Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Suri Iyer

Second Advisor

Peng Wang

Third Advisor

Hamed Laroui


Influenza is a respiratory disease that infects 0.4-0.6 billion children and 0.2-5.0 billion adults worldwide. In addition to seasonal influenza, pandemic strains can infect a large number of people rapidly. Rapid and precise detection of influenza viruses is critical for appropriate interventions. Current methods such as cell culture and PCR are expensive and require well-trained personnel. Antibody based tests are not sensitive. Herein, we have designed and synthesized an influenza specific substrate 4,7di-OMeSα2,3/6Gal, and developed an assay that uses a portable potentiostat and commercial Accu-Chek strips. We demonstrated that this assay detects the influenza virus with high specificity within 15 minutes. This strategy can also be used to detect glycosidases, which in turn could be useful to report the presence of a pathogen or illness.

Plasmodium falciparum GPIs have been considered as potential vaccine candidates because these molecules are involved in inducing inflammatory responses in human hosts, and natural anti-GPI antibody responses have been shown to be associated with protection against severe disease. GPIs can also be considered as targets for rapid diagnostic tests. Here, we report synthesis and immunological characterization of a panel of malaria-specific GPI analogues, which is conjugated to a carrier protein to immunize and generate antibodies in rabbits. The rabbit immune sera showed reactivity with synthetic GPIs and native GPIs extracted from P. falciparum parasite, as determined by Luminex and ELISA methods.

Bioorthogonal chemistry is playing an important role in labeling and imaging live cells, especially the tetrazine and TCO based IEDDA reaction. Herein, we designed a bioorthogonal amplification system to increase the assay sensitivity. The data shows our proposed amplification system works in assays, and modifications are in progress.