Medical Diagnostics and Devices, Therapy Discovery and Development
Dr. Sterling, who joined KGI in July 2000 as a founding faculty member, received his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Texas A&M University and MS and PhD degrees in mechanical engineering from the California Institute of Technology. Dr. Sterling helped develop a curriculum that prepares students of the applied life sciences to work in the development of laboratory research tools, laboratory automation, and micro-bioanalytical methods. Dr. Sterling led the development of the first Bioengineering Laboratory at KGI and directed the Team Master’s Projects (TMP) program, KGI’s industry-sponsored capstone project program from 2004-2010. Dr. Sterling served as Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of Faculty at KGI from 2009-2014 and from 2013-2015 he joined the Minerva Schools at KGI serving as the founding Interim Dean of the College of Natural Sciences and the Director of Minerva Labs.
His scientific interests have focused on fluid mechanics, chemically-reacting fluid flows, heat transfer, dynamical systems, and Lattice Boltzmann numerical methods. He worked at Los Alamos National Laboratory, TRW, and Advanced Projects Research, Inc. as a systems engineer and project manager, developing a keen interest in new product development and entrepreneurship. He was a co-founder of KGI spin-off Claremont BioSolutions and currently serves as Chair of the Board of Directors. Since 2015, his research passion has been in the study of microscale biological electrostatics and compartmentalization in biology.
Sterling JD, Baker SB. “A Continuum Model of Mucosa with Glycan-Ion Pairing”.Macromolecular Theory and Simulations, 1700079 January 2018
Sterling JD, Baker SB. “Electro-lyotropic equilibrium and the utility of ion-pair dissociation constants”. Colloid and Interface Science Communications 20C (2017) pp. 9-11.
Doebler RW, Erwin B, Hickerson A, Irvine B, Woyski D, Nadim A, Sterling JD. “Continuous-Flow, Rapid Lysis Devices for Biodefense Nucleic Acid Diagnostic Systems”. Jala 2009;14(3):119-125
Sterling JD, Miraghaie R, Nadim A. “Electrowetting and Droplets”. In: Li D, editor. Encyclopedia of Nano and Microfluidics. Heidelberg: 2008
Daneshbod Y, Sterling JD, Nadim A. “Moment analysis of near-equilibrium binding interactions during electrophoresis”. Physical Review e 2007;76(5):051922.(Also selected for the December 1, 2007 issue of Virtual Journal of Biological Physics Research)
Cooney CG, Chen CY, Emerling MR, Nadim A, Sterling JD. “Electrowetting droplet microfluidics on a single planar surface”. Microfluidics and Nanofluidics2006;2(5):435-446
Fabrizio EF, Nadim A, Sterling JD. “Resolution of multiple ssDNA structures in free solution electrophoresis”. Analytical Chemistry 2003;75(19):5012-5021
Ghorbanian K, Sterling JD. “Influence of formation processes on oblique detonation wave stabilization”. Journal of Propulsion and Power 1996;12(3):509-517
Sterling JD, Chen SY. “Stability analysis of lattice Boltzmann methods”. Journal of Computational Physics 1996;123(1):196-206
Alexander FJ, Chen S, Sterling JD. “Lattice Boltzmann Thermohydrodynamics”. Physical Review e 1993;47(4):R2249-R2252
Our lab studies the biochemistry/biophysics of mucosal surfaces and other biological processes involving ion-exchange. Mucosal health is managed by the barrier and transport functions of the mucosal epithelial cells and associated innate immune responses. The structure of these surfaces is dominated by the sea of anionic polysaccharides present as glycosoaminoglycans (GAGs) and the many mucins (typically megadalton sugars) which are either secreted from, or tethered to, mucosal epithelial and Goblet cells. The surface anionic groups are primarily carboxylates and sulfates that selectively pair with hydronium and cationic ions and amino acids as well as cationic peptides and growth factors. On the microscale, the mucosa are electrically neutral but maintain a negative electric potential (the Donnan potential) relative to adjacent saline fluids like tears or lung airway surface layers. Thus, ion-exchange is very important in the maintenance of mucosal health. We incorporate ion-specific effects into mathematical microscale engineering models of tissues. By doing so, we discover natural ion-exchange and electrophoretic processes and use the knowledge to help invent or improve therapeutics for diseases like cystic fibrosis, oral mucositis, and Crohn’s disease.