With a central theme of applying innovative engineering approaches to understand the brain, my research has span a diverse range of different disciplines including engineering, biomaterials, and neural cell biology.
The overarching theme of my current research is to develop clinically relevant human brain tissue models for translational research. My research attemps to answer the fundamental questions: How can we grow neural cells from surgically resected human brain tissue into a living organ in a dish? What are the fundamental functional features of the brain tissue that can be realized in a dish to understand the brain's neural network function?
My past research has made a consistent effort in applying cutting-edge technologies to probing mechanistic questions in the context of brain injury and repair. These technologies include bioMEMS, neural cell-electronics interface, material design and tissue engineering. My research accomplishments include biomechanical mechanisms underlying neuronal injury in brain trauma, novel biomaterial-based drug delivery systems for the brain, pioneering work in micro-fabrication of living tissue constructs, including biological hydrogel (collagen, gelatin and fibrin) and silk proteins, and bioengineered blood vessels, brain-like and nerve tissues.