Our Research

Our research laboratory develops novel materials and biosensor devices for the early detection and personalized treatment of diseases. Our laboratory consists of researchers from many disciplines including Physics, Chemistry, and diverse areas of Engineering. Currently, our research focuses on two themes.

Integrated biosensors: The technology for detecting biomolecules at low concentrations directly in complex samples – with high sensitivity and specificity – is critical for precision medicine. Our lab develops advanced biosensors that can integrate multiple biophysical and biochemical processes in a single disposable device. Recently, our laboratory pioneered the development of “real-time biosensors” that can continuously measure specific biomolecules directly in living animals.

Directed evolution of materials: Evolution only requires three basic elements: mutation (for diversity), selection (for function), and amplification (of the winning species). In our work, we use these evolutionary principles to synthesize new materials that do not exist in nature but can perform complex and useful functions. We are particularly interested in evolving nucleic-acid materials (called “aptamers”) that can perform molecular recognition, because these materials offer new avenues for improving molecular diagnostics and targeted therapies.