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Vallee Scholar Lu Wei

Lu Wei, PhD

Assistant Professor of Chemistry
California Institute of Technology
Vallee Scholar 2022

Innovations in optical spectroscopy and microscopy have revolutionized our understanding in live biological systems at the subcellular level. Research in the Wei lab is focused on developing next-generation functional vibrational spectro-microscopy to investigate cellular activities with unprecedented spatial, temporal and molecular precision. By devising new functional chemical imaging strategies, the Wei lab has made advancements for super-resolution label-free chemical imaging; live-cell quantification and spectral analysis for the native polyQ aggregates, the key hallmark for Huntington’s disease; Raman-guided subcellular pharmacometabolomics for uncovering the metabolic susceptibilities in metastatic melanoma; and photo- and chemical- chromic Raman spectro-microscopy for noninvasive subcellular tracking and local environment sensing. With the support of the Vallee Scholar Award, Lu is particularly interested in applying these new molecular imaging tools to decipher systems-wide information of metabolic control in the brain at the subcellular level with the integration of current state-of-the-art techniques. The lab aims to understand how the chemical activities cooperate with normal brain functions and how they become deregulated under diseased conditions.

Lu Wei is an Assistant Professor of Chemistry in the Division of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech). She earned her PhD from Columbia University in 2015, working with Wei Min and continued her postdoc training also at Columbia University. Since starting her independent career in 2018, Lu has received the Blavatnik Regional Awards for Young Scientists, the NIH Director's New Innovator Award, the Emerging Leader in Molecular Spectroscopy Award, and the Sloan Research Fellowship. Lu is also a Heritage Medical Research Institute (HMRI) investigator at Caltech.

Wei Lab