I am an imaging person. All my research projects are based on various in vivo imaging technologies. During my Ph.D. training, I was involved in developing and optimizing synchrotron X-ray tomography systems and micro/nano-imaging researches based on quantitative analysis of the 3-D microstructures of the brain. Because my Ph.D. training mainly focused on the technology itself, my interest evolved into how to use such technologies to solve biological questions in neuroscience fields. This brought me to Stanford.
My research project with Dr. John Oghalai at Stanford was to determine the mechanisms of cochlear trauma after blast injury. I studied cochlear damage pathways using a combination of techniques. These included not only 3D cochlear imaging in vivo using optical coherence tomography, but also more routine approaches such as cochlear electrophysiology and immunohistochemistry. This research is important because it strives to understand the fundamental mechanisms of hearing loss.
In Ricci lab, I am studying the dynamics of peripheral auditory encoding by functional monitoring of multiple cochlear cells. First of all, I’ve developed in vivo cochlear multicellular imaging method with preserved hearing function, for which I have resolved many challengeable issues. I am applying genetically encoded calcium indicators to the in vivo imaging method for monitoring hair cells in action during sound stimulations. Furthermore, I am using the in vivo method to determine the route of aminoglycoside entry into the cochlea.
Outside of research, I enjoy traveling, hiking, skiing, and swimming. Visiting museums and listening to music also makes me very happy. I like sharing different ideas about life and science with my lovely friends while drinking beer or wine.