Ji Yi, PhD

Assistant Professor

Office: Smith Building
Lab: Yi Lab


PhD, Biomedical Engineering, Northwestern University, 2012
MS, Biomedical Engineering, Northwestern University, 2009
BS, Biomedical Engineering, Tsinghua University, 2005

Research Interests

The structural organization of the biological systems are highly complex, spanning several orders of magnitude, from nanometers (e.g. chromatin compaction in nuclei) to centimeters (e.g. tissue and organ structures). How different components constitute the complex systems are the most fundamental and mysterious mechanisms in all lives, and we are to unravel these mechanisms by imaging.

We design and build novel optical microscopy, leveraging their high sub-cellular and cellular resolutions and sensitivity. A broad spectrum of biophotonics contrasts, including elastic scattering, fluorescence, non-linear light-tissue interaction, are combined to explore the structural and molecular information in behaving organisms.  We specialize in volumetric imaging techniques, (e.g. optical coherence tomography, scanned light sheet microscopy) to observe lives in sub-cellular details, 3D and in real-time. Combining all the multi-dimensional and multi-contrast imaging data, we are working on computational approaches to synthesize highly multiplexed imaging data and reveal unseen phenotypes that can be otherwise difficult to perceive using conventional tools.

We have strong interests in imaging human retina, our naturally-evolved “imaging device,” as well as the only part of the human central nervous system that can be visualized with subcellular resolution. We develop retinal imaging techniques to quantify the vascular dysfunction, ultra-structural alterations in early blinding pathologies (e.g. diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, ad AMD). As the retina shares many similarities with the cerebral cortex and yet has less neuronal cell types and simpler anatomy, the retina is an excellent target for studying neural circuitry and neurovascular coupling. Also, imaging our own “imaging device” is super-fun engineering.

Publications Search

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