Research Summary

The Single Cell Analytic Center's (SCAC) mission is to innovate the next-generation of diagnostic systems and methods that will enable the development of new standards of patient care. Led by Dr. Michael Pugia, the center is developing a state-of-the art technology platform for bioanalytical applications in life sciences. This platform makes it possible to measure the most basic elements of cell biology and solve today’s problems in cellular analysis with detection limits far lower than current methods.

Signal Ion Emission Reactive Release Amplification (SIERRA) technology is the key technology platform based on innovations in nanoparticles and microfluidics. This new platform provides access to previously inaccessible information and tools for complex biological systems needed for evaluations of diseases and treatments.


The Rare Cell Analyzer Team is working across several new analytical capabilities in material sciences, mass spectroscopic analysis, and electrochemistry, to leverage the SIERRA platform to make complex measurements faster, simpler and more accessible for researchers and clinicians at the point of care, and in the central clinical laboratory.

Life Science Applications are being developed with leading analytical researchers to provide new bioanalytical solutions to the life sciences marketplace. These new methods support biodiversity by enabling simultaneous analysis of proteome, genome, metabolome, secretome and lipidome, even down to the individual cellular level.

Healthcare Research Applications are being enabled for high-sensitivity affinity assays and genetic amplifications needed to convert todays novel cell biology into tomorrow’s diagnostics and therapies. The focus is on a bioanalytical core competency, which allows a seamless system for transition from life sciences research to the clinic.

Lab Team

SCAC Lab Team

The IBRI SCAC Lab Team: From left, back row: Daniel Debroy, PhD, Postdoctoral Fellow; Dylan Frabutt, PhD, Postdoctoral Fellow; Zane Baird, PhD, Staff Scientist; Tiyash Bose, PhD, Postdoctoral Fellow; Zehui Cao, PhD, Senior Staff Scientist; Marco Tijoe, PhD, Postdoctoral Fellow;  From left, front Row: Anna Vorsilak, Research Analyst; Michael Pugia, PhD, Research Fellow, Director of the SCAC; Doreen Eastes, Research Analyst.

SCAC Postdoctoral Team

The IBRI’s Single Cell Analytics Center Post-Doctoral Program Team: From left: Michael Pugia, PhD, Research Fellow and Director of the Single Cell Analytics Center; Marco Tijoe, PhD, Postdoctoral Fellow in Mass Spectrometry Clinical Assays; Dylan Frabutt, PhD, Postdoctoral Fellow in Infectious Disease Assays; Tiyash Bose, PhD, Postdoctoral Fellow in Electrochemisty; Daniel Debroy, Postdoctoral Fellow in Microfluidics.

SCAC Undergraduate Team

The IBRI’s Single Cell Analytics Center Undergraduate Team (Summer 2018): From left: Alyssa Shuey, Purdue University; Michael Pugia, PhD, Research Fellow and Director of the Single Cell Analytics Center; Senait Nega, Arsenal Tech High School; Ian McLuckey, Purdue University; Monica Barron, Indiana University-Purdue University-Indianapolis; Regina Barron, Indiana University-Purdue University- Indianapolis.

Highlights and Publications

  • Pugia, Michael & J Newman, David & A Lott, John & D'Mello, Lucia & Clark, Larry & A Profitt, James & Cast, Todd. (2003). Detection of low-molecular-weight proteins in urine by dipsticks. Clinica chimica acta; international journal of clinical chemistry. 326. 177-83. 10.1016/S0009-8981(02)00304-2. 
  • Pugia, Michael & Takemura, Toskihiho & Kuwajima, Shiro & Suzuki, Motoyohisa & K Cast, Todd & A Profit, James & S Schulman, Lloyd & Ohta, Yoshihide & A Lott, John. (2002). Clinical utility of a rapid test for uristatin. Clinical biochemistry. 35. 105-10. 10.1016/S0009-9120(02)00288-6.
  • A. Bartsch, Richard & L. Cowey, Charles & Elshani, Sadik & Goo, Mi-Ja & Huber, Vincent & N. Ivy, Sheryl & J. Johnson, Russell & Seung Kim, Jong & Luboch, Elzbieta & A. Mcdonough, Joseph & Pugia, Michael & Son, Byungki. (2001). Synthesis of lariat ether carboxylic acids based on dibenzo-16-crown-5. Journal of Heterocyclic Chemistry - J HETEROCYCL CHEM. 38. 311-331. 10.1002/jhet.5570380201.
  • Shihabi, Zak & P Schwartz, R & Pugia, Michael. (2001). Decreasing the variability observed in urine analysis. Annals of clinical and laboratory science. 31. 99-102. 

View All of Mike Pugia's Publications