My primary research interest focuses on single molecule cellular biophysics. I have expertise, experience, motivation and necessary skills to successfully carry out the proposed research. I am a biophysicist by training and have expertise in condensed matter physics, physical chemistry and biophysics. I have worked on electron transport through single molecule between two metal electrodes, the mass transport of small molecules through nanopores and have applied these techniques to develop the next generation DNA sequencing techniques. At FIU, my group aims to develop novel single molecule/single cell techniques for the fundamental understanding of important biology problems. We are developing nanopore and nanoelectrode based hybrid methods with the integration of electrical, electrochemical and optical approaches to achieve single molecule level sensing and imaging in a single cell (ref. 1). They have been developed both on microfabricated chip platform and scanning ionic conductance microscopy (SICM)/inverted optical microscopy platforms. We are applying these novel techniques in drug delivery using synthetic nanoparticles, bioelectricity and cancer researches.
I have collaborated with PI since joining at FIU. We have used a scanning probe microscopy technique, SICM, to study the cell surfaces in response to various polymer nanoparticles. We have found that the cell surface morphologies are significantly dependent on the physical properties of CPNs (ref. 2). I have leadership and management skills for the proposed project. In the past five years at FIU, I have assembled a research team with postdoc, graduates and undergraduates. Currently I am conducting two NSF projects including a NSF CAREER award as a PI to develop novel nanopore/nanoelectrode probes in both microchip and microscope based platforms for extracellular detection and imaging. I had experience managing grant (e.g. staffing, research directions, budget), supervising graduate students, collaborating with other PIs and collaborators, and publishing research results. I have experience in supervising undergraduate and graduate students in research. I currently have a group with one postdoc and four PhD students. The current graduate students have made steady progress and several manuscripts have been published in peer-reviewed journals. I also provided research opportunities for more than ten undergraduates. In summary, I have necessary knowledge and experience to conduct the proposed research activities. I strongly believe that studies of the endocytosis mechanism of nanoparticles will help us design and develop efficient drug delivery systems for therapeutics
Dr. He studies nanoscale materials and systems, ranging from nanostructured materials to small organic molecule, biomolecules and polymers, individually or at small quantity. He’s group also probes or applies these nanoscale materials in controlled and confined nanoscale environments and/or in complex cellular and tissue environments. One goal of the research is to discover and understand new physics, chemistry or biology phenomena, and properties and functions at nanoscale. The other goal is to transfer the research discoveries into practical devices and tools, and to new applications that are relevant to promoting health and combating disease. To achieve the goal, his group builds and develops sophisticated instruments to integrate electrical, electrochemical and optical techniques. They also utilize various top-down and bottom-up micro/nano fabrication techniques to fabricate novel devices.