The Tian Research Group

Welcome to the Tian group


The Tian group delves into the microscopic world where biology meets inorganic materials, with a focus on creating novel materials and devising innovative devices. For instance, we are fascinated by the idea of mimicking cellular behavior with semiconductor nanomaterials, and augmenting natural biological systems with semiconductor components. We are also constantly inventing new biophysical tools to unlock the secrets of subcellular dynamics. In particular, the ability to control the electrophysiology of living cells in real-time with high precision is crucial for advancing our understanding of cellular signaling pathways. Recently, we have been exploring the realm of composite-based active matter, seeking designs and solutions that mimic natural behaviors in these materials, and examining how these insights can be applied to create new materials and devices 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

Pengju Li has been working on neuromorphic engineering of high-efficiency non-genetic neural and cardiac modulation tools. Check out his latest perspective article with Saehyun Kim!


Featured News

Our work on the soil-inspired chemical system is published online in Nature Chemistry! This represents a new research area in the Tian lab.

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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