Wen Li Receives NSF CAREER Award

March 3, 2011

Wen Li, assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering, has received a National Science Foundation CAREER Award.

Funding from this five-year $400,000 grant, which began March 1, 2011, will support the development of biocompatible magnetic microsystems that permit seamless interfacing with nervous systems for studying and treating neural injuries and/or diseases.

The invention of new biomedical implants capable of monitoring and manipulating localized bio-electromagnetic fields will help reveal unknown cause-effect relationships between electrical and magnetic signals in biological systems. In-depth understanding of neural responses to localized magnetic fields will lay the foundation for new neural-machine-interfaces in neurophysiology and clinical neurology, and ultimately neural implants that provide bi-directional electromagnetic guidance cues to enable neural circuit re-growth and lost neural function restoration.

The proposed research could lead to the development of valuable tools to advance neuroscience and lead to new neural prostheses and therapies. This could mean the reduction of national healthcare costs and life quality improvement for patients suffering neural injuries and diseases.

Li received her PhD degree (2008) and MS degree (2004) in electrical engineering from the California Institute of Technology. Before that, she studied in Tsinghua University and received an MS degree in microelectronics (2003) and a BS degree in material science and engineering (2001).

Within the past two years, nine College of Engineering faculty have been named NSF CAREER Award winners.

View Li’s NSF award abstract