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Innovative Biosensors and Therapies for Solving Real-World Problems

Research at the Xiao lab is based in the fields of biomaterials science, biotechnology, and bioanalytical chemistry.

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

Beauty Through Simplicity

Dr. 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 bioreceptors – 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.

The Xiao group is all ears.

Nowadays, her work has extended to functionalized, intelligent bioaffinity reagents known as aptamers, nucleic acid molecules which can specifically bind to any target, whether it be a small molecule or a protein, with high affinity for sensor development and therapeutic treatment.

Dr. Xiao has secured nearly three million dollars in external grant funding from the NIH, NSF, NIJ, and USDA to support her research. Currently, her lab consists of three post-docs, four Ph.D. graduate students, and six undergraduate students.