Updated March 23 at 12:28am

UMass Dartmouth professor lands $400K for cell imaging research


DARTMOUTH – Maolin Guo, associate professor of chemistry and biochemistry at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, landed a $400,000 research grant from the National Science Foundation to support the development of a molecular imaging probe for cell research.

The three-year, $400,000 grant will help support Guo’s research efforts to develop new ways to detect iron ions in live cells at subcellular resolution.

According to an UMass Dartmouth release, the new imaging probes will help researchers to understand how iron ions affect health, which is important “because we cannot live without it - literally.” Iron carries oxygen throughout the body, is necessary in the creation of DNA, and iron levels are linked to hundreds of diseases including Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and certain types of cancers.

“We need a better understanding of the complex mechanism of how iron acts at the subcellular level to be able to successfully develop new pharmaceuticals and other treatments,” said Guo in a statement.

Earlier this year, Guo’s laboratory became the first to see iron ions in live cells using their imaging probe. Using the National Science Foundation grant, Guo and his team will use the imaging probe to observe how iron acts in cells, “opening up a new field of scientific and medical research,” according to the release.

“The insights gained from this study will allow us to monitor and image how iron affects living organisms,” said Guo, “and to develop therapies that can change iron’s effects on them.”


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