Ai, Huiwang

Huiwang  Ai

Huiwang Ai

Primary Appointment

Molecular Physiology and Biological Physics

Contact Information


Email: ha8m@virginia.edu

Research Interests

spatiotemporal regulation of biological signaling, protein engineering, and optical bioimaging

Research Description

Biological signaling occurs at different levels, but basic processes are largely chemically based. Our research team is engineering novel molecular probes to peer into cells and brains to understand their communications. We use a collection of innovative techniques, such as protein engineering, fluorescence and bioluminescence imaging, synthetic chemistry, and mass spectrometry, to dissect signaling pathways involving redox-active molecules, neurotransmitters, carbohydrates, and protein post-translational modifications (PTMs). 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 toxicity of chemicals, cancer development and progression, cognition and behavior, and neurological disorders.

Selected Publications