What is that image on the Research Expo 2017 website?

San Diego, CA, April 5, 2017 -- The image on the Research Expo 2017 website and postcards. What is it?

It’s an experimental setup for a better way to detect DNA mutations called single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). It is being developed by a research team at the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering led by professor Ratnesh Lal, who is affiliated with mechanical engineering, bioengineering, and materials science.

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Attend Research Expo 2017 on April 20. See more photos tied to this research on Flickr. 

Future iterations of this technology could one day be used in various medical applications such as blood-based tests for early cancer screening, monitoring disease biomarkers and real-time detection of viral and microbial sequences.

Materials science graduate student Michael Taeyoung Hwang will present recent progress on this project at Research Expo on April 20, 2017 at UC San Diego. Hwang is one of the 210+ engineering and computer science graduate students who will present their research at the Research Expo poster session. The event also includes industry-focused faculty talks and multiple networking opportunities.

Register today for Research Expo. It’s the one event of the year at the Jacobs School that allows you to get a deep dive of what’s going on in all six academic departments, as well as a variety of industry-focused research centers. It’s also a great opportunity to meet and recruit the technology leaders of the future.

Highly Specific SNP Detection

Michael Taeyoung Hwang’s poster at Research Expo builds on research published in June 2016 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). Hwang is a co-first-author on that PNAS study, along with Preston Landon.

Hwang’s Research Expo Poster
Highly Specific SNP Detection Using Graphene Electronics and DNA Strand Displacement
Department: Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
Industry Application Areas: Electronics/Photonics; Life Sciences/Medical Devices & Instruments; Materials

“We are at the forefront of developing a fast and inexpensive digital method to detect gene mutations at high resolution—on the scale of a single nucleotide change in a nucleic acid sequence,” said Ratnesh Lal, professor of bioengineering, mechanical engineering and materials science in the Jacobs School of Engineering at UC San Diego.

The technology, which is at a proof-of-concept stage, is a first step toward a biosensor chip that can be implanted in the body to detect a specific DNA mutation—in real time—and transmit the information wirelessly to a mobile device such as a smartphone or laptop.

Read the full story about the 2016 PNAS paper here.

Media Contacts

Daniel Kane
Jacobs School of Engineering

Liezel Labios
Jacobs School of Engineering

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