BSC Weekly Meeting > Drs. Wei & Akhtari

  • Tuesday, January 13, 2015
  • 11:30 am-12:30 pm
  • BSRB room 154
  • Los Angeles, CA

Two PIs, Drs. Fang Wei and Massoud Akhtari, present their technologies for the Venture Team program. We will be forming interdisciplinary teams of students to investigate the potential business opportunities around those technologies. If the opportunity interests you, please send us an email at

Dr. Fang Wei
A Strip Test for Melamine Detection
Due to high nitrogen content and low cost, Melamine it has been illegally added to food products to mislead the standard protein test that is based on the total nitrogen content. High levels of melamine exposure pose adverse health risks. Currently, the prevailing methods for the detection of melamine in food include ELISA and various chromatography-spectrometry based tools, though these methods require exhaustive sample pretreatment, expensive equipment, and skilled personnel. Researchers from UCLA have developed a rapid, low-cost screening tool for melamine detection that can be used in remote and underdeveloped areas. The Wei Lab at the UCLA School of Dentistry has developed a non-antibody based test strip to detect melamine.

Dr. Massoud Akhtari
Tentative Visualization of Alzheimer’s Disease on MRI
For decades, diagnosis of AD has relied on the evaluation of cognitive impairment by neuropsychological tests. However, Beta­amyloid (A­beta) plaques and neurofibrillary tangles, the pathological hallmarks of the disease, actually appear in the brain much earlier. Recent efforts to identify these brain lesions early, including by positron emission tomography (PET) imaging or by cerebral spinal fluid (CSF) testing, have met with some success. Recently, researchers at UCLA have developed a targeted and non­radioactive compound that produces MRI image contrast enhancement of specific brain tissues containing A­beta plaques and neurofibrillary tangles. This innovation is designed to use a non­invasive method and widely available equipment to help physicians diagnose AD patients and monitor their disease progression and/or response to treatment objectively and quantitatively.