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Chemist Xiao Develops High-Performance Bio Receptors – Aptamers and Innovative Biosensors

The Xiao lab members in the computer lab attending a presentation
The Xiao group is all ears

Dr. Yi Xiao’s research is dedicated to solving real-world problems in a simple and elegant manner. Her main expertise is in the development of high-performance bio receptors – aptamers and innovative biosensors, portable devices that can detect substances such as ions, small molecules, and biomolecules.

Much of Dr. Xiao’s work has been centered around developing sensors and methodologies to sensitively detect a variety of substances such as toxic metals, illicit drugs, endogenous small molecules, DNA, and proteins of medical interest in a single step within seconds. These sensors can be used for a variety of applications such as detecting heavy metals in wastewater, identifying drugs in seized substances or bodily fluids and diagnosing diseases like cancer.

Two students from the Xiao group are wearing goggles and experimenting in the lab
Research at the Xiao lab

Since joining NC State in 2021, Dr. Xiao has secured more than three million dollars in external grant funding from the NIH, NSF, NIJ, USDA, and industrial sources to support her multidisciplinary research. She has rapidly developed many on-campus collaborations with colleagues in the Departments of Chemistry, Biomedical Engineering, Wilson College of Textiles, and the Department of Statistics, and outside collaborations with faculty at UNC-Chapel Hill, Columbia University, the University of California at Santa Barbara, Duke University, Florida International University, and the University of Cincinnati. Currently, her lab consists of two post-docs, six Ph.D. graduate students, and seven undergraduate students. Thus far, she has been issued two provisional patents.