Dr. Lei Li is an incoming Assistant Professor of Electrical Computer Engineering at Rice University. His primary research interest is to build next-generation medical imaging devices to better understand the brain and more clearly perceive disease states. He has developed advanced photoacoustic computed tomography (PACT)—an non-invasive imaging modality that combines light and sound for deep-tissue imaging—to visualize wholebody dynamics, map whole-brain functional connectivity, and diagnose human breast cancer. He has developed a PACT-guided microrobotic system to navigate and control microrobots inside the body for drug delivery. He has also integrated photoswitchable proteins with PACT to monitor tumor metastasis and visualize intratumor protein interactions. Pushing the benchtop photoacoustic system toward wearable devices, he introduced ergodicity into PACT and developed a high-throughput imaging system with significantly reduced size and complexity, promising wearable applications.
Dr. Li obtained his Ph.D. from the Department of Electrical Engineering at California Institute of Technology (Caltech) in 2019. He then continued his research at Caltech as a postdoctoral scholar in the Department of Medical Engineering. He will join Rice in Jan 2023 as part of the Rice Digital Health Initiative.