The Tian Research Group

Welcome to the Tian group


The Tian group is interested in probing the nanoscopic or molecular interface between the biological and inorganic systems, placing an emphasis on novel material synthesis and device conception. For example, we are interested in imitating cellular behaviour using semiconductor nanomaterials and augmenting existing biological systems with semiconductor components. We are also constantly developing new biophysical tools to understand subcellular dynamics. In particular, the ability to control the electrophysiology of living cells in real-time with good spatiotemporal resolution is crucial for advancing our knowledge of cellular signaling pathways. Recently, we are seeking designs and solutions for composite-based active matter. We are interested in exploring analogs to naturally occurring behaviours in the composites, and examining how these insights can be applied towards new material and device designs for applications in regenerative medicine.

“When you are enthusiastic about what you do, you feel this positive energy. It’s very simple.”

Paulo Coelho, the author of “The Alchemist”


“The only metrics that will truly matter to my life are the individuals whom I have been able to help, one by one, to become better people.”

Clayton M. Christensen, in “How Will You Measure Your Life?”.



Group Highlights

Featured Lab Members

Congratulations! Lingyuan, Vishnu, and Aleks attended the 2022 Convocation diploma ceremony. After the event, we had a photo shoot. Special thanks to our photographer, Przemek Grygiel.


Featured News

Bozhi hosted the UChicago Chemistry Alumni celebration event. We honored Professor Zhenan Bao from Stanford University. Check the video that highlights Professor Bao’s science and achievements!

Featured Publications

Aleksander Prominski et al. Porosity-based heterojunctions enable leadless optoelectronic modulation of tissues, Nature Materials

See the paper, and one video.

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