Microbes are abundant and diverse. They participate in many environmental nutrient cycles and affect human health. However, little is known about the genetic makeup and phenotypic responses of microbial communities to different and changing environmental conditions. I am interested in applying novel experimental techniques such as microfluidics, time-lapse imaging, DNA sequencing, and bioinformatics in order to probe microbial diversity and function at genomic, transcriptomic, and phenotypic levels with single-cell resolution.
I recently completed my Ph.D. in the Quake lab at Stanford University, under joint supervision of Dr. Stephen Quake and Dr. Mark Horowitz. One of my main research projects involves developing a microfluidic-based metagenomic method to identify novel bacterial phylogenies. Another project studies cyanobacterial physiology at the single-cell level using a microfluidic cell culture setup. Before Stanford, I attended Caltech and received my B.S. in Electrical Engineering. Under the supervision of Dr. Yu-Chong Tai, my research focused on designing and fabricating MEMS (microelectromechanical system) check valves for various biomedical implants.
As a technology, microfluidics offer many advantages compared to traditional methods of experimentation. Its precise liquid handling capability and high throughput nature make possible the collection of scientific data that are unfeasible otherwise. However, due to long design-build-test cycles and complex control setups, many researchers choose not to adopt microfluidic platforms. Therefore, as another goal of my scientific career, I aim to alleviate technical hurdles hindering the wide adoption of microfluidic systems.