Awarded in 2016
Home Department: Bioengineering
Faculty Advisors: Shan Wang (Materials Science & Engineering, Electrical Engineering), Paul Utz (Immunology, Rheumatology), and Samuel So (Surgery – General Surgery)
Research Title: High-throughput biomarker detection of early hepatocellular carcinoma in high-risk Hepatitis B Virus-infected patients using automated point-of-care giant magnetoresistive sensor array platform
Research Description: About 50-60% of chronically infected hepatitis B virus patients develop cirrhosis and liver cancer. Liver cancer is the third leading cause of cancer-related deaths worldwide, with higher prevalence in developing countries. Most patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), a form of liver cancer, remain undiagnosed until advanced stages due to a lack of reliable early detection methods. Because giant magnetoresistance (GMR) sensors are significantly more sensitive than standard detection methods, Elaine will develop GMR sensor arrays for a novel high throughput screening biomarker assay to detect early HCC and hopefully significantly lower mortality. Furthermore, an automated GMR system enables point-of-care cancer detection in physician offices and resource-limited settings.
Elaine is the chief scientific officer and a co-founder at a molecular diagnostic startup.