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. Her postdoctoral mentors were Dr. Alan J. Heeger and Dr. Kevin W. Plaxco. Dr. Lai joined the Department of Chemistry in 2007.

Dr. Lai received the NSF CAREER award for her research on electrochemical peptide-based (E-PB) biosensors. Her electrochemical metal ion (E-ION) sensor research was featured on NSF News and Dr. Lai was also featured in the Daily Nebraskan for her Harry Potter themed chemistry class. She has been a co-organizer of the UNL SciPop Talks! lecture series since 2014. 

Dr. Lai was named Susan J. Rosowski Associate Professor of Chemistry in 2014. She was also awarded the College of Arts and Sciences Distinguished Teaching Award​ and the NCMN Ambassador Award. She received the ACS Chemistry Ambassador sash and Certificate of Recognition in 2015. She is the 2017 ACS Local Section Outreach Volunteer of the Year and the recipient of the 2018 ACS Partners for Progress and Prosperity (P3) Regional Award . She is the current Nebraska MRSEC Education/Outreach Director.

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: The Effect of Signaling Probe Conformation on Sensor Performance of a Displacement-based Electrochemical DNA Sensor. Yu, Z.; Lai, R. Y. Anal. Chem. 2013, 85, 3340-3346.

E-AB Sensor: A Folding-based Electrochemical Aptasensor for Detection of Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor in Human Whole Blood. Zhao, S.; Yang, W.; Lai, R. Y. Biosens. Bioelectron. 2011, 26, 2442-2447.

E-PB Sensor: An Electrochemical Peptide-based Biosensing Platform for HIV Detection. Gerasimov J. Y.; Lai, R. Y. Chem. Commun. 2010, 46, 395-397.

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 Fluorescent Sensor: Use of Combined Scanning Electrochemical and Fluorescence Microscopy for Detection of Reactive Oxygen Species in Prostate Cancer Cells. Salamifar, S. E.; Lai, R. Y. Anal. Chem. 2013, 85, 9417-9421.

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.

Lai Lab News and Updates

  • Dr. Lai’s SciPop Talk (Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them Among Us 2) is featured on Daily Nebraskan.
  • Dr. Lai was featured on Nebraska Today – Faculty 101 podcast. Check out the video here.
  • Dr. Lai received the 2018 ACS Partners for Progress and Prosperity Regional Award for her Harry Potter x Science education/outreach program!
  • The Lai Lab’s metal ion sensor work is featured on the UNL Office of Research & Economic Development page.
  • Dr. Lai received the 2018 UNL Dean’s Award for Excellence in Graduate Education!
  • Congratulations to Hamid on receiving the 2017–2018 Craig Eckhardt Outstanding Graduate Research Assistant Award!
  • Thank you Kenneth for representing the Dept. of Chem. at the 2018 Science Slam. Check out the video here.