Liming Huang

Liming Huang, Ph.D.

Associate Professor Research
Design of fluorescent probes, artificial antibodies, nanomaterials, and organic solid materials


Professional Biography

  • 2021-present: Associate Professor Research, University of Nevada, Reno
  • 2013-2021: Assistant Professor Research, University of Nevada, Reno
  • 2009-2013: Postdoctoral training, University of Nevada, Reno

Research Interests

  • Molecular Imprinting Artificial Antibodies: One of the most promising approaches is the generation of artificial antibodies through the use of molecularly imprinted polymers (MIP). The basic concept of MIP is to employ one or more of selected functional organic chemical monomers to self-assemble around a target molecule such as an antigen, followed by polymerisation and removal of the template. The interaction between the template and the polymerizable functional monomer may involve reversible covalent bonds or non-covalent interactions such as electrostatic, hydrophobic, and van der Waals interactions. The resulting cast-like structure contains cavities that reflect both the shape and chemical functionality of target molecules. The high selectivity and affinity of MIPs for the template molecule offers a promising approach to develop a new generation of biosensors. Compared to other types of biosensors, biosensors based on MIPs offer at least three advantages: (1) high affinity and selectivity to template molecules; (2) superior stability compared to those using natural biomolecules; and (3) ease of fabrication and adaptation for various types of biosensors.
  • Biosensors for nucleic acids: Biosensors for DNA or RNA have important applications in forensic identification, biological weapons detection, clinical diagnostics, biomedical research, and studies in life sciences. Techniques for biosensors based on molecular beacons have attracted much attention recently because of their ability to detect unlabeled nucleic acids with high specificity and potential for real-time monitoring of analytes. We recently reported the design principles and the application of a novel motif composed of a stem-loop probe hybridized to a fluorescently labeled universal reporter for sensing short DNA sequences which express in cancer cell. Our current interest focuses on the research and development of nucleic acid (DNA and RNA) sensors based on the mechanism of fluorescence quenching and fluorescence resonance energy transfer using stem-loop probes, gold nanoparticles, and quantum dots.
  • Fluorescent molecular probes: Molecular probes are a key component of biosensors used in biological systems. We current are focusing on design and synthesis of fluorescent molecules with long wavelength emission in the range of visible light and NIR regions that are useful to make molecular probes for sensing biological environment, such as DNA, protein, pH, temperature and solvents.
  • Design and synthesis of organic compounds as multi-functional materials: We design and synthesize organic perylene monoimides and diimides that absorb in visible light and NIR regions. These compounds also show direction-dependent properties absorption and fluorescence properties in liquid crystals and crystals. They can be potentially used in organic devices such as polarizer, LCD, LED, organic transistors, and etc.
  • Supramolecular chemistry: We design host-guest complexes based on macrocyclic host molecules and fluorescent dyes.

Current Lab Members

  • Samip Shrestha

Past Lab Members

  • Gyan H. Aryal
  • Ganesh Rana
  • Pei Wang
  • Zhimei Yaun


2008 - Ph.D., Chemistry (Organic Materials and Biosensors), University of Nevada, Reno