This mentored career development award offers an excellent path for me to transition into the field of biomedical sciences. I received my Ph.D. in electrical engineering and then spent three years in industry applying photonics technology to networks. Despite a successful beginning to my career, as exhibited by my publications, awards, and invention disclosures, the research landscape was unappealing to me. As a result, ten months ago I began a new career upon obtaining the University of Missouri Life Sciences Postdoctoral Fellowship with an appointment to the biophotonics lab of Prof. Xudong Fan, the sponsor on this application. Our research focuses on the development of optical sensors with chemical, environmental, and biomedical applications. During the short time that I have been here, I have four first-authored journal publications and several others as a co-author. Additionally, I have delivered three presentations at highly attended conferences and I have been a co-inventor on three invention disclosures filed with the university. This initial success is only a small step towards my ultimate goal of becoming a faculty member and leading a research group that is applying photonics and nanotechnology to biomedical applications. Currently, a gap in knowledge, training, and experience exists. However, in this application, I believe that I have designed a program to enable me to acquire the training that I need to accomplish my career goals. We will experimentally investigate three classes of optical sensors, including label-free sensors, fluorescent quantum dot sensors, and surface enhanced Raman spectroscopy sensors. All three of our sensor architectures are based on optical ring resonators, a relatively new technology platform utilizing the resonating modes of light in micro-sized dielectric objects. We will be working towards the ultimate goal of applying the ring resonator sensing technology for the detection of circulating tumor cells. Accomplishing this would offer medical practitioners a simple tool for earlier detection of cancer, as well as the capability to monitor treatment progress more effectively. We have assembled an excellent collection of project sponsors and collaborators to assist in accomplishing this aggressive research goal, as well as to support me in my mentored career development. Relevance: The technological advances resulting from this project will enable new applications not possible today for disease diagnosis, treatment, and prevention. Respective examples include the detection of trace amounts of biomarkers for early disease diagnosis, the detection of small molecules for drug design, and the identification of single DNA nucleotides for advancing the possibilities with DNA studies.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB)
Mentored Quantitative Research Career Development Award (K25)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZEB1-OSR-A (O1))
Program Officer
Erim, Zeynep
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University of Maryland College Park
Biomedical Engineering
Schools of Engineering
College Park
United States
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Betz, Jordan F; Yu, Wei W; Cheng, Yi et al. (2014) Simple SERS substrates: powerful, portable, and full of potential. Phys Chem Chem Phys 16:2224-39
Yu, Wei W; White, Ian M (2013) Inkjet-printed paper-based SERS dipsticks and swabs for trace chemical detection. Analyst 138:1020-5
Yazdi, Soroush H; White, Ian M (2012) Optofluidic surface enhanced Raman spectroscopy microsystem for sensitive and repeatable on-site detection of chemical contaminants. Anal Chem 84:7992-8
Yu, Wei W; White, Ian M (2012) A simple filter-based approach to surface enhanced Raman spectroscopy for trace chemical detection. Analyst 137:1168-73
Yazdi, Soroush H; White, Ian M (2012) A nanoporous optofluidic microsystem for highly sensitive and repeatable surface enhanced Raman spectroscopy detection. Biomicrofluidics 6:14105-141059
Fan, Xudong; White, Ian M (2011) Optofluidic Microsystems for Chemical and Biological Analysis. Nat Photonics 5:591-597
Chen, I-Jane; White, Ian M (2011) High-sensitivity electrochemical enzyme-linked assay on a microfluidic interdigitated microelectrode. Biosens Bioelectron 26:4375-81
Liu, Jikun; White, Ian; DeVoe, Don L (2011) Nanoparticle-functionalized porous polymer monolith detection elements for surface-enhanced Raman scattering. Anal Chem 83:2119-24
Yu, Wei W; White, Ian M (2010) Inkjet printed surface enhanced Raman spectroscopy array on cellulose paper. Anal Chem 82:9626-30
White, Ian M; Zhu, Hongying; Suter, Jonathan D et al. (2009) Label-free detection with the liquid core optical ring resonator sensing platform. Methods Mol Biol 503:139-65

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