Tsinghua University News

The Nobel Prize Winner Prof. Steven Chu joins TBSI’s External Advisory Board

The Nobel Prize Winner Prof. Steven Chu joins TBSI’s External Advisory Board


On September 26th, Professor Steven Chu from Stanford University, the winner of 1997 Nobel Prize in Physics, was invited to visit the Tsinghua-Berkeley Shenzhen Institute (TBSI) and to give a lecture to students and faculty, whose title was Progress in Molecular and Ultrasound Imaging in Biology and Bio-medicine. The Core-PI from TBSI and industry audience listened to the lecture with the students, and engaged in some active questions after the lecture with Professor Chu.

Professor Steven Chu’s speech focused on recent progress in ultrasound super resolution imaging and the development and applications of rare-earth nanoparticle probes in biology and biomedicine. His group used the rare-earth nanoparticles Er3+ and Yb3+ imbedded in a crystalline host to achieve long-term live cell tracking of dynein transport with millisecond time resolution. Rare-earth nanoparticle probes are nanometer-sized, bright, photostable, non-toxic and able to label single proteins in cells and tissues. Professor Chu’s group are aiming to attain ~10 nanometer spatial resolution for live cell imaging. In clinics, ultrasound imaging is extensively used worldwide.

In the second half of the lecture, Professor Chu shared new approaches to greatly improve the resolution of ultrasound imaging through reducing speckle noise. Angular compounding with nine angles along with frequency compounding can lead to 6~8 times speckle noise reduction.

The bio-harmless detection methods produced by Professor Chu are able to obtain unprecedented high-resolution ultrasound images of living biological tissues and monitor molecular migration in living cells or tissues, which will make a significant contribution to the fields of biology and biomedicine.

After the lecture, as a representative of the TBSI, the core-director Professor Lin Zhang issued a certificate to Steven Chu officially appointing him a consultant of the External Advisory Board (EAB). Professor Chu’s parents both came from Tsinghua University in the 1940s. They wrote two letters to the university when they graduated. Professor Zhang gave two photocopies to Professor Chu as a gift. Afterwards, Professor Zhang showed the TBSI’s labs and scientific achievements to Professor Chu.

The TBSI’s External Advisory Board held its first meeting on 26th March, 2018, and elected Eric Grimson, the former president of MIT, as its chairman. Eight of the world’s top scholars became founding members, including Emeritus Professor Chenming Hu from UC Berkeley, the former president of Tokyo Tech Professor Kenichi Iga, the Deputy Provost of UC Berkeley Professor Tsu-Jae King Liu and Professor Fiona M. Doyle, the Provost of Nazarbayev University Professor Ilesanmi Adesida, the President of the University of Surrey Professor Max Lu, and Professor Leonidas Guibas from Stanford University.    

It is an honor to invite Professor Steven Chu to join the EAB, which will further enhance the international influence and reputation of the TBSI and inject more theoretical foundations and practical experience into the interdisciplinary concept of the institute. 


Contributor: Tsinghua-Berkeley Shenzhen Institute (TBSI)
Editors: John Olbrich, Guo Lili