Research Topics 

Integrated DNA Sensors for Brain studies 

Ongoing research aimed at developing new therapies for a variety of brain disorders including Parkinson’s disease, Epilepsy, and Alzheimer’s disease, depend on our ability to monitor neurochemicals such as neurotransmitters in the brain. The research goal of my lab will be to create materials and tools that will allow a quantitative chemical view of the brain across scales from single neuron to brain slice to the living brain. We will be focusing on building integrated optical biosensors that can detect different neurochemicals and enable the mapping of multiple neurochemicals at finer scales and with better precision.

Miniturized Optical Sensors 

Novel Single molecule diagnostic mechanisms 

Early detection is the most effective means of improving prognosis for many diseases such as cancer. A major requirement for early-stage diagnosis is the provision of assays that can be at the same time sensitive and specific for individual biomarker, and in most cases capable of quantifying multiple biomarkers at the same time.  Conventional diagnostic assays suffer from various limitations. For instance, in many cases such as early disease diagnostics, the concentration of targets is too low to be detected, and their sensitivity is fundamentally limited by the noise in an assay. In my group, we want to develop proteomics assays by integrating advanced proofreading steps to provide the necessary combination of sensitivity and specificity for important biomarkers. 

Single Molecule Diagnostics 

Smart DNA Nanosystems for targeted delivery 

Aptamer switches designs range from molecular beacons or strand displacement-based sensors that generate a fluorescent readout in response to ligand binding, to much more sophisticated constructs that can be externally manipulated through the targeted application of light, or by exposure to specific chemical or microenvironmental conditions. My group will build sophisticated  nano-devices capable of executing relatively complex functions, including drug delivery vehicles for the targeted and controlled release of therapeutics with specific mechanistic responses to biochemical triggers with specific temporal/spatial control

Nanocapsules for Delivery