Mehnaaz F. Ali, PhD

Primary Institution:
Xavier University of Louisiana
Department of Chemistry
Current SEPA Project

My initial training is in the general field of bioanalytical sensors as a result of pursuing a Ph.D. under the mentorship of Dr. John T. McDevitt at the University of Texas at Austin. Specifically, work from my dissertation focused on the development and characterization of DNA/RNA based sensors confined within three dimensional agarose scaffolds. My post-doctoral research, at Tulane University School of Medicine under the tutelage of Dr. Diane A. Blake, included work on antibody-based sensors utilizing modulated glucose oxidase activity as the signaling strategy for the detection of environmental contaminants. The objective of my current research is to develop immobilized target responsive biosensors utilizing an analog displacement assay for the long-term goal of biomarker detection. Specifically, we are interested in marrying the attributes of an aptamer-based recognition scaffold with the sensitivity of an electrochemical signaling system. At Xavier I have served as PI on a number of externally funded research grants such as the NIH-SCORE, NSF SURE, Board of Regents and the Research Corporation’s Single Investigator Cottrell College Science Award. Currently, I am a co-PI on a recently funded NSF ADVANCE grant which is focused on creating an equitable, inclusive and energizing climate for female STEM faculty members by addressing systemic barriers which currently lead to higher attrition rates of female faculty and Women of Color.

Associated SEPA Project(s)