The Ai laboratory uses interdisciplinary approaches in chemistry, engineering, biophysics, and physiology to study and manipulate complex biological systems, with a focus on the development of novel molecular biosensors to peer into cells and brains to understand their communications.
We use a collection of technologies, such as protein engineering, fluorescence imaging, bioluminescence imaging, synthetic chemistry, electrophysiology, and MRI to dissect biological pathways related to metabolism, redox biology, insulin receptor signaling, and neurotransmission.
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 probes to live cells and rodent models to understand communications relevant to diabetes, cancer development and progression, cognition and behavior, and neurological disorders.
We are currently working with Addgene a nonprofit plasmid repository, to deposit frequently requested plasmids. Also see "Practical Notes for teLuc-DTZ and Antares2-DTZ". Learn More
Molecular tools to generate reactive oxygen species in biological systems
This paper provides a concise review of current molecular tools that can generate ROS in biological systems via either non-genetic or genetically-encoded way. Challenges and perspectives are further discussed with the hope of broadening the applications of ROS generators in research and clinical settings. Read Study
ATP-independent bioluminescent reporter variants to improve in vivo imaging
We engineered a LumiLuc luciferase which generates highly bright blue, teal, or yellow bioluminescence. We further fused LumiLuc to a red fluorescent protein, resulting in a LumiScarlet reporter with further red-shifted emission and enhanced tissue penetration. Read Study
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