Dan Luo

Biological Engineering


Dan Luo is a Professor in the Department of Biological and Environmental Engineering. He works with DNA and RNA as both generic and genetic materials.

Research Focus

Nucleic acids play a critical role in living organisms as the carriers of genetic information. The Luo Lab has been using DNA as a true polymer and has developed generic DNA materials, including tree-shaped DNA, DNA gels, and DNA-nanoparticle hybrid assemblies. With these novel DNA materials, Professor Luo’s group is exploring real-world applications from biology to materials in diagnostics, pharmaceutics, protein production, drug delivery, cell culture, and optoelectronics.

Teaching Focus

Professor Luo’s teaching emphasizes active learning, and students are exposed to real-world problems and solutions. His current course is BEE 7600 Nucleic Acid Engineering, where students learn the structure-property-function relationship of nucleic acids.

Awards and Honors

  • Cornell Outstanding Educator for having most influenced a Merrill Presidential Scholar (2015) Cornell University
  • College Fellow (2013) American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering
  • Outstanding Accomplishments in Basic Research (2012) Cornell University College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
  • Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Grand Challenge Diagnostics Award recipient (2011) Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
  • Plenary speaker, 2nd Nano Today Conference (2011) Nano Today

Selected Publications

Journal Publications

  • Xu, X., Jagota, A., Peng, S. M., Luo, D., Wu, M., & Hui, C. Y. (2013). Gravity and Surface Tension Effects on Shape Change of Soft Materials. Langmuir. 29:8665-8671.
  • Yang, D. Y., Peng, S. M., Hartman, M. R., Gupton-Campolongo, T., Rice, E. J., Chang, A. K., Gu, Z., Lu, G. Q., & Luo, D. (2013). Enhanced transcription and translation in clay hydrogel and implications for early life evolution. Scientific Reports. 3:3165.
  • Tran, T., Cui, J., Hartman, M., Peng, S., Funabashi, H., Duan, F., Yang, D. Y., March, J. C., Lis, J. T., Cui, H., & Luo, D. (2013). A Universal DNA-Based Protein Detection System. JACS: Journal of the American Chemical Society. 135:14008-14011.
  • Hartman, M. R., Yang, D. Y., Tran, T. T., Lee, K., Kahn, J. S., Kiatwuthinon, P., Yancey, K. G., Trotsenko, O., Minko, S., & Luo, D. (2013). Thermostable Branched DNA Nanostructures as Modular Primers for Polymerase Chain Reaction. Angewandte Chemie: International Edition. 52:8699-8702.
  • Hartman, M. R., Ruiz, R. R., Hamada, S., Xu, C. Y., Yancey, K. G., Yu, Y., Han, W., & Luo, D. (2013). Point-of-care nucleic acid detection using nanotechnology. Nanoscale. 5:10141-10154.
  • Peer, D., Gianneschi, N., & Luo, D. (2013). Themed issue on nanoparticles in biology. Journal of Materials Chemistry B. 1:5174-5176.
  • Lee, J. B., Peng, S., Yang, D., Roh, Y. H., Funabashi, H., Park, N., Rice, E. J., Chen, L., Long, R., Wu, M., & Luo, D. (2012). A mechanical metamaterial made from a DNA hydrogel. Nature Nanotechnology. 109:816-820.
  • Ruiz, R., Katwuthinon, P., Kahn, J. S., Roh, Y. H., & Luo, D. (2012). Cell-Free Protein Expression from DNA-Based Hydrogel (P-Gel) Droplets for Scale-Up Production. Industrial Biotechnology. 8:372-377.
  • Yu, J., Peng, S., Luo, D., & March, J. C. (2012). In vitro 3D human small intestinal villous model for drug permeability determination. Biotechnology and Bioengineering. 109:2173-2178.
  • Sharma, A. N., Luo, D., & Walter, M. T. (2012). Hydrological Tracers Using Nanobiotechnology: Proof of Concept. Environmental Science & Technology. 46:8928-8936.

Presentations and Activities

  • DNA as Mateterials. A total of 18 invited presentations in year 2010. 2010. world wide.

Additional Links