About the Lab

Our research is focused on creating and studying new nanomaterials that have the potential to be used as future molecular probes (i.e., nanobiosensors) with unprecedented sensing capabilities, and developing new imaging tools for fundamental biomedical research at the single-molecule, single-cell level. Although we are in the post-genome era, we still face many unsolved questions in functional genomics and cellular signaling network. This is mainly due to the fact that we are ill-equipped with research tools to elucidate the sophisticated genetic processing and signaling mechanisms that are often obscured by cellular heterogeneity and the stochastic nature of molecular processes. Among all the tools that are currently being developed, it is increasingly evident that probes with superior specificity and sensitivity and instruments with single-molecule addressing capability are critical to characterize and understand this inherent variability in complex biological systems. Nanotechnology and single-molecule detection hold great promise for future quantitative biology. Along these lines, we have recently turned noble metal nanoclusters into low-cost, multicolor, and activatable probes that can be used for nucleic acid methylation detection, enzyme activity detection, mycoplasma contamination detection and SNP detection. We have achieved the results that no other molecular probes can achieve – this highlights the great potential of fluorescent nanomaterials in biomedical applications. In addition, we have built two state-of-the-art 3D single-molecular tracking microscopes to investigate the internalization, transport and signaling dynamics of receptors, viral capsids and drug molecules in live monolayer cell cultures and in cancer spheroids. Molecular trafficking within engineered 3D multicellular models is critical to the understanding of the development and treatment of various diseases including cancer. The mission of our group is to advance the molecular tracking techniques and use the enabling tools to solve issues in disease diagnosis and treatment.

We welcome talented students and researchers to join us.

About the PI:

Dr. Yeh obtained his BS degree from National Taiwan University, MS degree from University of California, Los Angeles, and PhD degree from Johns Hopkins University, all in mechanical engineering. After graduation from UCLA, he worked at Optical Micro Machines Inc. in San Diego from 98-03 as an R&D engineer, developing MEMS-based photonic switches for telecommunications. At Johns Hopkins, his research focused on single-molecule spectroscopy, BioMEMS and new biosensing techniques based on fluorescence dynamics. Dr. Yeh received his postdoctoral training at Los Alamos National Laboratory from 09-12, in the Center for Integrated Nanotechnologies. At LANL, he discovered controlled activation and color-switching phenomena on DNA-templated silver nanoclusters. Based on these findings, he and co-workers invented NanoCluster Beacons, which won a 2011 R&D 100 Award and a 2013 Postdoctoral Publication Prize in Experimental Sciences at LANL. Dr. Yeh joined the Biomedical Engineering Department at the University of Texas at Austin in 2012 as an assistant professor. His research interests include nanobiosensor development, cancer biomarker detection, 3D molecular tracking and super-resolution imaging.

Dr.Yeh is a Christian who loves fishing, skiing, and playing tennis. He believes the mission of an edcuator is to raise his own competitors.