Christopher J. Easley
Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry
Dr. and Mrs. Charles Dent Williams Professor

Research Areas: Analytical , Biochemistry , Clinical Lab Sciences

Office: 367 Chemistry Building

Lab: 254, 326, and 384 Chemistry Building

Phone: (334) 844-6967

Lab Phone: (334) 844-7472

Email: chris.easley (at)


University of Virginia, Ph.D.
Mississippi State University, B.S.

Professional Employment
C. Dent Williams Professor
2023 - present
ADR Fellow, College of Sciences and Mathematics (COSAM)
2023 - present
Graduate Program Officer (GPO)
2020 - 2023
Associate Editor, Analytical Methods, Royal Society of Chemistry
2017 - 2023
C. Harry Knowles Professor
2018 - 2023
C. Harry Knowles Associate Professor
2013 - 2018
Assistant Professor
2008 - 2013
NIH Postdoctoral Fellow, Vanderbilt University Medical Center
2006 - 2008

Honors and Awards
Fellow with the Associate Dean of Research (ADR Fellow), College of Sciences and Mathematics
Dean's Faculty Research Award, College of Sciences and a
Mid-Career Achievement Award, AES Electrophoresis Society
Young Faculty Scholar Award, College of Sciences and Mathematics

Research and Teaching Interests

Fast, Tiny, Bioanalytical Tools for Dynamic Studies of Endocrine Tissue Function

   The Easley laboratory is focused on the development of novel microanalytical techniques that allow us to perform unique experiments on biological systems.  Our research is focused on developing microfluidic methods and accompanying small-volume biochemical assays to study secretions from small numbers of cells in the form of intact, primary tissue.  We are interested in the consequences of cellular architecture and intercellular connections in tissue-level communication, and we study these effects using new microfluidic methods and customized small-volume (picoliter to nanoliter) assays developed by our lab members.

   Debilitating conditions such as diabetes, obesity, and metabolic syndrome are fundamentally linked to the endocrine system, and our laboratory studies two main types of endocrine tissue:  pancreatic islets and adipose tissue (fat).  Through secretion of insulin, islets have a dominant role in endocrine signaling.  Since it is now understood that adipose tissue is an active endocrine organ, we are using our custom microfluidics to capture and measure secretions from both islets and primary adipocytes at high temporal resolution. These methods are helping to improve our currently limited understanding of dynamic small-molecule and hormone secretion from the tissues, the links of secretory function to tissue-level connectivity, and the interplay between the two tissue types.

   The second major focus in our lab is to utilize DNA-antibody conjugates and DNA aptamers in cooperative sensing approaches, allowing highly sensitive and selective detection of protein and small molecule analytes from small volumes of sample and with simplified workflow.  Depending on the applicaiton, we use various readouts to accomplish the measurements, from standard fluorescence, fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET), custom thermofluorimetric methods (TFA), and electrochemical detection.  These unique measurements not only help with sensing on microfluidic devices, but they also are suitable for clinical readouts in human blood.

   Overall, research in our laboratory spans several scientific disciplines, from fundamental analytical chemistry, to molecular and cellular biology, and even some electrical circuit and instrument design.  Please visit our RESEARCH WEB PAGE for more details.

   Also, check out our Twitter feed @EasleyLab for our latest news and tweets.

Selected Publications

Hu, J.; *Easley, C. J., Development of a Mix-and-Read Assay for Human Asprosin using Antibody-Oligonucleotide Probes and Thermofluorimetric Analysis, 2023, under revision.

Kurian, A. S. N.; Mazumder, M. I.; Gurukandure, A.; *Easley, C. J., An Electrochemical Proximity Assay (ECPA) for Antibody Detection Incorporating Flexible Spacers for Improved Performance, ChemRxiv 2023, (under revision)

Gurukandure, A.; Somasundaram, S.; Kurian, A. S. N.; Khuda, N.; *Easley, C. J. Building a nucleic acid nanostructure with DNA-epitope conjugates for a versatile electrochemical protein detection platform, Anal. Chem. 2023, just accepted.  PDF

Kayirangwa, Y.; Mohibullah, M.; *Easley, C. J., Droplet-based µChopper device with a 3D-printed pneumatic valving layer and a simple photometer for absorbance based fructosamine quantification in human serum, Analyst 2023, 148, 4810-4819.  PDF

Kurian, A. S. N.; Gurukandure, A.; Dovgan, I.; Kolodych, S.; *Easley, C. J. Thermofluorimetric Analysis (TFA) using Probes with Flexible Spacers: Application to Direct Antibody Sensing and to Antibody-Oligonucleotide (AbO) Conjugate Valency Monitoring, Anal. Chem. 2023, 95, 11680–11686.  PDF

Khuda, N.; Somasundaram, S.; Urgunde, A.; *Easley, C. J., Ionic Strength and Hybridization Position Near Gold Electrodes Can Significantly Improve Kinetics in DNA-Based Electrochemical Sensors, ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces 2023, 15, 5019–5027.  PDF

Khuda, N.; Somasundaram, S.; *Easley, C. J., ­­­Electrochemical Sensing of the Peptide Drug Exendin-4 using a Versatile Nucleic Acid Nanostructure, ACS Sens. 2022, 7, 784-789.  PDF

Shi, N.; Mohibullah, M.; *Easley, C. J., Active Flow Control and Dynamic Analysis in Droplet Microfluidics, Annu. Rev. Anal. Chem. 2021, 14, 133-153.  PDF

Bezerra, A. B.; Kurian, A. S. N.; *Easley, C. J., Nucleic-Acid Driven Cooperative Bioassays using Probe Proximity or Split-Probe Techniques, Anal. Chem. 2021, 93, 198-214.  PDF
     - invited for 2021 Special Issue: Fundamental and Applied Reviews in Analytical Chemistry

Li, X.; *Easley, C. J., Microfluidic systems for studying dynamic function of adipocytes and adipose tissue, Anal. Bioanal. Chem. 2018, 410, 791-800. PDF
     -  Critical Review; Invited submission to the ABC 16th Anniversary Issue

Hu, J.; Yu, Y.; Brooks, J. C.; Godwin, L. A.; Somasundaram, S.; Torabinejad, F.; Kim, J.; Shannon, C.*; Easley, C. J.* "A Reusable Electrochemical Proximity Assay for Highly Selective, Real-Time Protein Quantitation in Biological Matrices," J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2014, 136, 8467-8474. PDF

Hu, J.; Wang, T.; Kim, J.; Shannon, C.; Easley, C. J. "Quantitation of femtomolar protein levels via direct readout with the electrochemical proximity assay." J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2012, 134, 7066–7072.  PDF


Last updated: 12/01/2023