Lingyan Shi, an assistant professor of bioengineering at the University of California San Diego, is touted as one of the leading scientists in the world of ultrafast lasers and biomedical optics. She began diving into the field as a graduate student nearly a decade ago, and now runs her own lab at UC San Diego. She continues to research—via ultrafast laser scanning nonlinear optical microscopy, including stimulated Raman scattering (SRS) and multiphoton fluorescence—biological and medical questions such as metabolism, cancer, and neurodegenerative diseases in vivo. Among her crowning achievements has been addressing blood-brain barrier permeability using femtosecond laser scanning, early detection of tumors with second harmonic generation, and Raman spectroscopy as well as tumor metabolic heterogeneity with picosecond laser scanning SRS microscopy. Additionally, she has established a DO-SRS imaging platform for high-resolution imaging of metabolic dynamics.
“I am humbled and honored to receive this award,” Shi says. “This award will benefit my research in multiple aspects. First, it will increase my research’s visibility in this field and the scientific community and distinguish me from other peers in my grant application for my research. Second, this prize will extend my professional network and lead to more collaboration opportunities to broaden and establish industrial connections. It will also allow me to learn new progresses, discoveries, and technologies from the best professionals in the field, which I may use for my research. Third, this prize will bring me more opportunities that are helpful for current and future research. Furthermore, winning the award will help increase the global impact of my research, which will also broaden my network for scientific exchanges with researchers in different areas.”