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    Are psychedelics superior for treating mental illness? Potentially, yes , redirect

    Banned in the 1960s after recreational popularity, psychedelics have had a resurgence of discussion in recent years as regulators allow researchers to study the effects. Psychedelic substances such as psilocybin, mescaline and LSD, among others, demonstrate potential for combatting the symptoms of mental illnesses, including addiction, anxiety, depression and PTSD. A collaborative study between teams led by Chang Lu at Virginia Tech (VA, USA) and Javier González-Maeso at Virginia Commonwealth University (VA, USA), researchers observed the epigenomic effects of psychedelics. In mice, a single dose of 2,5-dimethoxy-4-iodoamphetamine (DOI), an LSD analogue, demonstrated long-lasting results. Other research, primarily on psilocybin – the active ingredient in 200 species of mushrooms – has also indicated signs of their capability to alleviate anxiety and depression.

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    Psychedelics show promise in treating mental illness , article

    November 18th, 2021 One in five U.S. adults will experience a mental illness in their lifetime, according to the National Alliance of Mental Health. But standard treatments can be slow to work and cause side effects. To find better solutions, a Virginia Tech researcher has joined a renaissance of research on a long-banned class of drugs that could combat several forms of mental illness and, in mice, have achieved long-lasting results from just one dose.

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    Single dose of a psychedelic drug alters neurons’ structure and gene environment , article

    Scientists from the VCU School of Medicine and Virginia Tech School of Engineering are exploring how psychedelic drugs work in the brain and how long these changes might last. In a paper featured on the cover of the October 19 issue of the journal Cell Reports, a team of researchers led by Mario de la Fuente Revenga, Ph.D., and Javier González-Maeso, Ph.D., demonstrated that a single dose of a psychedelic drug related to psilocybin, the psychoactive compound in so-called “magic mushrooms,” produces fast, long-lasting antidepressant effects in mice. These effects were correlated by collaborators Chang Lu, Ph.D., and doctoral student Bohan Zhu from Virginia Tech with several structural and genetic changes that occurred in neurons, some of which also overlapped with genetic risks for certain psychiatric conditions.

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    Chang Lu named American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering Fellow , redirect

    April 3rd, 2020 Chang Lu, the Fred W. Bull Professor in Virginia Tech’s Department of Chemical Engineering within the College of Engineering, has been elected to the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering College of Fellows.

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    Highly sensitive epigenomic technology combats disease , article

    November 25th, 2019 Much remains unknown about diseases and the way our bodies respond to them, in part because the human genome is the complete DNA assembly that makes each person unique. A Virginia Tech professor and his team of researchers have created new technology to help in understanding how the human body battles diseases. In a recently published article in Nature Protocols, Chang Lu, the Fred W. Bull Professor of Chemical Engineering at Virginia Tech, along with chemical engineering doctoral students Bohan Zhu and Yuan-Pang Hsieh, describe a microfluidic technology they are using to study a variety of diseases ranging from breast and brain cancer to schizophrenia and addiction.

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    Epigenetic Changes Guide Development of Different Brain Regions - The Dana Foundation , redirect

    July 11, 2018 Researchers at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech) have recently discovered significant epigenetic differences when comparing cells in the cerebellum and the prefrontal cortex of the mouse brain.

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    Difference in gene switching discovered in different parts of brain - VT News , article

    April 26, 2018 In a study published in Science Advances, Chang Lu and his team found significant difference in the molecular machinery that turns on and off gene expression between the cerebellum and prefrontal cortex of a mouse brain. Their results provide clues to the molecular apparatus that is involved in conscious thinking in brains.

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    Virginia Tech Team Develops Microfluidic Technique for Low-Input ChIP-seq - GenomeWeb , redirect

    April 19, 2018 Researchers from Virginia Tech have devised a low-input, high-throughput method for ChIP-seq that makes use of microfluidic technology in order to enable epigenomic profiling of clinical samples, where material is limited.

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    Epigenomic tool breakthrough has implications for identifying disease processes - VT News , article

    March 9, 2018 A major research advancement, published in the journal Nature Biomedical Engineering, titled "Cell-type-specific brain methylomes profiled via ultralow-input microfluidics" was led by Dr. Chang Lu, the Fred W. Bull professor of Chemical Engineering.

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    US patent issued to Professor Chang Lu , article

    Aug 28, 2017 Dr. Chang Lu and his former student Zhenning Cao were recently issued a US patent (9,732,377) titled "Microfluidic systems and methods for chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP)". The patent was on a novel microfluidic chromatin immunoprecipitation technology developed by Lu and Cao. The technology offered a superb capability for profiling genome-wide epigenomic features such as histone modifications using a tiny number of cells (as few as 100 cells). The results associated with the technology were first published in a 2015 Nature Methods paper.

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    Research highlights: microfluidic-enabled single-cell epigenetics - Lab on a Chip , redirect

    Oct, 2015 Here we highlight a flurry of recent activity to identify the mRNA profiles from thousands of single-cells as well as chromatin accessibility and histone marks on single to few hundreds of cells. Microfluidics and microfabrication have played a central role in the range of new techniques, and will likely continue to impact their further development towards routine single-cell epigenetic analysis.

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    Microfluidic ChIP Makes a Few Cells Go a Long Way - Epigenie , redirect

    September 11, 2015 Researchers from the laboratories of Chang Lu and Kai Tan have come up with a “little” change to the ChIP process. Their new methodology, micro­fluidic oscillatory washing–based ChIP sequencing (MOWChIP-seq), generates reproducible results with as few as 100 cells and could represent a huge “little” step forward for the field.

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    Well-Washed ChIP-Seq Profiles the Epigenome with Just 100 Cells - GEN , redirect

    July 28, 2015 The epigenome’s many obfuscations may soon “come out with the wash,” thanks to a microfluidics-based technique that can improve the collection of high-quality ChIP-enriched DNA. The new technique, which is called microfluidic oscillatory washing–based chromatin immunoprecipitation (MOWChIP-seq), is so good at removing nonspecifically binding chromatin that it allows analysis of epigenomic modifications with as few as 100 cells.

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    New Technique Can Help Scientists Conduct Epigenomic Analysis With Just 100 Cells - Tech Times , redirect

    July 28, 2015 In a study published in Nature Methods, Zhenning Cao and colleagues showed how research done by Chang Lu, also one of the authors of the study, has resulted in the development of tools that can analyze living cell samples effectively. Specifically, Lu was able to produce in his lab small microfluidic devices fitted with micrometer features that can examine cell events at the molecular level.

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    New technology helps personalized medicine by enabling epigenomic analysis with a mere 100 cells - VT News , article

    July 28, 2015 A new technology that will dramatically enhance investigations of epigenomes, the machinery that turns on and off genes and a very prominent field of study in diseases such as stem cell differentiation, inflammation and cancer, is reported on today in the research journal Nature Methods.

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    Researchers follow a protein's travel inside cells to improve patient monitoring, develop drugs - VT News , article

    May 13, 2014 In the Royal Society of Chemistry journal Chemical Science, Lu has announced that he and his coworkers have developed a novel technique that detects the subcellular location of a protein. The significance of this method is that the technique will allow the scientific and technological communities a simple and improved method for studying effectiveness of therapies for disease, including cancer.

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    National Institutes of Health awards new study in cancer research to Chang Lu - VT News , article

    June 18, 2013 Progress made in the technology development for studying protein-DNA interactions, conducted by Chang Lu, associate professor of chemical engineering and a core faculty member of the School of Biomedical Engineering and Sciences at Virginia Tech, has led to the National Institutes of Health awarding a new project to continue his groundbreaking work.

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    Transfection Practices Change with Times - GEN , redirect

    September 01, 2011 Transfection technology for inserting nucleic acids into cells is getting a boost from novel electroporation techniques, new reagents, and easier-to-use transfection platforms. One leading-edge example is work being done by Virginia Tech associate professor Chang Lu, Ph.D. Dr. Lu's approach eliminates the need for expensive pulse generators, achieves uniform poration over the entire cell surface, and reduces toxicity. The result is reduced cost, higher transfection rates, and improved cell viability.

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    Professors Target Gene Delivery - Academic Sourceguide , redirect

    Researchers at Virginia Tech are developing gene delivery methods to combat diseases.

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    Biotechnology: A new spin on DNA delivery - CEP , redirect

    Chemical engineers at Virginia Tech have developed an enhanced method to deliver DNA payloads into cells - a technique they eventually hope to apply to genetically modify cells for cancer immunotherapy, stem cell therapy, and tissue regeneration.

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    A new spin on gene delivery - VT News , article

    July 10, 2010 Chang Lu, an associate professor of chemical engineering at Virginia Tech, and his research group are featured in the July 8, 2010, issue of Nature and their work will also be in an upcoming issue of Lab on a Chip. They have shown how to “greatly enhance” the delivery of DNA payloads into cells.

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    Purdue researchers pioneer new cancer detection method - Purdue Exponent , redirect

    A Purdue research team has developed a process to determine the severity of cancers nearly 300 times faster than methods used today

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    Expanding cell girth indicates seriousness of breast cancer - Purdue News , redirect

    September 18, 2008 How fat cells become after being exposed to a specialized electrical field is helping researchers determine whether cells are normal, cancerous or a stage of cancer already invading other parts of the body.

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    New technique quickly detects cancer indicator - Purdue News , article

    January 22, 2008 Researchers have developed a new way to detect protein movements inside cells, which signal a variety of cellular changes such as those in cancer cell development. The method could help diagnose cancer in the future.

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    The power of one: A simpler, cheaper method for cell fusion - Purdue News , article

    December 4, 2006 It's not easy to make one plus one equal one. But biological engineer Chang Lu has done just that with a new and cheaper method to electrically fuse cells — a vital technology for studying stem cells, creating clones and finding disease antibodies.

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    Small Volumes, Mind-bending Speed - Bioscience Technology , redirect

    Researchers at Purdue University recently simplified single-cell electroporation to a single-channel microfluidic chip.

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    Microchannels, electricity aid drug discovery, early diagnosis - Purdue News , article

    June 21, 2006 A tiny fluid-filled channel on a microchip that allows single cells to be treated and analyzed could lead to advances in drug and gene screening and early disease diagnosis. The tool breaks down cell membranes to allow drug and gene delivery and permits examination of intracellular materials by establishing an electrical current across a microscale channel, said Chang Lu, a Purdue University biological engineer. The Purdue system is different from current techniques that use electricity for drug delivery and cell analysis. The new technique handles one cell at a time and uses a common DC power supply rather than a costly pulse generator.

Other News Mentions


"ChIP-seq Gets Fresh."
BioTechniques, Sept 9, 2015.

"Droplet Orchestrator"
Marblar.com, Challenge of new technologiesSponsored by RSC, April-June, 2013.

"Electroporation's Efficiency Improved, May Help DNA Delivery For Gene Therapy."
NCTimes (July 11, 2010).

"More efficient methods for gene delivery."
Institute of Biological Engineering Blog (July 11, 2010).

"Tackling rogue tumour cells."
Highlights in Chemical Biology (Jan 13, 2010).

"Research speeds cancer screens."
Journal and Courier (Oct 5, 2008).

"CARS flow cytometry on a chip."
Biophotonics International (Vol 15, Issue 6, 2008).

"Single cell analysis."
Biocompare Technology Spotlight (Jul 14, 2008).

"Single-cell analysis: quick and easy detection."
Medical Device & Diagnostic Industry (Vol 28, Number 9, Sept 2006).