Title: Assistant Professor
Dept/Program: Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
The goal of my research is to develop micro-scale sensors using biological mimics for the detection of toxic compounds. Portable devices to screen for toxins are needed for environmental, medical, pharmaceutical, and military applications. Previous work has concentrated on a variety of biological and chemical devices in order to detect toxic compounds; however, the short lifetime of biological methods and the lack of selectivity of chemical methods make them poor candidates for portable detection. Biological mimics, on the other hand, can be used in place of unstable biomolecules to provide longer stability without sacrificing selectivity. One research area will focus on the use of biological mimics in the detection of several toxicological modes (e.g. oxidative phosphorylation uncoupling, inhibition of metabolic enzymes, respiratory inhibition, acetylcholinesterase inhibition, and oxidative stress). A second, related research area will use bio-mimicry for non-biological inhibition based sensors in order to chemically amplify the response from various toxic compounds.