Assistant Professor
LPSC 273

Education: Sean Burrows
B. S. Chemistry, University of Central Florida (2004) 

Ph.D. Chemistry, Texas Tech University (2009) 

Postdoctoral Associate, Duke University (2010-2012)

Group Webpage

Honors and Awards:
2015 Royal Society of Chemistry: Featured as Emerging Investigator in
Analytical Methods


Research Interests:

Biological systems are extremely complex with multiple processes working in concert. This complexity can be better elucidated with new and improved spectroscopic instrumentation. In our group Multi-Photon Induced Fluorescence and Surface Enhanced Raman Scattering will be used as analytical signals to elucidate the molecular biology of aggressive cancers. Our research will also focus on the exploration of unique biosensing recognition and transduction technologies. Two mechanisms of progression and/or metastasis of interest to our group are Epithelial to Mesenchymal Transition (EMT) and Mesenchymal to Epithelial Transition (MET).  To study the EMT/MET mechanisms we will look for messenger-RNA and micro-RNA associated with other EMT and MET markers (e.g. proteins, morphology, etc.).  Using cellular and tissue imaging technology developed in our group we will extend in vitro studies to in vivo and ex vivo studies. The overall aim of our research is to develop an interdisciplinary research program bridging chemistry, biology, and analytical instrumentation.


Positions Available:

All interested individuals should contact Sean Burrows directly at

Seeking talented undergraduate and graduate students with interests and skills in chemistry and biology.  Students will get the opportunity to use lasers and optics to better understand the molecular biology of aggressive cancers.


Representative Publications:

1.  Nicholas E. Larkey, Corinne N. Brucks, Shan S. Lansing, Sophia D. Le, Natasha M. Smith, Victoria Tran, Lulu Zhang, and Sean M. Burrows "Molecular structure and thermodynamic predictions to create highly sensitive microRNA biosensors", Analytica Chimica Acta, In Press 2016, DOI: 10.1016/j.aca.2015.12.040.

2.  C. Kyle Almlie, A. Hsiao, and Sean M. Burrows “Dye-Specific Wavelength Offsets to Resolve Spectrally Overlapping and Co-Localized Two-Photon Induced Fluorescence", Analytical Chemistry, 88 (2), 1462–1467 (2016).

3. Jacob Ramsey, Lixia Zhou, C. Kyle Almlie, Jordan Lange, and Sean M. Burrows “Achieving Plasmon Reproducibility from Surfactant Free Gold Nanostar Synthesis”, New Journal of Chemistry, 39, 9098-9108 (2015).

4.  INVITED, Emerging Investigator Issue: C. Kyle Almlie, Nicholas E. Larkey, and Sean M. Burrows “Fluorescent microRNA biosensors: a comparison of signal generation to quenching”, Analytical Methods, 7, 7296 - 7310 (2015).

5. Nicholas E. Larkey, C. Kyle Almlie, Victoria Tran, Marianne Egan, and Sean M. Burrows "Detection of miRNA using a Double-Strand Displacement Biosensor with a Self-Complementary Fluorescent Reporter", Analytical Chemistry, 86(3), 1853-1863 (2014).

6. K. Liu, Y.Tian, S.M. Burrows, R.D. Reif, D. Pappas, "Mapping Hydrodynamic Vortices in Microfluidic Networks using Flourescense Correlation Spectroscopy", Analytica Chimica Acta, 651, 85-90 (2009).

7.  S. M. Burrows, D. Pappas, “Comparison of Methods to Classify and Quantify Free and Bound States of Complexes using Single Molecule Fluorescence Anisotropy”, The Analyst, 134, 1911-1921 (2009).

8.   S. M. Burrows, P. Patel, D. Pappas, “Light Tolerance of R-Phycoerythrin and a Tandem Conjugate Observed by Single Molecule Recrossing Events”, Applied Spectroscopy, 63, 709-715 (2009).

9.   S. M. Burrows, D. Pappas, "Measuring Complexation by Single Molecule Fluorescence Anisotropy", The Analyst, 133, 870-873 (2008).

10. S. M. Burrows, R. D. Reif, D. Pappas, "Investigation of Photobleaching and Saturation of Single Molecules by Fluorophore Recrossing Events", Analytica Chimica Acta, 598, 135-142 (2007).