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Bo Zhang - Mona M. Burgess Fellow

Bio-X SIGF Graduate Student Fellow

Awarded in 2013
Home Department: Chemistry
Faculty Advisors: Hongjie Dai (Chemistry), Brian Feldman (Pediatrics), Paul Utz (Medicine), and Samuel Strober (Medicine)

Research Title: A plasmonic chip for biomarker discovery and diagnosis of Type-1 diabetes

Research Description: Diagnosing type 1 diabetes is costly and time consuming; however, a delayed or missed diagnosis can result in severe illness or death. Bo is working on solving this diagnostic challenge from a physical chemistry perspective. Through incorporating a protein micro-array on nano-engineered plasmonic film, detection of a small amount of diabetes-specific autoantibodies with significantly improved sensitivity becomes possible as the nano-engineered substrate amplifies fluorescent tags on detection antibodies. This protein chip allows for multiplexed quantification of more than one diabetes autoantibody from single patient sample in less than 1 hour. The simplicity of the approach could lead to broad adoption by scientists and clinicians in many fields for better proteomic analysis and diagnosis.


Bo is the VP of chemistry and cofounder of Apostle, Inc. Apostle is a biotechnology company in Sunnyvale, California, which has just been accepted by the Stanford StartX accelerator. It’s in the business of the research, development, licensing, and sales of novel MiniMax magnetic nanoparticle technology, Triton cancer genome deep learning technology, AI-enabled nanoDiagnostics (AID) technology, and the related intellectual properties, products, and services for diagnosis and treatment of human diseases, to fundamentally improve the accuracy of cancer diagnosis at early stage. Bo also now has an associate professor position at Southern University of Science and Technology of China.