Investigating rare biological materials to "decode" the fundamentals
I am an Assistant Professor of Radiology at Stanford University. My research lies at the interface of biology, engineering, nanotechnology, and medicine. My research group develops and applies translational micro/nanotechnologies to study cellular heterogeneity and complex biological systems for single-cell analysis and precision medicine. At this unique nexus, we apply key biological principles to design engineering platforms. My research philosophy is to apply these platforms to fundamentally understand and address the mechanisms of disease (i.e., cancer, infections). I have demonstrated the magnetic levitation of living cells and its application to detect minute differences in densities at the single-cell level. My laboratory now applies this unique tool to perform ultra-sensitive density measurements, magnetic blueprinting, imaging, sorting, and profiling of millions of cells and rare biological materials in seconds in real-time at a single-cell resolution. We have sorted rare circulating tumor markers and cells from patient whole blood using label-free levitation methods, which cut across multiple disciplines of magnetics, microfluidics, and molecular biology.
My passion is to bridge the gap between biology, engineering, and nanotechnology; to develop simple, inexpensive, easy-to-use, yet, broadly applicable platforms that will change the way in which medicine is practiced as well as how patients are monitored, diagnosed and treated for precision medicine.
Through my interdisciplinary training as an international, female bioengineer, I recognized technical innovation can be a force for positive social change. This inspires me to help democratize and diversify research around the world and I have a strong commitment to teaching at all levels. I deeply value and advocate for diversity of people, ideas, and equal opportunities for all in education.