Claude Gagna is a professor in the Department of Biological and Chemical Sciences. He is the course director of Anatomical Sciences (e.g., Histology, Anatomy, Physiology, Embryology, and Pathophysiology) and a senior educator in lecture and labs. Gagna is a Molecular Biologist, DNA Nanotechnologist, and Human Anatomist who holds patents, and has published conference proceedings/abstracts, book chapters, review articles, case studies, methodologies, and original research articles. His continuing goal is to add to the knowledgebase of DNA and RNA structure and function in normal and diseased tissues, and cell death (terminal differentiation: denucleation, i.e., lens and epidermis), while developing novel "omics" technologies (e.g., "Genomesorganizomics" and "Structural Spatial Transcriptomics"), and new nucleic acid-based nanotech devices (e.g., next generation DNA and RNA microarrays). The "Canonical, and Multistranded, Alternative and Transitional Helical (C-MATH) Nucleic Acid Microarrays" will enhance the characterization of gene function and help produce drugs/biologics that inhibit gene expression. Gagna characterizes intact, non-denatured canonical B-DNA, and unusual nucleic acids, such as alternative Z-DNA, and multistranded nucleic acids, e.g., triplex DNA, G4-quadruplex DNA and i-motif quadruplex DNA. He also engages high school and undergraduate students in related STEM-based research projects, such as DNA bioinformatics and micro-CT scanning to characterize the eye globes of different species.

As a senior Biologist, Professor Gagna involves undergraduate, graduate and medical students, and postdoctoral fellows and residents in research projects, scientific meetings, and publications. He has produced tailor-made laboratory manuals for Histology, Human Gross Anatomy, Comparative Anatomy, Pathophysiology, Human Physiology, Developmental Biology, and Biomedical Research I, II, and III courses. Additionally, he is working in partnership with other faculty at major universities, medical schools, and research institutions. Gagna holds adjunct positions at the Rutgers-NJMS (formerly University of Medicine & Dentistry of NJ) in the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, and Department of Medicine (Dermatology). He also focuses on clinical disease-based research, i.e., cancer (e.g., melanoma), dermatophytes, cataracts, and xeroderma pigmentosum.

He received his B.S. in Biology from St. Peter's University, his M.S. in Human Anatomy (minor: Genetic Engineering) from Fairleigh Dickinson University School of Dental Medicine, and his Ph.D. from New York University-Basic Medical Sciences (Department of Human Anatomy, and Department of Biochemistry). He was a postdoctoral fellow at NYU-Basic Medical Sciences and Rutgers-NJMS.

Recent Projects/Research

  • Developing and commercializing the next generation of DNA and RNA microarrays for characterizing gene function, and drug discovery and development.
  • Characterizing the structure and function of alternative (e.g., Z-DNA) and multistranded DNAs (e.g., triplex and quadruplex nucleic acids) in normal and diseased tissues. Examining cell death [i.e., apoptosis and terminal differentiation (denucleation)] influenced by alternative and multistranded DNA structures.
  • Developing novel "omics" technologies, such as "Genomesorganizomics" (DNA), and "Structural Spatial Transcriptomics" (RNA), i.e., molecular technologies designed for the analysis of biological molecules in their native location within a tissue.
  • Development of a novel B-DNA-based pathology assay for diagnosing fungal infections in humans, i.e., dermatophytes.
  • Interdisciplinary research projects, e.g., fusion of art, histotechnology and molecular biology: tissue-based artwork.

Selected Publications

View a full list of citations

Honors and Awards

  • 2011: Gold Medal – Department of the U.S. Army, for supporting veterans at New York Tech.
  • 2011: Winner of the 15th Annual Spirit Award for Outstanding Support, Dedication, and Commitment to the Science Research Program. White Plains (N.Y.) High School.
  • 2008: Winner of the Fourth NANO 50 Awards – Technology Category (NASA).
  • 2007: Nanotechnology Finalist – Researcher of the Year (Best of Small Technology Awards).
  • 2006: New Jersey Inventor of the Year, New Jersey Inventors Hall of Fame – Research and Development Council of New Jersey.

Courses Taught at New York Tech

  • Histology
  • Human Gross Anatomy
  • Comparative Anatomy
  • Human Physiology
  • Comparative Animal Physiology
  • Pathophysiology
  • Biochemistry
  • General Biology I and II
  • Developmental Biology
  • Molecular Biology of Alternative and Multistranded DNA and RNA Molecules: Cell Death
  • Introduction to Research Literature
  • Biomedical Research I, II, III, and IV

Contact Info