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Nominated by: Thomas Beck, University of Cincinnati (OH, USA)
“Dr Ashley Ross has made substantial research progress in the areas of bioanalytical chemistry since joining our department in 2017. She has a rapidly growing and recognizable presence in the bioanalytical community as evidenced by her frequent invitations to submit papers to themed collections, referee papers and invitations to give talks at both national and international conferences. Dr Ross has the full support of her colleagues who are here to mentor her as a junior faculty member. Starting a tenure-track position can be stressful and challenging but she was able to successfully set up her lab, attract students and publish their work in a relatively short amount of time. This demonstrates her ability to persevere and overcome challenges. Dr Ross has the potential to significantly impact and advance the field of bioanalytical chemistry and our department because of her cutting-edge approach to solving difficult analytical and bioanalytical problems. Overall, the innovative nature of her work will allow unprecedented measurements of localized brain-immune interactions for the first time. This work will not only advance how complex measurements are made in biological samples but will significantly impact both the neuroscience and immunology communities.”
1Describe the main highlights of your bioanalytical work.
Over the last decade, I have focused on developing both electrochemical and microfluidic tools to measure and understand complex biological signaling in the brain and immune system. My early work focused on developing new carbon surfaces and electrochemical methods to monitor sub-second adenosine fluctuations in the brain using fast-scan cyclic voltammetry. As a post-doc, I switched gears to engineering microfluidic platforms to culture and stimulate the lymph node with exquisite spatial resolution. Since beginning my independent career, I have combined my areas of expertise to create a new area: developing bioanalytical tools to monitoring neurochemical-regulated communication between the brain and the immune system. We have made strides in this area by developing new electrochemical methods to detect melatonin, guanosine, and purine signaling in the brain and the immune system. We have also developed new microfluidic platforms which are capable of sustained ischemic stimulation of brain tissue with simultaneous multiplexed purine detection and platforms which are capable of facilitating and measuring organ-organ communication in real-time. Lastly, we have discovered rapid fluctuations of sympathetic neuronal release of catecholamines in the immune system which has important implications for understanding neuroimmune crosstalk. Overall, our work has pushed the field to new areas of bioanalysis.