I'm a Ph.D. student co-advised by Dr. Karl Deisseroth and Dr. Zhenan Bao, and have a unique opportunity to pursue new multi-disciplinary research to develop bioelectronic materials/devices for various applications, particularly for use in the brain (neural systems analysis, bionic devices, neural repair/therapy). I am currently working to characterize brain samples processed with CLARITY, a new technique that enables the visualization of fully-assembled tissues via their transformation into transparent hydrogel-tissue hybrids. I am a recipient of the DOD National Defense Science & Engineering Graduate (NDSEG) Fellowship, and am currently supported by the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship.
Deisseroth Lab: Tools for probing and manipulating neural circuitry
*PI: Dr. Karl Deisseroth, Professor of Bioengineering and Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences
The Deisseroth Lab develops and applies high-resolution tools for controlling and mapping specific well-defined elements within intact and fully-assembled biological systems to study neural physiology and behavior in freely-moving mammals. The lab is interested both in natural behaviorally-relevant neural circuit dynamics, and in pathological dynamics underlying neuropsychiatric disease symptomatology and treatment.

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Below is a visual introduction to CLARITY, a physiological process invented by our lab in 2013 that renders an entire mouse brain into a transparent polymer-tissue hybrid that preserves nearly all bio-structural information. CLARITY has been lauded as one of the top recent innovations in neuroscience, as it enables rapid 3D mapping of neural connectivity in intact brains. The technique was recently featured on the cover of the 2016 Scientific American Special Report. The focus of my Ph.D. thesis is to understand how the formation of synthetic material occurs within the tissue, and better understand the chemical relationships and principles that generate the resulting structure. In doing so, I hope to create a body of knowledge that describes how polymer-tissue hybrids can be logically designed, as well as enable others to characterize and quantify properties unique to optically transparent tissue.

Bao Group: Organic and carbon nanomaterials for electronic devices
*PI: Dr. Zhenan Bao, Professor of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science & Engineering, by courtesy
Research areas in the Bao Group include synthesis of functional organic and polymer materials, organic electronic device design and fabrication, and applications development for organic electronics. Research involves concepts and expertise from chemistry, chemical engineering, biomedical engineering, materials science and engineering, physics, and electrical engineering. The devices of current interest are organic and carbon nanotube thin film transistors, organic photovoltaic cells, chemical/biological sensors and molecular switches.

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The Bao Group is an active contributor to the development of electronic skin (E-Skin). Our E-Skin is stretchable, flexible, and self-healing, and can be integrated with several types of sensors. In a study published in Science in October 2015, we fabricated a flexible sensor that mimics mechanoreceptors in human skin that can sense different levels of pressure, and connected it to neurons in order to demonstrate that it could stimulate life-like responses. This material can be applied to surfaces that require touch feedback sensitivity, such as fingers on a prosthetic hand or tools for robotic surgery. Below is a descriptive video of our project, which was featured by: Time, The Washington Post, Popular Science, Discover Magazine, and MIT Technology Review.

My voice is heard starting at 1:08.