Departments of Chemistry, Biochemistry, Pharmaceutical Sciences and Biomedical Engineering
University of Toronto
How Low Can We Go? Ultrasensitive Analysis of Rare Biomolecular and Cellular Analytes
To put disease-related biomarkers to work in the clinic, new high-performance technologies are needed to enable rapid and sensitive analysis of clinical specimens. Electrochemical methods providing low-cost and direct biomarker readout have attracted a great deal of attention for this application. The Kelley Group exploits controlled nanostructuring of electrode surfaces to enhance biomolecular capture rates and efficiencies to solve this long-standing problem, and showed that the nanoscale morphologies of electrode surfaces control their sensitivities. Recently, they have developed assays that are able to detect nucleic acids, proteins and small molecules, with universally high sensitivity levels. These high-performance sensors can be applied to a broad collection of clinically-relevant analytes. Using a high-precision approach to cell profling, researchers have also developed a powerful tool for the characterization of rare cells, the isolation of therapeutic cell types, and the capture of transient phenotypes that emerge during high-throughput screening trials. The application of this technology to the development of liquid biopsy-based diagnostic tests and other emerging areas will be highlighted.
Dr. Shana Kelley is a Professor at the University of Toronto and a member of the Departments of Chemistry, Biochemistry, Pharmaceutical Sciences, and Biomedical Engineering. Dr. Kelley received her PhD from the California Institute of Technology and was an NIH postdoctoral fellow at the Scripps Research Institute. The Kelley Research Group works in a variety of areas spanning biophysical/bioanalytical chemistry, chemical biology, and nanotechnology, and has pioneered new methods for tracking molecular and cellular analytes with unprecedented sensitivity.
Dr. Kelley’s work has been recognized with a variety of distinctions, including being named one of “Canada’s Top 40 under 40,” a NSERC E.W.R. Steacie Fellow, the 2011 Steacie Prize, and the 2016 NSERC Brockhouse Prize. She has also been recognized with the ACS Inorganic Nanoscience Award, the Pittsburgh Conference Achievement Award, an Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship, a Camille Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar award, an NSF CAREER Award, a Dreyfus New Faculty Award, and was also named a “Top 100 Innovator” by MIT’s Technology Review.
Kelley is an inventor on over 50 patents issued worldwide. She is a founder of two molecular diagnostics companies, GeneOhm Sciences (acquired by Becton Dickinson in 2005) and Xagenic Inc. (acquired by General Atomics in 2017). Kelley serves as a Board Director for Ontario Genomics and a Board Trustee for
the Fight Against Cancer Innovation Trust (FACIT). She is an Associate Editor for ACS Sensors, and an Editorial Advisory Board Member for the Journal of the American Chemical Society and ACS Chemical Biology.