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Research Interests

  • Plant-derived products that affect body metabolism (obesity, diabetes, inflammation).
  • Production of antibodies and other recombinant proteins; protein trafficking and secretion.
  • Regulation of gene expression and amplification in the eukaryotic genome.


  • Ph.D. in Cell and Molecular Plant Biology, Rutgers University (NJ), 2004.
  • M.S. in Cell Biology, Kyiv Shevchenko University (Ukraine), 1998.
  • B.S. in Biology, Kyiv Shevchenko University (Ukraine), 1997.

Research and Professional Experience

  • Postdoctoral Associate, Rutgers University (New Brunswick, NJ), 2004-2008.
  • Graduate Research Assistant, Rutgers University (New Brunswick, NJ), 1998-2004.
  • Junior Research Scientist, Institute of Cell Biology (Kyiv, Ukraine), 1995-1998.
  • Visiting Scientist, Kew Royal Botanical Gardens (London, England), 1995.
  • Laboratory Assistant, Kyiv Shevchenko University and Institute of Cell Biology (Kyiv, Ukraine), 1993-1995.

Awards and Honors

  • Student Member, Graduate Program Curriculum Planning Committee, 2003-2004.
  • Hachnasarian Hamo Scholarship Award (Rutgers University), 2003, 2001.
  • Robert White-Stevens Fellowship (Rutgers University), 2002.
  • Taras Shevchenko Research Student Award (Ukraine), 1997.
  • National Academy of Sciences Student Award (Ukraine), 1997.
  • 1st Place, XVII Youth Biological Competition (Ukraine), 1990.

Invited Lectures

  • Proteins on tap: why slaughter a cow for a glass of milk? Monmouth College (Monmouth, NJ), 2003.
  • Guttation-based system for recombinant protein production in plants. 65th North-East ASPB Plant Biology Meeting (Worcester, MA), 2001.
  • Molecular phylogeny of Solanaceae based on ITS rDNA sequences. 8th European Student Conference (Berlin, Germany), 1997.

International Conferences

  • Gordon Research Conference on Agricultural Science (Ventura, CA), 2005.
  • 10th IAPTC&B Congress on Plant Biotechnology (Orlando, FL), 2002.
  • 6th International Congress on Plant Molecular Biology (Quebec, Canada), 2000.
  • ASPP Plant Biology Meeting (Baltimore, ME), 1999.
  • 18th International Congress of Genetics (Beijing, China), 1998.
  • 17th Congress on In Vitro Biology (Washington, DC), 1997.

Key Publications

  1. Komarnytsky, S., D. Govorko, D. Esposito, J. O’Neal, A. Poulev, I. Raskin. Ikemagenin ameliorates obesity by modulating visceral signaling and glucocorticoid biosynthesis. Submitted, 2008.
  2. Dmitry Govorko, Sithes Logendra, Yanxin Wang, Debora Esposito, Slavko Komarnytsky, David Ribnicky, Alexander Poulev, William T. Cefalu, and Ilya Raskin. Polyphenolic Compounds from Artemisia dracunculus L. Inhibit PEPCK Gene Expression and Gluconeogenesis in an H4IIE Hepatoma Cell Line. AJP: Endocrinology and Metabolism, 293(6): E1503-10 (2007)
  3. Christopher Okunji, Slavko Komarnytsky, Georgie Fear, Alexander Poulev, David M. Ribnicky, Peter I. Awachie, Yoichiro Ito, and Ilya Raskin. Preparative isolation and identification of tyrosinase inhibitors from the seeds of Garcinia kola by high-speed counter-current chromatography. J. of Chromatography A, Vol. 1151, No. 1-2, 45-50 (2007)
  4. Georgie Fear, Slavko Komarnytsky and Ilya Raskin. Protease inhibitors and their peptidomimetic derivatives as potential drugs. Pharmacology & Therapeutics, Vol. 113, No. 2, 354-368 (2007)
  5. Komarnytsky, S., N. I. Borisjuk, N. Yakoby, A. Garvey and I. Raskin. 2005. Co-secretion of proteinase inhibitor enhances stability of antibodies produced by plant roots. Plant Physiol. 141(4): 1185-1193 (2005)
  6. Komarnytsky, S., Gaume, A., Garvey, A., Borisjuk, N., Raskin, I. Quick and efficient system for antibiotic-free expression of heterologous genes in tobacco roots. Plant Cell Reports, 22: 765-773 (2004)
  7. Komarnytsky, S., Borisjuk, N. Functional analysis of promoter elements in plants. In: Genetic Engineering: Principles and Methods (Ed. J. K. Setlow), vol. 23, pp. 113-141 (2003)
  8. Gaume, A., Komarnytsky, S., Borisjuk, N., Raskin, I. Rhizosecretion of recombinant proteins from plant hairy roots. Plant Cell Reports, 21: 1188-1193 (2003)
  9. Ilya Raskin, David M. Ribnicky, Slavko Komarnytsky, Nebojša Ilić, Alexander Poulev, Nikolai Borisjuk, Anita Brinker, Diego A. Moreno, Christophe Ripoll, Nir Yakoby, Joseph M. O’Neal, Teresa Cornwell, Ira Pastor and Bertold Fridlender. Plants and human health in the twenty-first century. Trends in Biotechnology, 20:12:522-531, (2002)
  10. Komarnytsky, S. Restriction mapping of ribosomal RNA genes of genus Nicotiana. Biopolymers and the Cell (in Ukrainian) 17(5): 380-387 (2001)
  11. Borisjuk, N., Borisjuk, L., Komarnytsky, S., Timeva, S., Hemleben, V., Gleba, Y., Raskin, I. Tobacco ribosomal DNA spacer element stimulates amplification and expression of heterologous genes. Nature Biotechnology, 18: 1303-1306 (2000)
  12. Komarnytsky, S., Borisjuk N., Borisjuk L., Alam M., Raskin I. Production of recombinant proteins in the guttation fluid. Plant Physiology, 124: 1-7 (2000)
  13. Komarnytsky, S. Subrepeats of the intergenic spacer of Nicotiana ribosomal DNA. Biopolymers and the Cell (in Ukrainian) 16(2): 108-114 (2000)
  14. Komarnytsky, S. Restriction mapping of ribosomal DNA repeats of 18 Solanaceae species. Biopolymers and the Cell (in Ukrainian) 15(3): 213-218 (1999)
  15. Komarnytsky, S. Comparative analysis of 5.8 S rDNA sequences from higher plants. Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences (in Ukrainian) 1: 190-193 (1998)