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Efficient analysis of small quantity of cells improves chances to understand disease
Date:4/14/2014

For more than a decade Chang Lu, associate professor of chemical engineering at Virginia Tech, has worked on the development of tools to efficiently analyze living cells. The long-term goal is to gain a better understanding of a range of diseases.

In his lab, Lu and his students develop small devices with micrometer features for examining molecular events inside cells. These devices promote high sensitivity and are particularly suited for studying a low number of cells.

Based on their record of achievements, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has awarded Lu a new $1.3 million, four-year research project, commonly referred to as an RO1 grant, to continue his work in probing dynamics in protein-DNA interactions during disease development. His collaborators are Liwu Li, professor of biological sciences at Virginia Tech, and Kai Tan, associate professor of internal medicine of the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine.

Lu's earlier awards include a prestigious National Science Foundation CAREER Award and a Walter H. Coulter Early Career Award in Biomedical Engineering. He is also a core member of the School of Biomedical Engineering and Sciences, part of the Institute for Critical Technology and Applied Science at Virginia Tech.

Under the support of the new R01 grant, they will use live animal experiments with laboratory mice to understand the changes in the protein-DNA interaction as a disease develops, using tiny amounts of blood samples.

These blood samples are processed through Lu's investigative procedure called chromatin immuno
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Contact: Lynn Nystrom
tansy@vt.edu
540-231-4371
Virginia Tech
Source:Eurekalert  

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