Dr Charles Lai
Charles is an Assistant Research Fellow at the Institute of Atomic and Molecular Sciences, Academia Sinica, and Adjunct Assistant Professor at National Taiwan University. A main arm of his group focuses on the development and application of imaging methods to study nanosized extracellular vesicles (EVs) and their cellular communication under physiologically relevant conditions.
He received his PhD from the University of British Columbia under the supervision of Dr. Christian Naus, and first reported the role of a non-canonical gap junction family, pannexins, in glioma oncogenicity. Charles joined Dr. Xandra Breakefield’s laboratory for his Postdoctoral Fellowship at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School. Findings from his studies identified accurate EV spatiotemporal properties which are critical for the understanding of EV-mediated communications and future biomimetic designs. His work also for the first time visualized EVs released from cells in live animals, thereby providing a direct evidence of their existence in living organisms. The highly sensitive EV imaging systems further contributed to uncover EV network hijacked by cancer cells for tumor growth and progression, as well as to develop microfluidic system for molecular profiling of tumor EVs.
Prior to his current position, Charles was an Assistant Professor at National Tsing Hua University, an Instructor at Harvard Medical School and an Assistant in Neuroscience at Massachusetts General Hospital. He has published over 20 research and review articles in reputable journals including ACS Nano, Nature Communications, Cancer Research, Oncogene and Science. He has since received national and international awards from the Canadian Institute of Health Research, International Society of Extracellular Vesicles, and American Society of Gene and Cell Therapy.