preventable infections and 5 million people annually succumb to death by highly treatable
cancers if identified early. Such challenges inspire and motivate my endeavors to develop
forward-thinking biosensors for more accurate, sensitive and affordable diagnostics.
I am interested in combining my chemical and biomedical engineering expertise toward creating
sophisticated, miniaturized diagnostic systems to detect disease much earlier than currently
possible today. My vision is to apply novel sensing platforms for new biomarker discovery/
validation and effective preclinical/clinical exploration of disease pathogenesis and trajectory.
The emphasis of my laboratory will be on developing translational sensing technologies based
on engineered biomaterials to address important biomedical and clinical problems. Specifically, I
will study self-assembled plasmonic polymer nano-composites for the following purposes: 1) onsite
diagnosis/high-throughput screening of infectious diseases, 2) single extracellular vesicles
(EV) analysis via multiplexed profiling of proteins and RNAs for cancer diagnosis, and 3) smart
coating as a doctor-on-a-chip for early diagnosis and prevention of bacterial infections on
medical implant. All the proposed studies will involve development of new sensing platforms
with the aim of diagnosing disease in a faster, more cost-effective manner. Most will involve
collaboration with researchers at universities, national laboratories, and hospitals with diverse
research backgrounds in chemistry, material science, oncology, pathology, and computer
science. My research has the potential to provide insights into pathophysiology and
immunology, ultimately accelerating development of optimized and personalized therapeutics.
This proposed research is made possible by my unique, interdisciplinary background. My
undergraduate and graduate studies provide me the foundation in nanofabrication of
biomaterials via chemical synthesis, extensive in vivo studies, and mathematical modeling of
transport for drug delivery, and I will build on my strengths to design novel biomaterials in my
independent research laboratory. My expertise has grown to encompass optic engineering,
molecular imaging, deep-learning-assisted image analysis, and exosome isolation and analysis
through my postdoctoral work, which uniquely positions me to proceed research at the interface
of engineering and medicine.
I believe this proposal takes an important step in bridging imaging/sensing technologies with
bio/nano-materials engineering and will give way to a long-term research program dedicated to
the development of smart and affordable diagnostic and, if possible, integrated theranostics to
win the battle against fatal diseases.
Teaching Interests: I am interested and qualified in teaching both Chemical Engineering and Bioengineering
courses (undergraduate and graduate level) in the areas of biomaterials, reaction kinetics,
transport, thermodynamics, and polymer physics. Additionally, I am excited to create a graduate
course in the emerging fields of Biotechnology (Biosensors and Medical Devices), Biomaterials,
and Drug Delivery.