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Jia Liu

Harvard University, USA
Presenter Bio

Dr. Jia Liu received his Ph.D. degree in physical chemistry with Professor Charles M. Lieber from Harvard University in 2014. He then worked with Professors Zhenan Bao and Karl Deisseroth as a postdoctoral fellow at Stanford University. He is currently an Assistant Professor at the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Harvard University. His laboratory at Harvard University is primarily focusing on the development of new soft bioelectronics, cyborg engineering, genetic/genomic engineering and computational tools to address questions in brain-machine interface, neuroscience, cardiac diseases, and developmental disorders. Dr. Liu’s independent career has been recognized by recent awards, including a 2022 Young Investigator Program (YIP) Award from the Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR), a 2021 NIH/NIDDK DP1 Catalyst Award, a 2020 William F. Milton Award, and a 2019 Aramont Award for Emerging Science Research Fellowship.

Abstract: Soft and flexible bioelectronics for brain-machine interface
Large-scale brain mapping via brain-machine interface is important for deciphering neuron population dynamics, understanding and alleviating neurological disorders, and building advanced neuroprosthetics. Ultimately, brain mapping aims to simultaneously record activities from millions, if not billions, of neurons with single-cell resolution, millisecond temporal resolution and cell-type specificity over the time course of brain development, learning, and aging. In this talk, I will first introduce “tissue-like” soft bioelectronics that possess tissue-like properties, capable of tracking the electrical activities from the same neurons in the brain of behaving animals. Specifically, I will discuss the fundamental limits to the electrochemical impedance stability of soft electronic materials in bioelectronics and introduce our strategies to overcome these limits, enabling a scalable platform for the large-scale brain mapping. Then, I will discuss the building of “cyborg organisms”, where stretchable mesh-like electrode arrays are embedded in 2D sheets of stem/progenitor cells and reconfigured through 2D-to-3D organogenesis, enabling continuous 3D brain electrophysiology during brain development. Finally, I will discuss future perspectives that leverage the soft bioelectronics-brain interface to integrate single-cell spatial transcriptomics with electrical recording, opening opportunities for cell-type-specific brain mapping and functional brain cell atlas

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