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Lidong Qin, PhD

Professor of Nanomedicine, Institute for Academic Medicine
Full Member, Research Institute
Houston Methodist
Weill Cornell Medical College

Research Lab


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.

Areas Of Expertise

Cancer Microfluidics Regenerative Medicine
Education & Training

, Jilin University
, NanoSystems Biology Cancer Center, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA
, Northwestern U.

Recent Progress of Microfluidics in Translational Applications
Liu, Z, Han, X & Qin, L 2016, Advanced Healthcare Materials, vol 5, no. 8, pp. 871-888. DOI:

Nanoporous Glass Integrated in Volumetric Bar-Chart Chip for Point-of-Care Diagnostics of Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer
Li, Y, Xuan, J, Song, Y, Qi, W, He, B, Wang, P & Qin, L 2016, ACS Nano, vol 10, no. 1, pp. 1640-7. DOI:

Microfluidic Cell Deformability Assay for Rapid and Efficient Kinase Screening with the CRISPR-Cas9 System
Han, X, Liu, Z, Zhao, L, Wang, F, Yu, Y, Yang, J, Chen, R & Qin, L 2016, Angewandte Chemie - International Edition. DOI:

Integrative volumetric bar-chart chip for rapid and quantitative point-of-care detection of myocardial infarction biomarkers
Song, Y, Wang, Y, Qi, W, Li, Y, Xuan, J, Wang, P & Qin, L 2016, Lab on a Chip - Miniaturisation for Chemistry and Biology, vol 16, no. 15, pp. 2955-2962. DOI:

Microfluidic Platforms for Yeast-Based Aging Studies
Jo, MC & Qin, L 2016, Small. DOI:

Microfluidic cytometric analysis of cancer cell transportability and invasiveness
Liu, Z, Lee, Y, Jang, JH, Li, Y, Han, X, Yokoi, K, Ferrari, M, Zhou, L & Qin, L 2015, Scientific Reports, vol 5, 14272. DOI:

High-Throughput, Label-Free Isolation of Cancer Stem Cells on the Basis of Cell Adhesion Capacity
Zhang, Y, Wu, M, Han, X, Wang, P & Qin, L 2015, Angewandte Chemie - International Edition, vol 54, no. 37, pp. 10838-10842. DOI:

Retinal synaptic regeneration via microfluidic guiding channels
Su, PJ, Liu, Z, Zhang, K, Han, X, Saito, Y, Xia, X, Yokoi, K, Shen, H & Qin, L 2015, Scientific Reports, vol 5, 13591. DOI:

A microfluidic platform with digital readout and ultra-low detection limit for quantitative point-of-care diagnostics
Li, Y, Xuan, J, Song, Y, Wang, P & Qin, L 2015, Lab on a Chip - Miniaturisation for Chemistry and Biology, vol 15, no. 16, pp. 3300-3306. DOI:

CRISPR-Cas9 delivery to hard-to-transfect cells via membrane deformation
Han, X, Liu, Z, Jo, MC, Zhang, K, Li, Y, Zeng, Z, Li, N, Zu, Y & Qin, L 2015, Science advances, vol 1, no. 7, pp. e1500454. DOI:

Imaging of cell-cell communication in a vertical orientation reveals high-resolution structure of immunological synapse and novel PD-1 dynamics
Jang, JH, Huang, Y, Zheng, P, Chan Jo, M, Bertolet, G, Zhu, MX, Qin, L & Liu, D 2015, Journal of Immunology, vol 195, no. 3, pp. 1320-1330. DOI:

High-throughput analysis of yeast replicative aging using a microfluidic system
Jo, MC, Liu, W, Gu, L, Dang, W & Qin, L 2015, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, vol 112, no. 30, pp. 9364-9369. DOI:

Utilizing a high-throughput microfluidic platform to study hypoxia-driven mesenchymal-mode cell migration
Zhang, Y, Wen, J, Zhou, L & Qin, L 2015, Integrative Biology (United Kingdom), vol 7, no. 6, pp. 672-680. DOI:

Competitive Volumetric Bar-Chart Chip with Real-Time Internal Control for Point-of-Care Diagnostics
Li, Y, Xuan, J, Xia, T, Han, X, Song, Y, Cao, Z, Jiang, X, Guo, Y, Wang, P & Qin, L 2015, Analytical Chemistry, vol 87, no. 7, pp. 3771-3777. DOI:

A High-content screen identifies compounds promoting the neuronal differentiation and the midbrain dopamine neuron specification of human neural progenitor cells
Rhim, JH, Luo, X, Xu, X, Gao, D, Zhou, T, Li, F, Qin, L, Wang, P, Xia, X & Wong, STC 2015, Scientific reports, vol 5, pp. 16237. DOI:

Recruited metastasis suppressor NM23-H2 attenuates expression and activity of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor d (PPARd) in human cholangiocarcinoma
He, F, York, JP, Burroughs, SG, Qin, L, Xia, J, Chen, D, Quigley, EM, Webb, P, LeSage, GD & Xia, X 2015, Digestive and Liver Disease, vol 47, no. 1, pp. 62-67. DOI:

Integration of platinum nanoparticles with a volumetric bar-chart chip for biomarker assays
Song, Y, Xia, X, Wu, X, Wang, P & Qin, L 2014, Angewandte Chemie - International Edition, vol 53, no. 46, pp. 12451-12455. DOI:

High-throughput 3D cell invasion chip enables accurate cancer metastatic assays
Zhang, Y, Zhou, L & Qin, L 2014, Journal of the American Chemical Society, vol 136, no. 43, pp. 15257-15262. DOI:

Human equilibrative nucleoside transporter-1 knockdown tunes cellular mechanics through epithelial-mesenchymal transition in pancreatic cancer cells
Lee, Y, Koay, EJ, Zhang, W, Qin, L, Kirui, DK, Hussain, F, Shen, H & Ferrari, M 2014, PLoS ONE, vol 9, no. 10, e107973. DOI:

Hand-held and integrated single-cell pipettes
Zhang, K, Han, X, Li, Y, Li, SY, Zu, Y, Wang, Z & Qin, L 2014, Journal of the American Chemical Society, vol 136, no. 31, pp. 10858-10861. DOI: