Nucleic acids have been chosen as the chemical building blocks in the evolution of life. Inspired by Nature, DNA/RNA nanotechnology emerges to allow precise spatial organization and dynamic control of information networks. My research group is interested in creating synthetic DNA- and RNA-based tools for analytical and biomedical applications. Our ultimate goal is to understand the fundamentals of life, and to construct artificial genetic devices and pathways. We have four primary research focuses:
- Construct genetically encoded fluorescent RNA sensors for cellular imaging of metabolites and other small molecules.
- Image force transduction at cell-cell junctions at single molecule level.
- Systematically evolve functional aptamers in living cells based on high-throughput approaches.
- Discover novel molecular mechanisms for conditional self-assembly of nucleic acid nanostructures.