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Department of Life Sciences

Theobald Science Center
Old Westbury, NY 11568-8000
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The Life Sciences Department offers degrees at our campuses in New York City and Long Island, NY.

Claude E.  Gagna, Ph.D., CChem MRSC, FAIC, ChE


Associate Professor
Department of Life Sciences

Old Westbury Campus
Theobald Hall, Room 430

Phone: 516.686.3877


Ph.D. - Human Anatomy (Minor: Biochemistry): New York University- Basic Medical Sciences, Dept. of Anatomy, and Dept. of Biochemistry, New York, NY
M.S. - Human Anatomy: Fairleigh Dickinson University - College of Dental Medicine, Dept. of Anatomy, Teaneck, NJ
B.S. - Natural Sciences (Minor: Biology): Saint Peter's College, Dept. of Biology, Jersey City, NJ

Academic And Professional Honors, Awards & Nominations

  • Gold Medal - Department of the Army (USA) "For Supporting the Veterans at NYIT" 2011
  • Nominee of "The World Technology Summit & Awards": Biotechnology (Individual Category) The World Technology Network, New York, NY 2011
  • Winner of the "15th Annual Spirit Award" for Outstanding Support, Dedication and Commitment to the Science Research Program. White Plains High School, New York 2011
  • Winner of the "Fourth NANO 50 Awards - Technology Category" (NASA) 2008
  • Nanotechnology Finalist - "Researcher of the Year" (Best of Small Technology Awards) 2007
  • New Jersey Inventor of the Year, New Jersey Inventors Hall of Fame - Research & Development Council of New Jersey 2006
  • Dean's "Award for Outstanding Research", NYIT 2004 and 2005
  • Standard of Excellence Award, New York College of Osteopathic Medicine, NYIT 2005
  • Faculty Scholars Reception Award, NYIT 2003, 2006 to 2012

Professional Designations Bestowed By Elected Membership

  • ChE (i.e., Chartered Chemical Engineer: Class - Member):
    American Institute of Chemical Engineers, New York, NY 1994 to present
  • CChem MRSC (i.e., Chartered Chemist. Member Royal Society of Chemistry):
    The Royal Society of Chemistry, Cambridge, UK 1994 to present
  • FAIC (i.e., Fellow American Institute of Chemists): The American Institute of Chemists, Inc., Bethesda, MD 1990 to present


  • Method for immobilizing multistranded nucleic acid molecules by modifying More than one strand thereof, and binding each strand to a solid support: Patent (United States) 6,936,461, Appl. No. 209849. August 30, 2005. Inventors: Gagna, Claude. Assignee: NYIT.
  • Method for immobilizing multistranded nucleic acid molecules by modifying more than one strand thereof, and binding each strand to a solid support: Patent (Japanese) No. 4201337. Appl. No. 200 - 517298, October 2, 2008. Inventors: Gagna, Claude. Assignee: NYIT.


  1. UMDNJ - Medical School, Department of Dermatology (Medicine): Seminar Series. Advanced Medical Research Topics in Dermatopathology (Medical Residency Program)...2003 to 2005
  2. NYIT - Department of Life Sciences:
    • Gross Human Anatomy (BIOL 210)
    • Gross Human Anatomy Laboratory (BIOL 210L)
    • Comparative Anatomy (BIOL 220)
    • Comparative Anatomy Laboratory (BIOL 220L)
    • Biomedical Research I (BIOL 425) (Section W02)
    • Histology (BIOL 245)
    • Histology Laboratory (BIOL 245L)
    • Biomedical Research II (BIOL 455) (Section W02)
    • Biomedical Research III (BIOL 465) (Section W02)
    • Biomedical Research IV (BIOL 490) (Section W02)

Clinical Diagnostic Laboratory Experience

Associate Director: Genomic Instability and Mutagenesis Laboratory. UMDNJ Medical School Newark, NJ. 2006 to present

Research Focus

As a scientist I perform molecular biological and histotechnological research on the structure and function of conventional (e.g., right-handed B-DNA), alternative (e.g., Z-DNA) and multi-stranded (e.g., triplex DNA) DNA and RNA molecules, in both normal and diseased tissue [e.g., eye (ocular lens) (cataracts), and skin (epidermis) (e.g., melanoma, Xeroderma Pigmentosum)]. As a nucleic acid nanotechnologist, I develop the next generation of DNA and RNA microarrays [i.e., Novel multistranded and alternative DNA, RNA and plasmid microarrays (transitional structural nucleic acid microarrays)]. This involves new ways of immobilizing intact, non-denatured unaltered nucleic acids to enhanced substrate surfaces.

In addition, I am also involved in developing techniques that can be used with the novel microarrays, viz., original genomic and proteomic techniques/methods (i.e., transitional structural chemogenomics, transitional structural chemoproteomics, transitional structural pharmacogenomics, and transitional structural pharmacoproteomics). Furthermore, I develop novel approaches to fixing tissues for superior histotechnological processing of preserved DNA, RNA and nucleic acid-protein complexes in tissues. These tissues can then be better characterized immunohistochemically and histochemically for the presence of nucleic acids.

Selected Publications

  • Patel LM, Lambert PJ, Gagna CE, et al. (2011) Cutaneous Signs of Systemic Disease. Clinics in Dermatology. 29: 511-522
  • Lambert WC, Gagna CE, Lambert MW. (2010) Trichothiodystrophy: Photosensitive, TTD- P, TTD, Tay Syndrome. Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology. 685: 106 - 110
  • Gagna CE, Chan NJ , Farnsworth PN, Kuo H-R, Kanthala TR, Patel AH, Patel N, Law A, Patel PP, Richards SA, Yam T, Nici A, Lambert WC. (2009) Localization and quantification of intact, undamaged right-handed double-stranded B-DNA, and denatured single-stranded DNA in normal human epidermis and its effects on apoptosis and terminal differentiation (denucleation). Archives of Dermatological Research. 301:659-672.
  • Gagna CE, Lambert WC. (2009) Novel Multistranded, Alternative, Plasmid and Helical Transitional DNA and RNA Microarrays: Implications for Therapeutics. Pharmacogenomics. 10: 895-914.
  • Lambert WC, Gagna CE, Lambert MW (2008) Xeroderma Pigmentosum: Its Overlap with Trichothiodystrophy, Cockayne Syndrome and Other Progeroid Syndromes. Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology. 637: 128-37.
  • Gagna CE, Kuo HR, Mitacek EJ, et al., (2007) Novel DNA Staining Method and Processing Technique for the Quantification of Undamaged Double-Stranded DNA in Epidermal Tissue Sections by PicoGreen Probe Staining and Microspectrophotometry. Journal of Histochemistry and Cytochemistry. 55: 999-1014

Membership in Professional Societies

Chemistry Societies:

  • American Institute of Chemists
  • Royal Society of Chemistry
  • American Institute of Chemical Engineering
  • American Chemical Society

Molecular Biology Societies:

  • American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
  • American Society for Cell Biology

Miscellaneous Societies:

  • American Medical Association
  • Histochemical Society
  • American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists
  • American Association for the Advancement of Science
  • Nano Science and Technology Institute