I am a theoretical physicist by training, with expertise in analytical calculation, modeling, and data analysis. In 2009, I received my Ph.D. in Physics from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where my dissertation research on phase transitions in disordered systems was selected in the Best of 2009 Collection in Europhysics Letters.
Following my doctorate, I embarked on a postdoctoral fellowship, progressing to a Research Assistant Professorship at Northeastern University’s Department of Physics and Center for Complex Network Research (CCNR) from 2009 to 2012. During this period, my groundbreaking work on the controllability and observability of complex networks earned the spotlight in prestigious scientific publications such as a cover story in Nature, a cover story in PNAS, and a review article in Reviews of Modern Physics, among others, garnering widespread media attention.
In 2013, I joined the Channing Division of Network Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School as a faculty member, where I have since dedicated my efforts to exploring complex microbial communities, specifically the human microbiome. This research integrates community ecology, network science, control theory, and machine learning, with the aim of addressing fundamental questions in the human microbiome and their potential implications in disease treatment and precision nutrition. My contributions to the microbiome field have been published as original research articles in Nature, Nature Methods, Nature Machine Intelligence, Nature Communications, and an invited review article in Cell Systems, and have also been featured in a variety of media outlets such as NBC News, The Economist, and WIRED, among others.
In summary, my primary academic focus has been interdisciplinary research on controlling and observing complex biological systems. In addition to research, I am interested in teaching and professional service. I have been on the Program Committees of over ten international meetings, on the Editorial Board of three international journals, and an ad hoc reviewer for 64 international journals (including Nature, Science, Nature Physics, Nature Communications, Physics Review Letters, IEEE Transactions on Automatic Control, etc).