My lab develops next-generation microscopy and spectroscopy tools that offer new functionality, resolution, and sensitivity for biological, chemical, and nanomaterials systems. In particular, we recently developed spectrally resolved super-resolution microscopy to synchronously obtain the fluorescence spectra and positions of millions of single molecules within minutes. Harnessing this capability and further incorporating environment-sensing fluorescent probes, we further demonstrated functional super-resolution microscopy, in which intracellular physicochemical parameters, including local chemical polarity (hydrophobicity), pH, viscosity, and protein activity, are detected with single-molecule sensitivity and nanometer resolution. We thus unveiled nanoscale compositional heterogeneity in live-cell membranes, multipath reaction pathways of single molecules, as well as unexpectedly rich behavior of surface adlayers at the nanoscale.

Awards and Achievements

  • Sloan Research Fellow
  • Pew Biomedical Scholar
  • NSF CAREER Award
  • The Talented 12
  • Chan-Zuckerberg Biohub Investigator