Research milestones
The group will use transformative engineering approaches that will overcome severe limitations of conventional materials in two main areas: diagnostics and therapeutics. A key focus is on understanding and engineering the biomedical material interfaces using innovative designs and state of the art materials characterization methods. The fundamental understandings of molecular processes at the interface will lead to universal design rules of biomedical materials for translational medical technology. Toward this goal, the group will use multidisciplinary approaches including synthetic chemistry, materials design and processing, molecular/cell biology and tissue engineering. Because of its extremely interdisciplinary nature, I also look forward to partnering and collaborating with laboratories of diverse spectrum including chemistry, material science and engineering, biological science, medicine, and computer science. Followings are three major milestones:

(i) Nanomaterials as Diagnostic and Therapeutic Platforms
The group aims to transform the way that researchers currently detect diseases through innovations in the design and development of nanomaterials-based diagnostic biosensors that could be used to detect a number of diseases with global implications, such as cancer, myocardial infarction, and pneumonia. These innovations in diagnostics design will involve accomplished work from my previous studies, and also involve design and development of completely new diagnostic/therapeutic probes such as polymersome and rare earth metal complexes, showing particular characteristics.

(ii) Understanding the Interactions of Nanomaterials and Biological Systems
We also emphasize a fundamental understanding of how nanomaterials interact with biological systems, such as cancer cells and cardivasculature. The performance of nanoparticle-based drugs often depends on the sensitive interplay between the multiple functionalities of the nanoparticle and its response to the biological environment, which, in turn, can impact the transport, distribution, and drug release of the nanoparticles. The knowledge of how nanoparticle properties change with correspondence to the biological environment can aid in the design of nanoparticle drugs. Using this knowledge, we can then control the physical chemical properties, composition, and formulation process of the nanoparticles themselves. Basic science studies utilizing the tools of cell and molecular biology are used to study the mechanisms by which chemical or physical signals are sensed by cells and alter cell function.

(iii) Engineering Materials-Biosystems Interface
Cells are inherently sensitive to local micro/nanoscale environment of chemistry and topography. The group will develop approaches to control cell behavior through nanoscale engineering of biomaterials surfaces including polymers, peptides, ligands, and other topographies/chemistries. Far-reaching implications are emerging applications for nanomedicine, medical implants, and cell supporting scaffold that can be used as instructive environments for tissue regeneration.

In the group, students and researchers will characterize and optimize biologically active motifs of surface chemistry for strategically relevant biomedical applications. We will seek to learn from the interaction between biological systems and biomedical materials, and define key interactions towards the development of next generation translational biomedial technology.