I started my research training in material science and chose polymer-based nanomaterials as the anchor point to explore the self-assembly of polymeric nanoparticles and to modulate the stimuli-responsive behaviors through well-designed molecular interaction. Afterward, I got intense Ph.D. training under the guidance of Professor Paul W. Bohn in analytical and physical chemistry at Notre Dame over four years. My focus at that time was on nanostructures that can interrogate the coupling of mass transport and electron transfer reactions. I was particularly interested in the electrochemical measurements conducted in confined volume, where its physical size is commensurate with physical scaling lengths. Bridging the advanced nanofabrication process and electroanalytical methods, I addressed some fundamental questions in electrochemistry, like how electron transfer and ion transport are confined in an ultrasmall volume that would impact the electrochemical detection. Using artificial nanopore structures designed and fabricated by me, I can illuminate phenomena relevant to biomolecule transport, charge transfer through proteins, and the redox behavior of biomacromolecules in confined environments.
Subsequently, my postdoctoral training further extends my knowledge base in chemistry to a more practical perspective in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Canary Center for Cancer Early Detection at Stanford. At Professor H. Tom Soh's lab, my research interests are rooted in the frontier area that integrates the emerging technologies of bioelectronics design and the direction evolution of nucleic acids and antibodies to develop personalized biomedical devices. So far, most commercial biosensors lack the capability to real-time monitor biomarkers from the body with large sensitivity and high specificity. The bioaffinity reagents and electrochemical biosensors developed in my current works are capable of highly specific recognition and efficient signal transduction in a regeneration mode for next-generation sensing technology.