Skip to main content

Chemistry professor receives $500,000 from National Science Foundation to develop portable diagnostic devices

 MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – A research project led by Dr. Peng Li, assistant professor of chemistry in the Eberly College of Arts and Sciences, received $500,000 in continuing grant funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF). Peng Li

Li’s project, Compact Digital Biosensing System Enabled by Localized Acoustic Streaming , is being funded as part of the NSF’s Faculty Early Career Development Program (CAREER). The main goal of the project is to develop a digital testing platform that is both highly accurate at detecting complex diseases and portable.

The project will create integrated devices that can detect certain biomarkers without dedicated equipment and laboratory space. It will also create learning opportunities for diverse students as they help with the project.

“This NSF CAREER award is well-deserved,” said Gregory Dudley, Eberly Family Distinguished Professor and chair of the C. Eugene Bennett Department of Chemistry. “It will support an ambitious expansion of Dr. Li’s program, which is already nationally and internationally recognized. We are excited to see his vision for low-cost, portable diagnostic devices unfold in the coming years.”

Li joined the Chemistry Department in 2016. His research includes control of cell movement and separation using sound waves in microfluidic devices. He is a pioneer in the use of sound waves to move and manipulate objects for chemical analysis, drawing on expertise in chemistry, physics and engineering.

In 2021, Li was named a recipient of the Young Investigator Award from Eli Lilly for his research, publication record and the impact he has made in the field of analytical chemistry.