Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine.
Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine

Lidong Qin Ph.D.

Lidong Qin, Ph.D.

Lidong Qin, Ph.D.

Associate Member
Department of Nanomedicine
Houston Methodist Research Institute
Assistant Professor
Department of Cell and Developmental Biology
Weill Cornell Medical College of Cornell University
CPRIT Scholar in Cancer Research
The Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas

E-mail: lqin@houstonmethodist.org
Phone: 713-441-7328



Jilin University, Changchun, China (Chemistry)


Jilin University, Changchun, China (Polymer Chemistry and Physics)

Ph.D.   Northwestern University, Evanston, IL (Chemistry)

Postdoctoral Training

NanoSystems Biology Cancer Center, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA




Dr. Qin received his Ph.D. in Chemistry from Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois and completed a postdoctoral traineeship in Cancer Nanotechnology at the California Institute of Technology. In Prof. Chad Mirkin's lab at the Northwestern University, Dr. Qin worked on functional metallic nanorods, with the invention of on-wire lithography and the development of Raman spectrum-based imaging and sensing methods. His research provided insightful understanding of Surface Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy and Surface Plasmon Resonance, which are the basics of Raman-based cancer imaging and nanomaterial-based cancer thermal therapeutics. Because of his pioneering work in metal nanomaterial synthesis and biological applications, he was awarded the International Precious Metal Institute (IPMI) graduate student prize. His other awards include the Materials Research Society graduate student award, Chinese government award for graduate students studying abroad, and Searle center for teaching excellence award. During his four years at Northwestern University, Dr. Qin received eight patents and published fourteen peer-reviewed journal articles, in journals including Science, PNAS, JACS and Nano Letters.

Later, Dr. Qin moved to Caltech as a postdoctoral fellow, working with Prof. James Heath. He developed automatic proteomic barcode chips that allow highly multiplexed plasma cancer biomarker measurements from a finger-prick of blood. Dr. Qin's method is recognized as a significant improvement over the cost and speed of standard laboratory tests to analyze proteins in blood. In his three-year postdoctoral research position, he also worked on integrated microfluidic chips to handle prostate cancer cell culture and study proteomic profiles from individual cells. He continued to excel and make major contributions to his field, receiving another patent and publishing three peer-reviewed papers in Nature Nanotechnology, Lab on a Chip and Nature Biotechnology.

Dr. Qin joined the TMHRI Department of Nanomedicine in July 2010 and was awarded with a prestigious startup award, the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT) recruitment award for first-time, tenure-track faculty. 

Description of Research

Translational cancer medicine is the focus of my research group. In particular, we develop nonconventional technology platforms for cancer diagnosis and risk analysis, measurement of cancer cell mechanical properties and phenotype enrichment, and in vitro models for study of the cancer cell microenvironment. Our technological expertise includes rational design of microfluidics platforms that allows for rapid and high-throughput molecular and cellular assays, fabrication of bio-inspired microstructures that simulate the cancer cell microenvironment, and development of nanotools that assist molecular signal amplification. Our biological targets address the cancer metastatic cascade, with focuses on cancer cell phenotype transition in the primary tumor, detection of circulating biomarkers and circulating tumor cells in the blood, and cancer cell migration and invasion at the metastatic site. The combination of our technological strengths and understanding of cancer cell biology has helped us develop several interesting technological innovations and opened many new avenues of future research direction. 

Major Areas of Research

Cancer, Microfluidics and Regenerative Medicine


Zhang K, Chou CK, Xia X, Hung MC, Qin L. Block-Cell-Printing for live single-cell printing. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2014 Feb 25;111(8):2948-53 PMID: 24516129. 

Zhang Y, Zhang W, Qin L. Mesenchymal-mode migration assay and antimetastatic drug screening with high-throughput microfluidic channel networks. Angew Chem Int Ed Engl. 2014 Feb 24;53(9):2344-8 PMID: 24478127.

Song Y, Huang YY, Liu X, Zhang X, Ferrari M, Qin L. Point-of-care technologies for molecular diagnostics using a drop of blood. Trends Biotechnol. 2014 Mar;32(3):132-139 PMID: 24525172.

Song Y, Wang Y, Qin L. A multistage volumetric bar chart chip for visualized quantification of DNA. J Am Chem Soc. 2013 Nov 13;135(45):16785-8 PMID: 24160770.

Zhang W, Choi DS, Nguyen YH, Chang J, Qin L. Studying cancer stem cell dynamics on PDMS surfaces for microfluidics device design. Sci Rep. 2013;3:2332. PMID: 23900274. 

Wei W, Shi Q, Remacle F, Qin L, Shackelford DB, Shin YS, Mischel PS, Levine RD, Heath JR. Hypoxia induces a phase transition within a kinase signaling network in cancer cells. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2013 Apr 9;110(15):E1352-60.PMID: 23530221. 

Song Y, Zhang Y, Bernard PE, Reuben JM, Ueno NT, Arlinghaus RB, Zu YL, Qin LD. Multiplexed volumetric bar-chart chip for point-of-care diagnostics. Nature Communications. 2012 Dec 18;3:1283. PMID:23250413.

Zhang W, Kai K, Nguyen YH, Iwamoto T, Wong H, Choi DS, Landis MD, Chang J, Ueno NT, Qin LD. Microfluidics separation reveals the stem-cell-like deformability of tumor-initiating cells. PNAS. 2012 Nov 13;109:18707-18712. PMID:23112172.

Qin LD. Studying tumor initiating cell (TIC) heterogeneity and treatment resistance by single-cell microfluidics technology. Single Cell Biology. 2012;1. doi: 10.4172/scb.1000e112.

Nguyen YH, Ma X, Qin LD. Rapid identification and drug susceptibility screening of ESAT-6 secreting mycobacteria by a NanoELIwell assay. Scientific Reports (by Nature Publishing Group). 2012 Sep 6;2:635. PMID:22957139.

Zhang W, Rosano-Ortega G, Hu Y, Bai L, Qin L.  New investigation in PVP-mediated synthesis of noble metallic nanomaterials. J Nanosci Nanotechnol. 2012 Mar;12(3):2634-9. PMID: 22755101

Shi Q, Qin L, Wei W, Geng F, Fan R, Shin YS, Guo D, Hood L, Mischel PS, Heath JR. Single-cell proteomic chip for profiling intracellular signaling pathways in single tumor cellsProc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2012 Jan 10;109(2):419-24. Epub 2011 Dec 27. PMID: 22203961

Jiang L, Sun Y, Huo F, Zhang H, Qin L, Li S, Chen X. Free-standing one-dimensional plasmonic nanostructures. Nanoscale. 2012 Jan 7;4(1):66-75. PMID:22113325

Huang L, Braunschweig AB, Shim W, Qin L, Lim JK, Hurst SJ, Huo F, Xue C, Jang JW, Mirkin CA. Matrix-Assisted Dip-Pen Nanolithography and Polymer Pen Lithography. Small. 2010 May 21;6(10):1077-81.

Qin L, Vermesh O, Shi Q, Heath JR. Self-powered microfluidic chips for multiplexed protein assays from whole blood. Lab Chip. 2009 Jul 21;9(14):2016-20.

Xu K, Qin L, Heath JR. The crossover from two dimensions to one dimension in granular electronic materials. Nat Nanotechnol. 2009 Jun;4(6):368-72.

Banholzer MJ, Qin L, Millstone JE, Osberg KD, Mirkin CA. On-wire lithography: synthesis, encoding and biological applications. Nat Protoc. 2009;4(6):838-48.

Chen X, Yeganeh S, Qin L, Li S, Xue C, Braunschweig AB, Schatz GC, Ratner MA, Mirkin CA. Chemical Fabrication of Heterometallic Nanogaps for Molecular Transport Junctions. Nano Lett. 2009 Dec;9(12):3974-9.

Zheng G, Qin L, Mirkin CA. Spectroscopically enhancing electrical nanotraps. Angew Chem Int Ed Engl. 2008;47(10):1938-41.

Fan R, Vermesh O, Srivastava A, Yen BK, Qin L, Ahmad H, Kwong GA, Liu CC, Gould J, Hood L, Heath JR. Integrated barcode chips for rapid, multiplexed analysis of proteins in microliter quantities of blood. Nat Biotechnol. 2008 Dec;26(12):1373-8.

Xu, X. Y.; Zhao, Z.; Qin, L. D.; Wei, W.; Levine, J. E.; Mirkin, C. A. Fluorescence recovery assay for the detection of protein-DNA binding. Analytical Chemistry 2008, 80, 5616-5621.

Wei W, Li S, Qin L, Xue C, Millstone JE, Xu X, Schatz GC, Mirkin CA. Surface Plasmon-Mediated Energy Transfer in Heterogap Au-Ag Nanowires. Nano Lett. 2008 Oct;8(10):3446-9.

Chen X, Jeon YM, Jang JW, Qin L, Huo F, Wei W, Mirkin CA. On-wire lithography-generated molecule-based transport junctions: A new testbed for molecular electronics. J Am Chem Soc. 2008 Jul 2;130(26):8166-8.

Banholzer MJ, Millstone JE, Qin L, Mirkin CA. Rationally designed nanostructures for surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy. Chem Soc Rev. 2008 May;37(5):885-97.

Qin L, Banholzer MJ, Xu X, Huang L, Mirkin CA. Rational design and synthesis of catalytically driven nanorotors. J Am Chem Soc. 2007 Dec 5;129(48):14870-1.

Qin L, Banholzer MJ, Millstone JE, Mirkin CA. Nanodisk codes. Nano Lett. 2007 Dec;7(12):3849-53.

Qin L, Jang JW, Huang L, Mirkin CA. Sub-5-nm gaps prepared by on-wire lithography: Correlating gap size with electrical transport. Small. 2007 Jan;3(1):86-90.

Qin L, Zou S, Xue C, Atkinson A, Schatz GC, Mirkin CA. Designing, fabricating, and imaging Raman hot spots. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2006 Sep 5;103(36):13300-3.

Hurst SJ, Payne EK, Qin L, Mirkin CA. Multisegmented one-dimensional nanorods prepared by hard-template synthetic methods. Angew Chem Int Ed Engl. 2006 Apr 21;45(17):2672-92.

Qin L, Park S, Huang L, Mirkin CA. On-wire lithography. Science. 2005 Jul 1;309(5731):113-5.

Millstone JE, Park S, Shuford KL, Qin L, Schatz GC, Mirkin CA. Observation of a quadrupole plasmon mode for a colloidal solution of gold nanoprisms. J Am Chem Soc. 2005 Apr 20;127(15):5312-3.


CPRIT Scholar in Cancer Research

Pocket-sized drug test could quickly identify abusers

Methodist researchers get $2.1M for drug-test device

Inexpensive test could reveal liver cancer risk