For release: April 28, 2011
For press information, contact Gabrielle Maxey, 901/678-2843
Dr. Xiaohua Huang, an assistant professor of chemistry at the University of Memphis,
has been named a 2011 Ralph E. Powe Junior Faculty Enhancement Award Winner by Oak
Ridge Associated Universities (ORAU). This highly competitive $5,000 matching award
is given annually to select faculty during the first two years of their initial university
appointment to support promising new lines of research and promote collaboration with
Oak Ridge National Laboratory researchers.
Dr. Xiaohua Huang
Huang was one of 30 recipients selected from 118 candidates nominated by ORAU members.
She is the first University of Memphis faculty member to receive this honor.
Huang’s research is at the interface of analytical chemistry and cancer biology; it
centers on developing a simple, rapid, and ultrasensitive optical technique for in
vivo detection of circulating tumor cells (CTCs). The detection of CTCs can be used
to detect cancer at early stages, assess tumor stage, and predict therapeutic outcomes.
However, the low concentration of CTCs in the bloodstream makes their detection time-consuming,
labor-intensive, and technically challenging. Huang will use her Powe Award and matching
funds to develop a novel type of multi-functional nanoprobe and clinically practical
technique to address these challenges. Huang joined the U of M Department of Chemistry
in August 2010 following postdoctoral appointments at Georgia Tech and Emory University.
“Dr. Huang’s Powe Award is a wonderful recognition of the exciting directions she
has defined to tackle the problem of selectively identifying cancer cells in circulation
to allow earlier detection,” said Dr. Abby Parrill, professor and chair of chemistry
at the University of Memphis. “There is no doubt that Dr. Huang is the type of person
who sets impressive goals and lines up all the resources – human and technical – necessary
to achieve those goals. I can’t wait to see what she accomplishes in the next few