The Algar Research Group is interested in developing optically active nanoparticles as platforms for biosensing and theranostics, including understanding the fundamental bio/physicochemical properties of such systems. Nanoparticles represent a new frontier for these applications: they provide unique optoelectronic properties that are often inaccessible with bulk or molecular materials, and, while sufficiently small to be used inside cells and tissues, they also provide surface area that can be chemically modified and decorated with functional biomolecules. The Algar Research Group’s current focus is exploiting the bright luminescence of semiconductor quantum dots for developing low-cost diagnostics for point-of-care applications, and developing probes for visualizing and measuring complex intracellular enzyme activity. They are also conducting basic studies to understand how enzymes interact with biofunctional quantum dots and how to use chemistry to tune those interactions. Their ambition is that tools developed in their laboratory will facilitate new healthcare solutions and biomedical discoveries.