Ai Lab

Laboratory of Protein Engineering for Bioactivity Imaging

The Ai lab uses interdisciplinary approaches in biophysics, chemical biology, molecular engineering, and optical imaging to study and control complex biological systems, with a focus on developing novel molecular biosensors to peer into cells and organisms to understand signaling and communication. We use innovative technologies, such as directed evolution, fluorescence imaging, bioluminescence imaging, synthetic chemistry, genetic screening, and mass spectrometry, to dissect biological pathways related to redox biology, metabolism, and neuronal activity.

Our immediate goal is to monitor biological signaling in real time with excellent spatial resolution and molecular precision in physiologically relevant environments. Our long-term goal is to apply these new tools in live cells and rodent models to understand and develop new therapies for diabetes and neurological disorders.

News View More »

We are hiring postdocs and technicians!!

Postdoc and technician positions are available! Our lab uses interdisciplinary approaches in chemical biology, molecular engineering, and fluorescence and bioluminescence imaging to study and manipulate complex biological systems, with a…

Paper on UDP-GlcNAc sensors published in ACS Central Science

The paper by Zefan and Jing on fluorescent UDP-GlcNAc sensors is now published in the ACS flagship journal, ACS Central Science ().

Congratulations to Hao and Shengyu for becoming Ph.D. candidates

Both Hao Zhang and Shengyu Zhao passed their candidacy exam with a grade of "High Pass". "High Pass" is reserved for a small percentage of students and this is a…

Highly Cited Paper (top 1% in Chemistry)

As of 2020, our manuscript "Reaction-Based Genetically Encoded Fluorescent Hydrogen Sulfide Sensors" is a highly cited paper (in the top 1% of the academic field of Chemistry based on a…

Ai named Charter Member of NIH Study Section

Dr. Ai has been appointed by NIH as a charter member of the Imaging Guided Interventions and Surgery – IGIS study section. Dr. Ai will hold the position four years, attending…

Lab Location

Pinn Hall - Rm. 4013-4020, 1340 Jefferson Park Avenue, Charlottesville, VA 22908