Welcome To Tan Group

Dr. Weihong Tan, the University of Florida Distinguished Porfessor and  V. T. and Louise Jackson Professor of Chemistry at the University of Florida, is our principal investigator and well recognized for work in chemical biology, molecular engineering, and bionanotechnology. Tan's group now has more than 25 students, postdoctors and research scientists.

Our group focuses mainly on molecular sciences for biomedical studies and applications. Our overall strategy is to combine our strength in understanding/manipulating molecules to design, develop and apply new molecular technologies and new materials for significant biomedical problems directly affecting human health and for a better understanding of fundamental molecular processes in biological systems. We are mainly concerned with two major areas of biomedical problems: cancer and learning and memory studies. We have three areas of research activities: bionanotechnology, molecular engineering and chemical biology.

In Bionanotechnology, we develop and apply novel and functional nanomaterials for a better understanding of biological phenomena on the nanometer scale. We develop nanomaterial-based new tools (such as functional nanoparticles, nanosensors and nanoassemblies) for enhanced biomedical studies.

In Molecular Engineering, we design and synthesize functional molecules using DNA bases as the building block. These molecular probes are prepared for advanced bioanalytical applications in living cell studies, in biosensors for a variety of biomarkers, and in drug development and drug delivery. Molecular motors were also studied for energy creation at the nanometer scale and the conversion of photonic energy into useful forms such as mechanical movements.

In Chemical Biology studies, we draw on the tools and ideas of modern chemistry and apply these to the quantitative solution of biological/biomedical problems at the molecular level. We have two major areas of research: 1. Neurogenomics to understand memory and learning processes (gene expression monitoring during memory formation and learning process); and 2. Elucidation of molecular biomarkers of diseases such as cancers and infectious diseases using aptamers. Our lab has been working on DNA aptamers, and has pioneered the Whole-Cell SELEX method. This method allows for the selection of aptamers against specific cell-lines to aid in biomarker discovery and aptamer applications in a variety of areas. To date we have selected a panel of aptamers against many different cancers such as leukemia and lung cancer as well as against cells infected with the virus.

Our overall goal is to develop molecular level knowledge and tools for biomedical studies and for DNA based molecular devices in energy reation and molecular movement.

Lab in Department of Chemistry

Lab in Shands Cancer Center

Tan Lab Blog