Ji-Xin Cheng, Ph. D.,Moustakas Professor in Photonics and Optoelectronics (Boston University)
Seeing the unseen in living systems through molecular fingerprints
Current medical imaging tools rely on physical or physiological properties, rather than molecular content of the tissue. Without specific molecular information (biomarkers), it remains difficult to differentiate metastatic diseases from the benign forms. For molecular analysis, current strategies involve tissue homogenization, separation, followed by in vitro assays to reveal the presence of molecules and their cellular concentrations. However, these approaches cannot provide the essential spatial and temporal dynamics information of molecules. Lacking the understanding of how molecules execute their functions in a living system has slowed the discovery of biomarkers for early diagnosis and precision treatment of human diseases. Ji-Xin Cheng and his research team are devoted to changing this conventional paradigm of medical imaging and bio-analysis through inventing and developing label-free spectroscopic imaging technologies (Science 2015, 350: 1054). Cheng will present the most forefront of the molecular spectroscopic imaging field in technology, application, and clinical translation perspectives.
Bio: Ji-Xin Cheng was born in Jixi, Anhui Province, P. R. China in 1971. He attended University of Science and Technology of China (USTC) from 1989 to 1994. From 1994 to 1998, he carried out his PhD study on bond-selective chemistry under the supervision of Qingshi Zhu at USTC. As a graduate student, he worked as a research assistant at Universite Paris-sud (France) on vibrational spectroscopy and the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) on quantum dynamics theory. After postdoctoral training on ultrafast spectroscopy in Yijing Yan’s group at HKUST, he joined Sunney Xie’s group at Harvard University as a postdoc, where he and others developed CARS microscopy that allows high-speed vibrational imaging of cells and tissues. Cheng joined Purdue University in 2003 as Assistant Professor in Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering and Department of Chemistry, promoted to Associate Professor in 2009 and Full Professor in 2013. He joined Boston University as the Moustakas Chair Professor in Photonics and Optoelectronics in summer 2017.
“Meet the Speaker” immediately following in BME Library MR5 2019