Research Interests: Cell biology, with it's insatiable thirst for ever greater degrees of precision and quantitation, is an awesome playground for new technology development. Broadly, I am interested in leveraging microsystem and automation technology to address new questions in biology (particularly cell mechanics and stem cell biology), enable cell-based therapeutics, and broaden global access to molecular diagnostics.Job Interests: I am looking for tenure-track faculty positions, post-doc positions focusing on technology development in a scientific discovery setting, or biotech R&D/consulting positions.
I grew up in eastern North Carolina and started playing with electronics and computers as a kid. At NC State University, I majored in Electrical and Comptuer Engineering and worked on autonomous robotic submarines and neural implants. I decided that biotech was where it's at and no other field offered quite the same degree of free-range creativity, so I came to Berkeley for graduate studies in Bioengineering, focusing specifically on microsystem development for cell biology.
Electrophysiological Cell Sorting [BPN512]
We are developing a high-throughput microsystem which sorts cells based on their response to electrical stimulation. Electrophysiological measurements are commonly used to identify subpopulations of electrically-excitable cells such as myocytes and neurons and to determine the degree to which stem cells have differentiated into these cell types. However, there currently exist no technologies capable of rapidly sorting cells based on electrophysiological parameters. There is a clinical need for label-free sorting of stem cell-derived cells for tissue replacement therapies because labeling molecules and antibodies may be toxic to the patient or interfere with the integration of the graft tissue. Furthermore, for certain cell types, such as cardiomyocytes, there are currently no reliable molecular markers available. Our system will provide rapid, label- free sorting of electrically-excitable cells with accuracy equivalent to more traditional label- based sorting methods.