Amit Meller

Amit Meller
Professor, Roy Matas Winnipeg Chair in Biomedical Engineering
Emerson 627 or Silver 365
  • CV


    • 1993 – 1997    Ph.D., Department of Physics, Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, Israel
    • 1990 – 1992    M.Sc., Department of Physics, Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, Israel
    • 1987 – 1989    BSc. Physics and Astronomy (Cum laude), Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel

    Academic appointments:  
    • 2010- present  Full Professor (tenured), Department of Biomedical Engineering, Technion, Haifa, Israel
    • 2010 – 2015 World-Class University Professor, Biophysics and Chemical Biology, Seoul National University, S. Korea.
    • 2006 – 2010 Associate Professor (tenured), Department of Biomedical Engineering, Boston University, Boston, MA, USA
    • 2006 – 2010  Associate Professor (tenured), Department of Physics, Boston University, Boston, MA, USA
    • 2000 – 2006  Rowland Senior Fellow, Rowland Institute at Harvard, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, USA
    • 1998 – 2000    Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Harvard University,  Cambridge, MA, USA

    Short Bio: 
    Prof. Meller is received his PhD in Physics at the Weizmann Institute of Science in 1998. He then moved to Harvard University for his postdoctoral studies in Prof. Daniel Branton’s laboratory. At Harvard he was among the pioneers developing nanopore sensors for single molecule DNA sequencing. In 2000 Dr. Meller started his own research group at the Rowland Institute at Harvard, developing single-molecule techniques, such as nanopores and FRET for novel nucleic acids and proteins characterization. In 2006 Dr. Meller joined Boston University’s department of Biomedical Engineering as a tenured Associate Professor. Dr. Meller has led a number of internationally recognized, multi co-PI’s project funded by the Human Frontier Science Program (HFSP), NIH and NSF. In 2010 Dr. Meller returned to Technion as a full professor of Biomedical Engineering. At the Technion he led the German-Israeli Helmholtz Research School SignGene, jointly with leading scientists in Germany and in Israel. Dr. Meller is the director of the first Israeli Center of Excellence (I-Core) in the area of Biological Physics.   The Meller laboratory focuses on development and applications of new methods for the study of biological system from the single molecule to live cells. These include three main efforts: (i) Protein translation dynamics and translation initiation biophysics. (ii) Single-molecule biosensors for molecular diagnosis and disease characterization, including early detection of cancer biomarkers, and antimicrobial resistance typing. (iii) Methods development for ultra-sensitive biomolecules sensing in live cells; DNA sequencing and genotyping. Prof. Meller recently awarded The Diane Sherman Prize for Medical innovations for a Better World.  

  • Selected Publications

    1. Assad, O. N.; Gilboa, T.; Spitzberg, J.; Juhasz, M.; Weinhold, E.; Meller, A. (2017) Light-Enhancing Plasmonic-Nanopore Biosensor for Superior Single-Molecule Detection. Adv. Mater., 1605442–1605449.
    2. Gilboa, T., Torfstein, C., Juhasz, M., Grunwald, A., Ebenstein, Y., Weinhold, E., Meller, A. (2016) Single-Molecule DNA Methylation Quantification Using Electro-Optical Sensing in Solid-State Nanopores. ACS Nano, 10, 8861–8870.
    3. Squires, A., Atas, E. & Meller, A. (2015) Nanopore sensing of individual transcription factors bound to DNA. Scientific Reports 5, 1–11.
    4. Nir, I. Huttner, D. & Meller A. (2015) Direct Sensing and Discrimination among Ubiquitin and Ubiquitin Chains Using Solid-State Nanopores, Biophysical Journal 108, 2340-49.
    5. Squires, A. H., Atas, E. & Meller, A. (2015) Genomic Pathogen Typing Using Solid-State Nanopores. PLoS ONE 10, e0142944.
    6. Hersey, J. S., Meller, A. & Grinstaff, M. W. (2015) Functionalized Nanofiber Meshes Enhance Immunosorbent Assays. Anal Chem.  87, 11863–11870.
    7. Assad, O.N., Di Fiori, N., Squires, A.H. and Meller, A. (2015) Two Color DNA Barcode Detection in Photoluminescence Supressed Silicon Nitride Nanopores, Nano Letters, 15, 745-752. DOI: 10.1021/nl504459c
    8. Anderson, B.N., Assad, O.N., Gilboa,T., Squires, A.H. Bar, D. and Meller, A. (2014), Probing Solid-State Nanopores with Light for the Detection of Unlabeled Analyte, ACS Nano, 8(11), 11836-11845.
    9. Shemesh, J., Ben Arye, T., Avesar,J., Kang,J.H., Fine,A., SuperM., Meller, A., Ingber, D.E. and Levenberg S. (2014) Stationary nanoliter droplet array with a substrate of choice for single adherent/nonadherent cell incubation and analysis, Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 111(31), 11293-11298.
    10. Sun, Y., Atas, E., Lindqvist, L .M., Sonenberg, N., Pelletier, J. and A. Meller (2014) Single Moleculae Kinetics of the Eukaryotic Initiation Factor 4AI Upon RNA Unwinding, Structure, 22(7), 941-948.
    11. Di Fiori, N. Squires, A. H, Bar, D., Gilboa, T. Moustakas, T.D. and A. Meller. (2013) Optoelectronic control of surface charge and translocation dynamics in solid-state nanopores, Nature Nanotechnology, 8, 946-951.
    12. Squires, A. H., J. S. Hersey, M. W. Grinstaff, and A. Meller. (2013) . A Nanopore–Nanofiber Mesh Biosensor To Control DNA Translocation . Am. Chem. Soc., 135(44), 16304-116307 (PDF).
    13. Anderson BN, Muthukumar M, Meller A. (2012) pH Tuning of DNA Translocation Time through Organically Functionalized Nanopores. ACS Nano. 7(2): 1408-1414
    14. dela Torre R, Larkin J, Singer A, Meller A. (2012) Fabrication and characterization of solid-state nanopore arrays for high-throughput DNA sequencing. Nanotechnology. 23(38):385308. doi: 10.1088/0957-4484/23/38/385308. Epub 2012 Sep 5.
    15. Sun Y, Atas E, Lindqvist L, Sonenberg N, Pelletier J, Meller A. (2012). The eukaryotic initiation factor eIF4H facilitates loop-binding, repetitive RNA unwinding by the eIF4A DEAD-box helicase. Nucleic Acids Res. 40(13), 6199-207. doi: 10.1093/nar/gks278. Epub 2012 Mar 28. PMID: 22457067 Free PMC Article
    16. Lin J, Fabian M, Sonenberg N, Meller A. (2012). Nanopore detachment kinetics of poly(A) binding proteins from RNA molecules reveals the critical role of C-terminus interactions. Biophys J. 102(6), 1427-1434. doi: 10.1016/j.bpj.2012.02.025. Epub 2012 Mar 20.
    17. Singer A, Rapireddy S, Ly DH, Meller A. (2012). Electronic barcoding of a viral gene at the single-molecule level. Nano Lett. 12(3):1722-1728. doi: 10.1021/nl300372a. Epub 2012 Feb 24.
    18. Kim, M.-C., Isenberg, B.C., Sutin, J., Meller, A., Wong, J.Y., and Klapperich, C.M. (2011). Programmed trapping of individual bacteria using micrometre-size sieves. Lab on a Chip 11, 1089-1095.
    19. Livingstone, M., Atas, E., Meller, A., and Sonenberg, N. (2010). Mechanisms governing the control of mRNA translation. Phys Biol 7, 021001.
    20. Singer, A., H. Kuhn, M. Frank-Kamenetskii, and A. Meller. (2010). Detection of urea-induced internal denaturation of dsDNA using solid-state nanopores Phys. Cond-Mat. 22, 454111.
    21. McNally, B., A. Singer, Z. Yu, Y. Sun, Z. Weng, and A. Meller. (2010) Optical Recognition of Converted DNA Nucleotides for Single-Molecule DNA Sequencing Using Nanopore Arrays. Nano Letters 10(6) 2237-44.
    22. Di Fiory, N. and A. Meller (2010) The effect of dye-dye interactions on the spatial resolution of single-molecule FRET measurements in nucleic acids. J. 98, 2265-72 (download).
    23. Lin, J., Kolomeisky, A. and Meller, A. (2010) Helix-coil kinetics of individual polyadenylic acid molecules in a protein channel. Rev. Lett. 104, 158101-4 (download).
    24. Singer, A., Wanunu, M., Morrison, W., Kuhn, H., Frank-Kamenetskii, M., and Meller, A. (2010) Nanopore-based sequence-specific detection of duplex DNA for genomic profiling. Nano Letters. 10, 738-742. (download).
    25. Soni, V. G., Singer, A., Yu, Z., Sun, Y., McNally, B. and Meller, A. (2010) Synchronous optical and electrical detection of bio-molecules traversing through solid-state nanopores. Sci. Instru. 81, 014301-014307. (download).
    26. Wanunu, M., Morrison, W., Rabin, Y., Grosberg, A. Y. and Meller, A. (2010) Electrostatic Focusing of Unlabeled DNA into Nanoscale Pores using a Salt Gradient, Nature Nano. 5,160-165.
    27. Viasnoff, V., U. Bockelmann, A. Meller, H. Isambert, L. Laufer, and Y. Tsori. (2010). Localized Joule heating produced by ion current focusing through micron-size holes. Phys. Lett. 96, 163701-163703.
    28. Valencia-Burton, M. Shah, A. Sutin, J. Borogovac, A., McCullough, R. Cantor, C.R. Meller, A. and Broude, N.E. (2009) Spatiotemporal patterns and transcription kinetics of induced RNA in single bacterial cells, Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 106, 16399-16404 (download).
    29. Wanunu, M. Sutin, J. and A. Meller (2009) DNA Profiling Using Solid-State Nanopores: Detection of DNA-Binding Molecules, Nano Letters, 9, 3498-3502 (download).
    30. Wanunu, M. Sutin, J. McNally, B. Chow, A. and A. Meller (2008) DNA Translocation Governed by Interactions with Solid State Nanopores, J. 95, 4716-25 (download).
    31. McNally, B. Wanunu, M. and A. Meller (2008) Electro-mechanical unzipping of individual DNA molecules using synthetic sub-2 nm pores, Nano Letters, 8, 3418-22 (download).
    32. Wanunu, M. Chakrabarti, B. Mathé, J. Nelson, D. R. and A. Meller (2008) Orientation-dependent interactions of DNA with an a-Hemolysin Channel, Phys Rev. E, 77, 031904 (download).
    33. Soni G. and A. Meller (2007) Progress Towards ultrafast DNA sequencing using solid state nanopores. Chem. 3, 1996-01
    34. Kim, M-J., B. McNally, K. Murata and A. Meller (2007) Characteristics of solid-state nanometer pores fabricated using transmission electron microscope (TEM) Nanotechnology, 18, 205302.
    35. Dudko, O., J. Mathé, A. Szabo, A. Meller, and G. Hummer (2007) Extracting kinetics from single-molecule force spectroscopy: Nanopore unzipping of DNA hairpins, J., 92, 4188-4195 (download)
    36. Wanunu, M. and A. Meller (2007) Chemically Modified Solid-State Nano Letters, 7, 1580-85 (download), (also read Research Highlight, Nature, 447, 14 (2007)
    37. Hornblower, B., A. Coombs, R.D. Whitaker, A. Kolomeisky, Picone, S.J., A. Meller and M. Akeson (2007) Single-Molecule Analysis of DNA-Protein Complexes Using Nanopores. Nature Methods, 4, 315-317 DOI: 10.1038/nmeth1021 (download)
    38. Edel, J., J. Eid and A. Meller (2007) Accurate single molecule FRET efficiency determination for surface immobilized DNA using maximum likelihood calculated lifetimes. Phys. Chem B., 111, DOI: 10.1021/jp066530k (download)
    39. Kim, M-J., M. Wanunu, C.D. Bell and A. Meller (2006) Rapid Fabrication of Uniform Size Nanopores and Nanopore Arrays for Parallel DNA Analysis. Mater. 18, 3149-3153. (download)
    40. Jan Bonthuis, D., J. Zhang, B. Hornblower, J. Mathé, B.I. Shklovskii and A. Meller (2006) Self-Energy-Limited Ion Transport in Subnanometer Channels. Rev. Lett. 97, 128104. (download)
    41. Mathé, J., A. Arinstein, Rabin Y. and A. Meller (2006) Equilibrium and irreversible unzipping of DNA in a nanopore, Lett. 73 (1), 128-134 (download)
    42. Viasnoff, V., A. Meller and H. Isambert (2006) DNA nanomechanical switches under folding kinetics control. Nano Letters, 6, 101-104 (download)
    43. Sabanayagam, C.R., J.S. Eid and A. Meller (2005) Long time scale blinking kinetics of cyanine fluorophores conjugated to DNA and its effect on Förster resonance energy transfer. Chem. Phys. 123, 224708. (download)
    44. Mathé, J., A. Aksimentiev, D.R. Nelson, K. Schulten and A. Meller (2005) Orientation discrimination of single-stranded DNA inside the alpha-hemolysin membrane channel. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 102, 12377-12382. (download)
    45. Sabanayagam, C.R., J.S. Eid and A. Meller (2005) Using fluorescence resonance energy transfer to measure distances along individual DNA molecules: Corrections due to nonideal transfer. Chem. Phys. 122, 061103. (download)
    46. Mathé, J., H. Visram, V. Viasnoff, Y. Rabin and A. Meller (2004) Nanopore unzipping of individual DNA hairpin molecules. J. 87, 3205-3212. (download)
    47. Sabanayagam, C.R., J.S. Eid and A. Meller (2004) High-throughput scanning confocal microscope for single molecule analysis. Phys. Lett. 84, 1216-1218 (download).
    48. Bates, M., M. Burns and A. Meller (2003) Dynamics of single DNA molecules actively controlled inside a membrane channel. J. 84, 2366-2372 (download).
    49. Meller, A., L. Nivon and D. Branton (2001) Voltage-Driven DNA Translocations through a Nanopore. Rev. Lett. 86, 3435-3438 (download).
    50. Meller, A. and D. Branton (2002) Single molecule measurements of DNA transport through a nanopore. Electrophoresis 23, 2583-2591.
    51. Meller, A., L. Nivon, E. Brandin, J. Golovchenko and D. Branton (2000) Rapid nanopore discrimination between single polynucleotide molecules. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 97, 1079-1084 (download).
    52. Meller, A., J. Stavans, T. Gisler, and D.A. Weitz. (1999) Viscoelasticity of Depletion-Induced Gels in Emulsion-Polymer Systems. Langmuir 15:1918-1922.
    53. Tlusty, T., A. Meller, and R. Bar-Ziv. (1998) Optical gradient forces of strongly localized fields. Rev. Lett. 81:1738-1741.
    54. Meller, A., R. Bar-Ziv, T. Tlusty, E. Moses, J. Stavans and S.A. Safran. (1998). Localized dynamic light scattering: A new approach for dynamic measurements in optical microscopy. J. 74:1541-1548.
    55. Bar-Ziv, R., A. Meller, T. Tlusty, E. Moses, J. Stavans and S.A. Safran (1997). Localized Dynamic Light Scattering: Probing Single Particle Dynamics at the Nanoscale. Rev. Lett. 78:154-157.
    56. Meller, A. and J. Stavans (1996). Stability of Emulsions with Nonadsorbing Polymers. Langmuir 12:301-304.
    57. Steiner, U., A. Meller, and J. Stavans (1995). Entropy Driven Phase Separation in Binary Emulsions. Rev. Lett. 74:4750-4753.
    58. Meller, A. and J. Stavans. (1992). Glass transition and phase diagrams of strongly interacting binary colloidal mixtures. Rev. Lett. 68:3646-3649.

    Selected Reviews and Book chapters
    1. Hitron, T. and Meller A. (2015) Optical sensing and analyte manipulation in solid- state nanopores. Analyst . DOI: 10.1039/c4an02388a
    2. Squires A.H. and Meller A. (2013) DNA Capture and Translocation through Nanoscale Pores - a Fine Balance of Electrophoresis and Electroosmosis, Biophysical J. New and Notable, 105, 543-544.
    3. Singer A, McNally B, Torre RD, Meller A. (2012) DNA sequencing by nanopore-induced photon emission. Methods Mol Biol. 870:99-114. doi: 10.1007/978-1-61779-773-6_6.
    4. Atas E, Singer A, Meller A (2012) DNA sequencing and bar-coding using solid-state nanopores. Electrophoresis. 33(23):3437-47. doi: 10.1002/elps.201200266. Epub 2012 Oct 30.
    5. Singer, A. and A. Meller. (2010). Nanopore-based Sensing of Individual Nucleic Acid Complexes. Israel Journal of Chemistry 49:323–331.
    6. Dudko, O., Mathé, J. and Meller A. (2010) Nanopore Force Spectroscopy tools for analyzing single biomolecular complexes, In Methods in Enzymology Ed. Walter, N.
    7. Wanunu, M. Soni, G. and A. Meller (2010) Analyzing Individual Biomolecules Using Nanopores, in the “Handbook of Nanophysics” K.D. Sattler (Ed), Taylor & Francis Group.
    8. Dudko, O. and Meller, A. (2009) Probing Biomolecular Interactions Using Nanopore Force Spectroscopy. In Encyclopedia of Analytical Chemistry, Meyers, R. A., Ed. John Wiley & Sons Ltd: (download).
    9. Wanunu, M. G. Soni and A. Meller (2009) Single molecule studies of nucleic acids interactions using nanopores, In: Handbook of Single-Molecule Biophysics, Springer, in press
    10. Branton D. al. (2008) The potential and challenges of nanopore sequencing, Nature Biotechnology 26, 1146-53.
    11. Wanunu, M. and A. Meller (2008) Single Molecule Analysis of Nucleic Acids and DNA-protein Interactions using Nanopores, Laboratory Manual on Single Molecules, Eds. P. Selvin and T. Ha, Cold Spring Harbor Press.
    12. Lee, J.W. and A. Meller (2006). Rapid DNA Sequencing by Direct Nanoscale Reading of Nucleotide Bases on Individual DNA chains. In: Perspectives in Bioanalysis. K. Mitchelson (Ed.), Elsevier. (download)
    13. Meller, A. (2003) Dynamics of polynucleotide transport through nanometre-scale pores. Phys.: Condens. Matter 15, R581-R607. (download)
    14. Branton, D. and A. Meller (2002) Using nanopores to discriminate between single molecules of DNA. 177-185 In: Structure and Dynamics of Confined Polymers, Kluwer Academic Publishers.


  • Main Research Interests

    Nanopores are single-molecule analogs of gel electrophoresis.

    Gel Electrophoresis (GE) is one of the most broadly used methods for nucleic acid and protein characterization in life sciences. In GE an electrical field is used to mobilize biological molecules through a porous media in which molecules are separated by their size and/or charge. Nanopores are the single-molecule analogs of GE, permitting the analysis of individual biopolymers.

    Why is analyzing single-biomolecules important?

    Circumventing costly and error-prone molecular amplification, such as the Polymerase Chain Reaction, which is required for most of the bulk detection methods, saves precious time and money. In addition, the ability to characterize individual molecules allows us to observe fine features that are masked by the ensemble averaging.

    DNA Barcoding and Genotyping

    We recently demonstrated, for the first time, the ability to barcode or genotype single DNA molecules using solid-state nanopores. Solid-state nanopores have proven to be one of the most sensitive and effective single-molecule biosensors, permitting the detection of as low as a few atto-moles (10^-18 moles) of DNA copies. However, sensing with solid state nanopores lacked the sequence specificity required for many biomedical applications. Our project ‘Genotyping Nanopores’ was focused on addressing this fundamental deficiency. With its completion, this project opens up multiple possible directions for real-life applications in biomedical research.


  • Research Topics

    1. Biomolecular Engineering – Advanced molecular diagnostic systems – Microscopy, optical bioengineering and super-resolution methods – Nanopores and next generation DNA sequencing and genotyping 2. Single Molecule Biophysics – Translational control in eukaryotic systems – Single molecule FRET and biomolecular dynamics – Live cell imaging and advanced microcop