Molecular Engineering Imaging and Control

We engineer biomolecules with unusual physical properties and use them to image and control biological function non-invasively, e.g. using magnetic fields and sound waves.

learn more
  • Welcome to the Shapiro Lab at the California Institute of Technology.
  • Pasadena, California, USA.


Ultrasound imaging with genetically encoded gas nanostructures.
Read More


New molecules and mechanisms for genetically encoded MRI contrast.
Read More


Biophysics of neuromodulation with ultrasound and other forms of energy.
Read More


Multiplexed chemical control of the nervous system.
Read More

Third Annual Shapiro Lab Beach Party


Hermosa Beach, California, July 16, 2016. Thanks to everyone who came!

Second Annual Shapiro Lab Beach Party

Beautiful day at the ocean! Corona Del Mar, California, August 1, 2015

Reporter gene for Hyperpolarized MRI published in Nature Chemistry


Our article on “Genetically encoded reporters for hyperpolarized xenon magnetic resonance imaging” has been published in Nature Chemistry. It describes how the the xenon-binding capabilities of gas vesicles allow them to be detected non-invasively at picomolar concentrations.

Link to the Article
Editor’s Choice in Science Translational Medicine


First annual Shapiro Lab beach party

Thanks to all the lab members, family and friends who joined us for our first annual beach party at Bosla Chica beach!



Ultrasound work published in Nature Nanotechnology


Our article on the use of microbe-derived gas vesicles as molecular imaging agents for ultrasound has been published.

Link to the Article

News and Views by Mark Borden

Ultrasound movie of injected gas vesicles

Congratulations to everyone involved in this study and our continuing work on genetically encoded and engineered imaging agents for ultrasound!

Lab Renovation Completed!

The Shapiro Lab has officially moved into our newly renovated space in 126 Spalding.
Shapiro Lab AC Martin  /   Photo by Tom Bonner

World Molecular Imaging Congress

The Shapiro Lab attended the World Molecular Imaging Congress in Savannah, GA. Photos: (Left) Dinner with Pradeep, Paula Deen, George and Mikhail. (Right) Mikhail delivering a Young Investigator Award talk at the closing ceremony.

Announcement: Boswell Fellowship

Caltech is recruiting for the James Boswell Postdoctoral Fellowship in Molecular Engineering and Magnetic Resonance Imaging – a prestigious endowed fellowship to be hosted by the Shapiro Lab and the Huntington Medical Research Institute. Details and application instructions can be found here.

Coming to Caltech!

It official! The Shapiro Lab will will open at California Institute of Technology later this year, joining the Division of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering. Our newly renovated molecular and cellular engineering laboratory will be located in Spalding hall, and we will use imaging facilities at the Beckman Institute.¬†Looking forward to working with the students, faculty and staff of the world’s top university.

Burroughs Wellcome Career Award

The Burroughs Wellcome Fund has selected us as one of this year’s recipients of the Burroughs Wellcome Career Awards at the Scientific Interface. Thank you!