Richard Zare

Richard N. Zare, PhD, Marguerite Blake Wilbur Professor in Natural Science; Professor of Chemistry; Professor of Physics; Stanford University School of Humanities & Sciences

Research Description: Richard Zare has a longstanding interest in physical and analytical chemistry.  He is especially interested in applying cutting edge physical and chemical techniques to solve biological medical problems. He is probably best known for first introducing laser-induced fluorescence (LIF), which has proven to be so powerful in biochemical research from cell sorting to single-molecule detection to super high-resolution microscopy to sequencing the human genome. His laboratory has pioneered the development of several biologically relevant novel techniques, including the design of hybrid protein-polymer nanoparticles for drug delivery, cell sorting with cell-imprinting, single-cell microfluidics, and single-molecule spectroscopy. He has also developed conducting polymer nanoparticles for electroresponsive drug delivery, virus- or cell-imprinted protocols and several new mass spectrometric techniques including two-step laser mass spectrometry, Hadamard transform time-of-flight mass spectrometry, etc. They have developed polymeric drug nanoparticles that successfully release therapeutic payload as the result of external stimuli, and/or capable to deliver drugs in vivo to elicit targeted therapeutic effect.  Recently, his lab developed the ambient ionization techniques in which the ionization step is done outside the vacuum environment of the mass spectrometer in open air at room temperature. By bombarding a tissue sample with droplets of a 1:1 mixture of acetonitrile and dimethyl-formamide lipids are dissolved and transported to the heated entrance of a mass spectrometer for chemical analysis. Currently, his group is investigating use of this novel method to identify secreted molecules from pancreatic islets, taking advantage of the Stanford Pancreas Islet Procurement and Biology Core. This research focus fits well with the Stanford DRC mission to recruit established investigators to diabetes research through its cores and scientific outreach.


Selected relevant publications (Stanford DRC Members in BOLD):

  1. Hosseini-Nassab N, Samanta D, Abdolazimi Y, Annes JP, Zare RN. Electrically controlled release of insulin using polypyrrole nanoparticles. Nanoscale. 2016 Dec 8. [Epub ahead of print].
  2. L. S. Eberlin, K. Margulis, I. Planell-Mendez, R.N. Zare, R. Tibshirani, T. A. Longacre, M. Jalali, J. A. Norton, G. A. Poultsides, "Pancreatic Cancer Surgical Resection Margins: Molecular Assessment by Mass Spectrometric Imaging," PLOS Medicine 13 e1002108 (2016).
  3. L. S. Eberlin, J. V. Mulcahy, A Tzabazis, J. Zhang, H. Liu, M. M. Logan, H. J. Roberts, G. K. Lee, D. C. Yeomans, J. Du Bois and R. N. Zare, "Visualizing Dermal Permeation of Sodium Channel Modulators by Mass Spectrometric Imaging," J. Am. Chem. Soc. 136, 6401-6405 (2014).
  4. L. S. Eberlin, R. Tibshirani, J. Zhang, T. A. Longacre, G. Berry, D. B. Bingham, J. A. Norton, R. N. Zare, and G. A. Poultsides, "Molecular Assessment of Gastric Cancer Surgical Resection Margins by Mass Spectrometric Imaging," Proc. Nat. Acad. Science (USA) 111, 2436-2441 (2014).
  5. L. S. Eberlin, M. Gabay, A. C. Fan. A. M. Gouw, R. Tibshirani, D. Felsher, and R. N. Zare, "Alteration of the Lipid Profile in Lymphomas Induced by MYC Overexpression," Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 111, 10450-10455 (2014).