About CMADP

The COBRE CMADP was created in July 2012 to encourage basic research scientists to develop and implement new enabling technologies for the study of biological pathways and processes related to disease. By providing mentor support and infrastructure, the Center also seeks to enhance the ability of junior investigators to compete independently for NIH individual research grants and other external peer-reviewed support.

MRB Photo

Multidisciplinary Research
Building (MRB)

The Center is organized and directed out of the Ralph N. Adams Institute for Bioanalytical Chemistry in conjunction with the Higuchi Biosciences Center. CMADP is directed by Susan M. Lunte, Ralph N. Adams Distinguished Professor of Chemistry and Pharmaceutical Chemistry and director of the Adams Institute for Bioanalytical Chemistry. Dr. Lunte is assisted by Co-Investigators, Blake Peterson, Regents Distinguished Professor of Medicinal Chemistry and Erik Lundquist, Professor of Molecular Biosciences. Dr. Peterson is an internationally recognized researcher in the development of novel fluorescent probes and chemical tools for studies of drug delivery, transport, and control of protein function. Dr. Lundquist is an Professor of Neuroscience in the Department of Molecular Biosciences and is an expert on genetics and the use of model organisms for the study of neurological disorders.

Assisting these investigators in guiding the progress of the Center are the External Advisory Board (EAB), the Internal Advisory Board (IAB), steering committees for each core facility, and an internal evaluator (Robert Hanzlik, Professor of Medicinal Chemistry and Director of the COBRE Center in Protein Structure and Function at KU).

Four specific aims guide the research at the Center:

  1. Specific Aim 1: Provide an empowering administrative and core structure that facilitates the successful implementation of research projects on the development of enabling technologies for the study of disease processes
  2. Specific Aim 2: Produce enthusiastic junior faculty with competitive independent research programs through personal mentoring, internal and external reviews of proposals, and short courses;
  3. Specific Aim 3: Promote scientific interactions among investigators, mentors, core leaders and interested scientists through monthly meetings, workshops and an annual symposium
  4. Specific Aim 4: Grow the scientific infrastructure in the State of Kansas for the Molecular Analysis of Disease Pathways through the continued support of new junior investigators, advertisement of the capabilities of the cores to potential users and renovation of space to house core facilities

In order to support and encourage these types of interactions, the Center features three core facilities in addition to the Administrative Core. These are:

  1. the Genome Sequencing Core (GSC) for next-generation sequencing technologies, experimental design and analysis of sequence data,
  2. the Synthetic Chemical Biology Core (SCBC) for design/synthesis of small molecules and peptides (especially fluorescent and other tagged molecules) and bioassays of molecular probes, and
  3. the Microfabrication and Microfluidics Core (MMC) for the production of unique microfabricated devices for studying genetically modified organisms and biological pathways.

The following projects have been chosen based on their relevance to the theme of the proposal and the credentials of the young investigators:

Current Research Projects

Current Pilot Projects

Past Research Projects (2012-2015)

Past Pilot Projects (2013-2016)


Recent News

February 2017
CMADP Project Investigators co-author Top Downloaded article in Lab on a Chip

CMADP Co-I awarded R01 from NIH National Cancer Institute

CMADP Graduate's research featured on cover of Genetics and in other journals

October 2016
CMADP Co-I receives Mathers Foundation grant

View all news »

Upcoming Events
Special seminar by Dr. James P. Landers
Commonwealth Professor in Chemistry,
Mechanical Engineering & Pathology
University of Virginia

Wednesday, May 17, 2017 at 3:00pm
Simons Auditorium, HBC, West Campus

"Integrated Microfluidic Systems for Forensic DNA Analysis"
In 2006, we demonstrated that microfluidic technology could provide a ‘lab-on-a-chip’ solution for real-world genetic analysis. Sample-in/answer-out functionality was shown for the detection of bacteria in mouse blood and in a human nasal swab, with a sub-30 minute analytical time for DNA extraction, amplification, electrophoretic separation and detection. We extrapolated these technology developments to the analysis of short tandem repeats (STR) in human DNA; these clinically-insignificant (presumably) tetranucleotide sequences function effectively for statistically-relevant matching in human identification. Our efforts led to the development of a commercializable system designed for implementation in crime labs for STR profiling convicted felons or, in some states, profiling arrestees in booking stations. An intricate but functional microfluidic architecture allowed sample-to-profile to be achieved from a cheek swab in less than 80 minutes, using nanoliter flow control, infrared thermocycling and rapid electrophoretic separation of DNA with 5-color fluorescence detection. We have since demonstrated the fabrication of hybrid microdevices composed of inexpensive polymeric materials, many of these commercial-off-the-shelf. We have designed, built and functionalized fully-integrated DNA analysis chemistry/microfluidics on a rotationally-driven system the size of a compact disc. With this system, DNA can be extracted from a swab, PCR amplified to generate an abundance of DNA fragments of the STR loci, followed by resolution of those fragments in a separation in a 4 cm Leff channel that is complete in <300 sec with a 2-base resolution. The processes that allow for swab in–profile out microfluidics are carried out on an instrument that can be carried in one hand and weighs ~14 lbs, ultimately allowing for facile rapid human identification/screening in the field.
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