Lai Lab Home

Lai rounded picDr. Lai received her B.S. degree in Biochemistry from California State University, Los Angeles. She conducted undergraduate research in the lab of Dr. Feimeng Zhou. She received her Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of Texas at Austin under the mentorship of Dr. Allen J. Bard. She was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and her mentors were Dr. Alan J. Heeger and Dr. Kevin W. Plaxco. She is currently a Professor of Chemistry and the Chemistry Graduate Program Chair at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Awards and Recognition

Professional and Education/Outreach Activities

Lai Lab figure 3Selected Publications

E-ION Sensor: Application of Calcium-binding Motif of E-cadherin for Electrochemical Detection of Pb(II). Lofti Zadeh Zhad, H. R.; Lai, R. Y. Anal. Chem. 2018, 90, 6519-6525.

E-DNA Sensor: Folding- and Dynamics-based Electrochemical DNA Sensors. Lai, R. Y. Enzymes as Sensors, Methods in Enzymology 2017, 589, 221-252.

E-AB Sensor: Towards the Development of a Sensitive and Selective Electrochemical Aptamer-based Ampicillin Sensor. Yu, Z.; Sulief, A. L.; Lai, R.  Y. Sensors and Actuators B: Chemical 2018, 258, 722-729.

E-PB Sensor: Threonine Phosphorylation of an Electrochemical Peptide-based Sensor to Achieve Improved Uranyl Ion Binding Affinity. Thompson, C. C., Lai, R .Y. Biosensors 2022, 12, 961.

Nanosensor: Fabrication of Electrochemical DNA Sensors on Gold-modified Recessed Platinum Nanoelectrodes. Salamifar, S. E.; Lai, R. Y. Anal. Chem. 2014, 86, 2849-2852.

Electrochemical and Surface Plasmon Resonance Sensor: Application of Electrochemical Surface Plasmon Resonance Spectroscopy for Characterization of Electrochemical DNA Sensors. Salamifar, S. E.; Lai, R. Y. Colloids and Surfaces B: Biointerfaces 2014, 122, 835-839.

Spin Crossover Polymer Composites: Evidence for Long Drift Carrier Lifetimes in [Fe(Htrz)2(trz)](BF4) Plus Polyaniline Composites. Mishra, E.; Ekanayaka, T. K.; McElveen, K. A.; Lai, R. Y.; Dowben, P. A. Organic Electronics 2022, 105, 106516.

NV Diamond Quantum Sensor: Nitrogen-Vacancy Magnetic Relaxometry of Nanoclustered Cytochrome C Proteins. Lamichhane, S., Timalsina, R., Schultz, C., Fescenko, I., Ambal, K.,  Liou, S.-Y., Lai, R. Y., Laraoui, A. Nano Letters 2024, 24, 3, 873-880.

Lai Lab News and Updates

  • Staff Position Available: A staff researcher position is available for the current NSRI/DTRA project on sensor development.
    • BS and MS in chemistry, chemical engineering or related fields – required
    • US citizenship or permanent residency – required
    • Contact Dr. Lai ( for more information