Yiqing Lu
Yiqing Lu

Research spotlight

Yiqing Lu, PhD
Macquarie University Research Fellow
Department of Physics and Astronomy

How long have you been a researcher at Macquarie?

I enrolled at Macquarie as a cotutelle PhD student (partner with Tsinghua University, Beijing, China) in Dec 2009. I completed my joint project and submitted my PhD thesis in Jun 2013, and continue pursuing my research interests here as a MQ research fellow.

Give us an elevator pitch of your research area…

I am interested in light, which is said to be the first substance created by God in Genesis and now is known as the gathering of photons. My research is particularly centred in the cross-disciplinary field of bio-nano-photonics, that is, discovery and application of the novel properties of light on the nanometre (a millionth of a millimetre) scale for the study of molecules, cells and tissues. This emerging direction is considered to have great potential to revolutionise a broad range of areas including environmental science, agriculture, life sciences and medicine.

In layman’s terms, what is the wider impact of your research?

Contemporary life sciences require advanced methods to study a large number of molecular species at the same time, in order to reveal their naturally complicated behaviour and interaction. However, existing techniques are practically limited to the order of a magnitude of 100. My research is focused on so-called optical multiplexing techniques that are intended to substantially increase the throughput and accuracy for biosensing and analysis in an automated and cost-efficient way. The key Intellectual Properties invented by our team have attracted significant interest from the biomedical industry, and I believe that through further development and validation, they will contribute to timely diagnosis and treatment at the early stage of illness, particularly in the era of “personalised medicine”.

What was your favourite and/or most proud research moment?

Though the most proud moment in my research career is yet to come, I have always been taking great delight in those “eureka” moments – whenever I discover something unknown before or make a new method work – no matter how trivial they might be. It is curious heart that drives me to research and I believe every piece of knowledge learned today will become useful to society some day.

Yiqing was the recipient of the 2013 Excellence in Higher Degree Research – Science and Engineering Award. Learn more about High-speed OSAM scanning microscopy for early diagnosis.