Guangyu Xu has been appointed to the prestigious Dev and Linda Gupta Professorship in the College of Engineering for a five-year term.
The purpose of the Gupta Professorship, focused on the areas of biomedical imaging and signal processing, is to encourage risk-taking and entrepreneurial pursuits by supporting new faculty who bring fresh ideas to the department of electrical and computer engineering (ECE) or current faculty pursuing new areas of inquiry.
The revolutionary research in Xu’s Integrated Nanobiotechnology Laboratory aims to build integrated molecule detection and cell imaging tools to study biological sciences and offer new biomedical applications. “We hope to access fundamental biological processes with high precision lab-on-a-chips,” notes Xu.
“Dr. Xu’s expertise in building electronic and optical systems to image and control neural activity, coupled with Dr. Dev Gupta’s recent interest in neuroscience, makes him a superb choice for this appointment,” remarks Christopher Hollot, department head for ECE.
Dev Gupta earned his doctoral degree in 1977 from the ECE department and received the Alumni Association Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of Massachusetts in 2010. He is the founder, chairman, and CEO of NewLANS, a company with a groundbreaking approach to developing broadband and wireless technologies. He and his late wife Linda established the professorship in 2000.
“The Gupta family’s generous endowment allows us to attract and retain leading faculty, to reward ingenuity and drive research innovations,” says Sanjay Raman, dean of the College of Engineering. “Dr. Xu’s impactful research tackles a key National Academy of Engineering Grand Challenge for the 21st century – to reverse engineer the brain and discover how it works and fails.”
Xu and his team recently received a four-year, $953,300 grant from the National Science Foundation to develop miniature, implantable hardware, which can record complex brain activity in animals and analyze it in real time. The research attracted key coverage by “Psychology Today” and will provide a more precise understanding of brain function and collecting data with potential applications to motor or cognitive diseases in humans.
“I am so honored and humbled,” said Xu. “This is a great recognition to my students, collaborators, and the tremendous support we have received from the ECE department and the College of Engineering.”
Before joining UMass Amherst in 2016, Xu worked as a postdoctoral associate in the MIT Media Lab Synthetic Neurobiology Group developing multiplexed cell imaging technologies.