Our laboratory is dedicated to developing biosensor systems for early disease detection and targeted treatments. Toward this end, one arm of our laboratory develops synthetic antibodies (called aptamers) that can perform useful molecular functions that conventional antibodies cannot do – such as conformational switching and signaling. We generate these novel reagents through the process of “directed evolution” in the laboratory, and also optimize their functionality through molecular design. The second arm of our laboratory develops advanced electronic and optical hardware to fabricate the biosensors. These biosensors are often designed to directly detect the pathogen itself. However, we also design biosensors to measure the biomarker response of the host, which provides valuable information about the disease state.
Many medical diagnostics operate with reagents that detect the presence of particular molecules or proteins that are indicative of disease state. However, medicine is presently limited in affinity reagents that are selective and sensitive, and more work needs to be done to transduce a signal to readout out events of affinity reagents.
Talk to Us About
As this work is highly inter-disciplinary, in addition to collaborators in the medical school, our lab consists of researchers from many disciplines including physics, chemistry, and diverse areas of engineering. For more details about us, look here!
Some questions that we’re thinking about:
- How can we simultaneously measure 100’s of proteins with concentrations ranging from fM to nM?
- How could we measure 1000’s of metabolites in one sample?
- How do we expand the chemical functionality of DNA?
- How do we transduce a binding event into an observable signal?
Reach out to us about your detection hopes and dreams! – What biomarkers do you wish you could measure? What biochemical processes would you like to watch happen in real-time? What diagnostic tools are missing from modern medicine?