Bio-X SIGF Graduate Student Fellow

Awarded in 2017
Home Department: Electrical Engineering
Faculty Advisors: Manu Prakash (Bioengineering), Fabian Pease (Electrical Engineering), and Leo Hollberg (Physics)

Research Title: Open, configurable high-throughput imaging platform for diagnostics and research

Research Description: Throughput can often be a limitation in manual microscopy. By taking advantage of components in mass produced consumer products and DIY electronics, Hongquan works on developing microscopes that are not only low-cost, but also automated. Photo of graduate student Hongquan Li in the lab, operating equipment while wearing red-tinted safety glasses.The automation both increases throughput and makes streamlined software processing possible. One application is in malaria diagnosis. Today malaria is still a major global health burden directly affecting hundreds of millions of people, most of whom lack access to infrastructure and health care. While malaria is curable, accurate diagnosis in the field remains an open problem. With the low-cost automated microscopy platform being developed that is capable of screening more than one million blood cells per minute for intracellular malaria parasites, Hongquan hopes to help address the unmet needs in malaria control and elimination.


Hongquan is a cofounder and CEO of Cephla, a startup building open and versatile microscope platforms and solutions with the goal of accelerating discoveries and solutions.