Lydia Sohn in lab

Research Expertise and Interest

micro-nano engineering, bioengineering, biomedical devices biomedical numerical analysis, microfluidics; nanofluidics; bioanalytical separations; disease diagnostics, stem cells, cancer

In the News

Could Liposomes Be the Unsung Heroes of the Pandemic?

Liposomes may be the unsung heroes of the COVID-19 pandemic. Without the protection of these microscopic vesicles, the delicate strands of messenger RNA (mRNA) that lie at the heart of the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines would be quickly destroyed by enzymes in the body, making it nearly impossible for their genetic instructions to reach the insides of human cells. But vaccine delivery isn’t the only way that these particles can be used in the battle against COVID-19. In a new study, a team of engineers at the University of California, Berkeley, attached SARS-CoV-2 “spike” proteins to the surface of liposomes, creating lab-made mimics of the deadly virus which the researchers call “spike-liposomes.”

New technique ‘prints’ cells to create diverse biological environments

Like humans, cells are easily influenced by peer pressure. Take a neural stem cell in the brain: Whether this cell remains a stem cell or differentiates into a fully formed brain cell is ultimately determined by a complex set of molecular messages the cell receives from countless neighbors. Understanding these messages is key for scientists hoping to harness these stem cells to treat neurological conditions like Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s.

Pinning down malevolent cancer cells

Lydia Sohn is developing a new technique based on microtechnology to distinguish between different types of circulating tumor cells also known as CTC’s . She hopes this more sensitive approach will help clinicians learn which CTC’s are most prone to lead to metastasis.

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