The Lu lab works on developing novel sensors for early disease detection and therapeutic drug monitoring in point-of-care diagnostics. I am particularly interested in predicting which patients will develop life-threatening complications from dengue virus infection. Most cases of dengue are relatively mild, but some infected individuals will experience critical, sometimes lethal, clinical outcomes. Recent strides in the field of metabolomics have provided new opportunities to identify specific markers toward dengue. Using techniques in molecular biology, biochemistry, synthetic biology, and immunology, I will isolate a set of “chemical antibodies” that recognize the molecular markers that are typically elevated in patients who develop more severe forms of dengue fever. Using an approach developed in the Lu lab, I will then incorporate these sensors to design an analytical device that will provide a rapid readout of the concentrations of each biomarker—work that could lead to diagnostic tests that permit early intervention and improved prognosis for people at risk of serious complications, as well as potential prevention and control of dengue epidemics.