About My Research
I’m working across multi-/interdisciplinary fields with the major focus of understanding individual’s health status on an integrative, organismic level and promoting population health. This is a fairly emerging topic especially in the fields of translational health sciences, biomedical science/engineering, and information sciences. The main concept is that the integrative and multiscale regulatory nature of physiological systems is challenging the traditional way of understanding their functioning status with deductive approaches, i.e., decomposing a system into its constituent pieces, studying each component, and reassembling the outputs to illustrate the original entity. Novel methods derived from statistical physics and nonlinear dynamics are emerging as promising tools to pinpoint these integrative behaviors of physiological systems from their dynamical outputs and uncover the possible degradations. The goal of my work is to bridge the gaps between these fundamental research and healthcare practices, and ultimately to grow them to be critical components of the new healthcare schemes and to help individuals better understand and, further, actively manage their health status and prevent from being diseased.
List of active topics/projects:
(1) Aging, neurodegeneration, and multiscale patterns in motor activity
(2) Sleep, life style, and cardiac autonomic function
(3) Methodological studies aiming to assess the multiscale, complex properties of physiological outputs
(4) Applied studies to translating new findings into health assessments and disease monitoring for individual healthcare
I have obtained my doctoral training in Biomedical Engineering at Shandong University, China, with a specific focus on the noninvasive assessment of cardiovascular function. During my PhD study, I have had my hands on many physiological data such as electrocardiogram, pulse wave, heart sound, and photoplethysmogram, and have read many books and articles about physiological fluctuations. Together they have opened me to the mysterious Complex Physiology field. After I obtained my PhD in June 2014, I decided to continue my research in the noninvasive physiological assessments while starting to focus more on this emerging complex physiology field. While obtaining my first postdoc training between middle 2014 to the end of 2015, I have been awarded two grants as PI which focused on the development of algorithms for the reliable assessment of complexity and interaction of physiological outputs using short recordings. With the support of my grants, I have developed new algorithm to reliably assess the complexity using short physiological signals (Want to know more!), and algorithm to assess the coupling of spontaneously-recorded, multichannel physiological signals (Know more!).
Currently, I am still working towards my long-term career goal by obtaining an in-depth training in the fields of Sleep Physiology and Neurobiology. My recent research focuses on understanding the neuropathological mechanisms of degraded fractal control in relation to Alzheimer's disease and dementia. Fractal is a concept from physics that describes the self-similar, or scale invariant behavior of many nonlinear and chaotic systems. Fractal suggests complex. Some early pioneered studies in the last two decades have found that spontaneous fluctuations in many physiological signals exhibit fractal structures and fractal control has since been accepted as a hallmark of healthy physiology.
Last update: 01/22/2018.