Current Members

Education Background
Research Interests

Rebecca Y. Lai
Susan J. Rosowski Associate Professor of Chemistry

B.S. California State University, Los Angeles
Ph.D. University of Texas at Austin

Our research program focuses on both fundamental and applied aspects of biosensor research. The main objective of our research is the design and fabrication of folding- and dynamics-based electrochemical biosensors. We aim at developing portable real-time biosensors for environmental monitoring and point-of-care diagnostics. Our sensing strategy is to link target-induced change in the conformation and/or flexibility of the biorecognition elements (e.g. peptides, nucleic acids) to a robust, electrochemical signaling mechanism. These sensors are reagentless, reusable, and insensitive to non-specific interactions of contaminants, thus enabling them to be employed directly in realistically complex media such as blood, urine, soil extracts, and a wide range of food matrices. We also utilize analytical techniques such as electrochemical-surface plasmon resonance spectroscopy, spectroscopic ellipsometry-quartz crystal microbalance, and scanning electrochemical microscopy for characterization of this class of biosensors.
arin-sutliefGraduate Student

Arin Sutlief
B.S.  Truman State University

Arin graduated with a B.S. in Chemistry from Truman State University in Kirksville, MO in 2012. She joined the Lai Lab in August 2012 and her research focus is on hybrid peptide nucleic acid (PNA) – peptide based electrochemical sensors. She is featured on the UNL Department of Chemistry website. In her free time, she enjoys listening to music and reading.
hamid-lotfiGraduate Student

Hamid R. Lotfi Z.Z.
B.S. University of Tehran
M.S.National University of Iran

Hamid graduated with a BS degree from the University of Tehran in 2008. He received his MS degree from National University of Iran (SBU) in 2010 under the mentorship of Prof. Davarani. At SBU, he worked on electrochemical synthesis and material chemistry. He is also interested in separation chemistry and instrumental analysis. Hamid joined the Lai Lab in July 2013 and his research focus is on electrochemical biosensors and electrocatalysis. In his free time, he enjoys participating in sports.
image_Channing2Graduate Student

Channing Thompson
B.S. South Dakota School of Miles and Technology

Channing graduated with a B.S. in Chemistry from South Dakota School of Mines and Technology in 2010. She joined the Lai Lab in August 2014 and her research focuses on the development of peptide-based biosensors. She received the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship in 2016. She is also featured on the UNL Department of Chemistry website. In her spare time she enjoys, reading, dancing, and being outdoors.

PictureGraduate Student

Kenneth Hipp
B.S. Catawba College

Kenneth graduated with a B.S. in Chemistry from Catawba College in Salisbury, NC in 2015. He joined the Lai Lab in July 2015 and his research focus is on the design and fabrication of electrochemical peptide-based sensors. His research also encompasses the development of biosensors using new bioconjugate chemistry. In his free time, he enjoys fishing, reading, and listening to music.

Alexis Kelly Pic_ssUCARE Undergraduate Student

Alexis Kelly

Alexis is a UNL UCARE undergraduate student who joined the Lai Lab in August 2016. She is from Colorado and she graduated from Legacy High School in Bloomfield in 2015. She is a pre-med student majoring in Forensic Science and minoring in Math and Biochemistry. Her research focus is on analyzing the contents of 1880s medicine bottles excavated from various sites in Lincoln, NE. In her free time, she enjoys playing volleyball, running and being outdoors.

Congratulations to Alexis on receiving the 2nd Year UCARE Award!