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Tuesday, August 24 2021
12:00pm - 1:00pm
Georgia Institute of Technology | Pettit Microelectronics Building 102 A&B | 791 Atlantic Drive Atlanta | GA 30332
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Nano@Tech Fall 2022 Series | Harnessing In Vivo Enzymatic Activity to Engineer Synthetic Breath Biomarkers of Disease

Leslie Chan | Professor; Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering at Georgia Tech & Emory

Abstract: Breath testing is a non-invasive and rapid diagnostic tool that is underutilized in the clinic due to scarcity of known breath biomarkers. Thousands of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are excreted from the body in breath after having been produced endogenously as volatile metabolites or introduced exogenously via diet or environmental exposure. However, efforts to identify disease-specific VOCs have been hindered by technological and statistical limitations with currently-used -omic approaches. As an alternative approach to biomarker discovery, my lab has developed a diagnostic platform that leverages aberrant enzymatic activity during disease to engineer synthetic breath biomarkers. This platform technology consists of nanoparticle sensors that are delivered in vivo and release bio-orthogonal VOC reporters upon activation by targeted enzymatic activity. VOC trafficking pathways from tissues to breath offers a mechanism by which we can engineer exhaled biomarkers for diseases of different organ systems. In my talk, I will discuss how we designed and validated our volatile-releasing nanosensors for use in respiratory disease and future applications in gastrointestinal disease.   

Bio: Dr. Leslie Chan is an Assistant Professor in the Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering at the Georgia Tech School of Engineering and Emory School of Medicine. Dr. Chan earned her B.S. in Biomedical Engineering from Georgia Tech and her Ph.D. in Bioengineering from the University of Washington with Professor Suzie Pun. She completed her postdoctoral training at Massachusetts Institute of Technology with Professor Sangeeta Bhatia and is a recipient of an NIH K99/R00 award. Dr. Chan’s research program uses emerging principles from nanomedicine to develop technologies to study, detect, and treat infectious disease, microbiome dysbiosis, and inflammatory diseases. 

Watch a live-stream of the seminar here: