Vanderbilt Institute for Global Health

Global Health Topic(s)

Basic Sciences, Ebola virus disease (EVD), Engineering Sciences, Infectious Diseases, Malaria, Maternal and Child Health, Tuberculosis

Contact Information
5932 B Stevenson Center
BOX 351510 Station B
Vanderbilt University 37235


Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania
B.A., Haverford College

Link to Website

Rick (Frederick) Haselton Ph.D.

Professor of Biomedical Engineering
Professor of Chemistry
Professor of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences

We seek to develop technologies for diagnostic and research applications at the nano and molecular level using both in vitro and in vivo systems. Our laboratory has a strong collaborative and experimental focus as indicated by the current examples listed below.

Current Projects

“Coffee Ring Diagnostics for Malaria” – The goal of this Gates Foundation funded project (with David Wright in Chemistry) is to develop a low-cost & simple diagnostic device for the detection of malaria suitable for low resource environments. Our current design uses the presence of a malarial biomarker to alter the microfluidic transport of particles in an evaporating drop and produce visually detectable changes in particle ring formation.

"Multi-spectral quantum dot-based retinal imaging of molecular expression in vivo" – The unique optical properties of quantum dots offer the potential for new optical methods to study molecular events. This NIH funded project (with Ash Jayagopal in Chemistry and John Penn in Ophthalmology) seeks to develop a platform for the real-time, in vivo analysis of multiple cellular and molecular events in vivo using quantum dot nanocrystals and retinal fluorescence microscopy.

"Retinal imaging of prognostic indicators of atherosclerosis" – This quantum dot NIH funded project (with Sergio Fazio in Cardiovascular Medicine & Ash Jayagopal in Chemistry) seeks to use novel retinal imaging agents as a tool to predict the progression of atherosclerotic lesions in coronary arteries.

"Development of DNA Logic Operations for Viral Diagnostics" - The goal of this NIH funded project (with David Wright in Chemistry, Jim Crowe in the Medical Center) is to develop and evaluate a new paradigm in virus detection. The approach is based on a combination of nanoparticle surface chemistry, tag-specific DNA sequences, and DNA ligation logical AND operators.

"The role of Bves in the human cornea" – In this NIH funded project (with Min Chang in Ophthalmology) our long term objectives are to understand the role of the junction protein Bves, and more broadly, the molecular basis of corneal regeneration both in homeostasis and wound repair. Our central hypothesis is that Bves is important in corneal epithelial cellular migration and proliferation mediated through regulation of adhesion junctions.