even an appearance by Tosh! Happy Holidays, everyone!

 The lab at a holiday party with Tosh's face in the background

November 11, 2023

Congratulations to Josh and Amber on their beautiful wedding! We were thrilled to celebrate their marriage with a gorgeous ceremnoy and a reception so lit that there was a fire alarm on the 28th floor. We can confidently say that the Chilkoti lab excels both at the bench and at the dance.


Not pictured: Josh, newly married

October 28, 2023

The lab fell in love with Fall! Kat and Rachael organized an excursion to a local pumpkin patch for some wonderful pumpkin spice lab bonding. We talked intrinsically disordered proteins on a tractor ride, drug delivery on a cow ride, compared our pumpkins, and got lost in a corn maze. 10/10 would Fall again!

Blinded by the light

Lab Photo Pumpkin Patch 1

Showing off our pumpkins

Small Group with pumpkins

Enjoying what was sold as a "cow ride"

Cow Ride

Enjoying an actual tractor ride

Lab on a tractor

October 14, 2023

The Chilkoti Lab rolled in deep to the BMES conference! Anya, Max, Josh, Zach, and Dr. Yulia all gave excellent talks, while Parul, Joanna and Jonathan gave some really ~strong~ poster presentations!

Chilkoti BMES Squad!


Anya Presenting

Anya Presenting

Max Presenting

Max Presenting

Josh Presenting

Josh Presenting

Zach Presenting

Zach Presenting

Yulia Presenting

Yulia Presenting

Parul Presenting

Parul Presenting

Joanna Presenting

Joanna Presenting

Jonathan Flexing

Jonathan Presenting

August 19, 2023

Kat, Rachael, Rachel, Afi, and Zach (a.k.a. The First Years and Zach) planned an incredible lab retreat! This year we went to the Blue Ridge mountains of North Carolina, where we had a relaxing weekend of lab-based games, hiking, and generally relaxing. Things got heated during a close game of pipette basketball, we found out that Uno actually has a slapping mechanic, and Dan learned the hard way that picking up a cactus knob will lead to hours of picking tiny needles out of his bare hands. Overall we had a blast exploring the beautiful nature of Appalachian North Carolina! 

Take a look:

Lab loving the view at the top of Stone Mountain:

Dan learns about Cactus Trichomes:

The lab cools off:

Parul slays:


And finally, our beautiful lab retreat patio!

Thanks everyone for making our 2023 retreat so awesome!


July 11, 2023

Hamed's work was written up in a press release from the Duke Pratt School of Engineering! He created a gravity-powered microfluidic device that can control how droplets move and interact without any outside power. Great stuff! Read more here:

June 20, 2023

The lab had a fantastic time at our departmental retreat, and more than a few congratulations are in order!

Congrats to Anya for winning the BME Department Outstanding Departmental Service Award for four years of leadership in the BME PhD Peer Mentoring program! The peer mentoring program has been an integral part of the department, connecting older PhD students with newbies to help them navigate the ins and outs of our PhD program!

Plus, congrats to Zach for winning an Outstanding Teaching Assistant award and 3rd place at the poster competition!




June 11, 2023

A huge congratulations to Anya for being elected as one of the co-chairs for the 2025 Gordon Research Seminar on Cancer Nanotechnology! Anya had the opportunity to present her work and connect with brilliant scientists in the field. Learn more about the 2023 Cancer Nanotechnology GRS here. We look forward to attending a conference and seminar organized by our very own!

March 23, 2023

Huge news from the entrepreneurial side of the Chilkoti lab: Isolere, a company founded in 2017 by Tosh, Kelli Luginbuhl, who recieved her PhD in the Chilkoti lab, and Joe McMahon, partner at Bioventure Partners, has been acquired by Donaldson Company, a global maker of filtration products. Isolere harnesses the power of protein phase separation to purify gene therapy vectors at yeilds significantly higher than the current standard. Congrats to Tosh, Kelli, Joe, and the rest of Isolere, including CSO Mike Dzuricky, who also got his PhD in the Chilkoti lab!

Read about the whole history of Isolere here:

Official press release from Donaldson:

January 4, 2023

The good press continues! Dr. Schaal's pancreatic treatment was highlighted by CBS news - watch the segment here:

December 19, 2022

Dr. Jeff Schaal's work on an injectable, radioactive gel was just highlighted on the NIH website! Congratulations Jeff and co-authors!

Read more here: