Project Description

Research Associate Professor
jilai@uw.edu
Phone: (206)221-5168
Office: Foege N510F
UW Bioengineering faculty James Lai

James Lai

In order to improve the future health care, better clinical assays are require to detect biomarkers for the diagnosis, prognosis, and therapeutic management of human disease. The outcome of my research can potentially generate molecular reagents to improve sensitivity, specificity, and the capability to detect multiple biomarkers of the clinical assays.
Global health
In vitro diagnostic assays
Stimuli-responsive polymers
Nanomaterials
Protein conjugates
Biomolecule separation

My research focuses on improving in vitro diagnostics, facilitating therapeutics, and enabling life science research by developing stimuli-responsive polymeric reagents to streamline bioprocessing.  Advances in healthcare rely on biotechnological improvements in clinical diagnostics, therapeutics as well as life science research. These areas of improvement are complimentary and provide great potential for translating academic research into commercial opportunities. Better clinical assays are required to detect biomarkers for diagnosis, prognosis, and therapeutic management of disease. Better therapeutics require efficient manufacturing processes for low-cost production of pure, stable, and effective therapeutics that meet regulatory and clinical requirements. Bioassays interface with therapeutic development by enabling a more thorough understanding of disease biology and of how a disease state can be modulated with a therapeutic candidate.  Bioprocessing serves as an integral foundation.  Therefore, my research has been focused on the development of stimuli-responsive polymeric reagents (e.g., nanoparticles, protein conjugates) for efficient biomarker isolation to enable infectious disease diagnosis, cancer biology study, etc.

PhD, Chemical Engineering, NYU Tandon School of Engineering, 2005
BS, Chemical Engineering, University of Minnesota, 1999
AD, Chemical Engineering, National Taipei Institute of Technology, Taiwan, 1995

Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Bioengineering, University of Washington, 2005-2009

2020 Design by Biomedical Undergraduate Teams (DEBUT) 2nd Prize, Faculty Advisor, National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering/VentureWell

2017 Leaders in Future Trends, Ministry of Science and Technology (Taiwan)

2004 Ticona Award, NYU Tandon School of Engineering2000-2004 Robert Tsao Endowment Fellowship, Polytechnic University

In the News