Clement Chan (pictured), an assistant professor in UNT's Department of Biomedical Engineering, and his research group are working on a new, more affordable method to test and diagnose if a person has a disease or has accidentally consumed harmful toxins that can be present in contaminated food and water.
"Our research approach is to take specific proteins from various organisms, study them and then modify them using genetic methods," Chan says. "These modified proteins would then be harnessed to generate new functions and new behaviors in cells and organisms."
Chan, a protein and cellular engineer, plans to explore the development of cellular devices for tracking physiological changes in the biological systems using a $391,722 grant from the National Institutes of Health. The group's long-term goal is to engineer bacteria to specifically recognize, detect and report a range of pathogens or toxins and these new bacteria would be safe for humans to ingest.