Mikhail Shapiro, PhD

2004 Hertz Fellow
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Mikhail G. Shapiro is a professor of chemical engineering and a Heritage Principal Investigator at the California Institute of Technology.

His research is focused on technologies to image and control cellular function deep inside the body using sound waves and magnetic fields. This work has applications in basic biology and development of cell-based diagnostics and therapeutics for medicine.

Mikhail was born in Kolomna, Russia. He is now a naturalized citizen, and his family lives in Potomac, Maryland.

Mikhail received his PhD in Biological Engineering from MIT with co-advisers Robert Langer and Alan Jasanoff and his BSc in Neuroscience from Brown University. He conducted post-doctoral research in biophysics at the University of Chicago with Francisco Bezanilla, and was a Miller Fellow at U.C. Berkeley before joining Caltech in 2014.

Among his research accomplishments, Mikhail developed the first genetically engineered functional reporters for magnetic resonance imaging, invented the first reporter genes for ultrasound, and discovered a fundamental mechanism by which infrared light stimulates neurons.

In addition to his research, Mikhail has been a co-founder of several life science start-up companies and spent three years in biotechnology venture capital at Third Rock Ventures. In addition to the Soros Fellowship, Mikhail has been awarded the Hertz, Miller, Packard, Pew and Dreyfus Fellowships. In 2010, the Technology Review recognized him as one of the world’s top 35 innovators under age 35.

Graduate Studies

Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Genetically Engineered Sensors for Non-Invasive Molecular Imaging using MRI

Undergraduate Studies

Brown University


2020, Science News 10: Scientists to Watch, Science News Magazine
2019, Vilcek Prize for Creative Promise in Biomedical Science, Vilcek Foundation
2016, Packard Fellow, David & Lucile Packard Foundation
2010, TR35, MIT Technology Review
2009, Hertz Thesis Prize, Fannie & John Hertz Foundation
2004, Soros Fellow, Paul and Daisy Soros Fellowship for New Americans

Related News

Mikhail Shapiro
January 8, 2021
Hertz Fellow Mikhail Shapiro is engineering cells to produce air-filled proteins that act as biological sensors for imaging and controlling cells inside the body.