Engineering science and mechanics professor named 2021 Scialog Fellow


By Tessa M. Pick

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Huanyu “Larry” Cheng, Dorothy Quiggle Career Development Professor in Penn State’s Department of Engineering Science and Mechanics, has been named a 2021 Scialog Fellow by the Research Corporation for Science Advancement.

As part of this fellowship program, Cheng will have the opportunity to participate in the 2021 Scialog: Advancing Bioimaging Initiative, sponsored by the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, the Research Corporation for Science Advancement and the Frederick Gardner Cottrell Foundation. This initiative brings together early career scientists and engineers to collaborate on multidisciplinary research that aims to solve scientific challenges of a global scale, according to the program’s website.

“As a Scialog Fellow, Dr. Cheng will have the opportunity to collaborate with the world’s leading experts in advanced bioimaging,” said Judith Todd, head of engineering science and mechanics. “Dr. Cheng is an excellent example of how engineering research can have a true impact on the world. He is pioneering a new photoacoustic tomography-based toolset with the potential for future routine brain imaging in freely moving humans. His stretchable and wearable ultrasound matrix array will seamlessly conform to the skull’s shape. It aims to improve the spatial, depth and temporal resolution of brain images compared to those of conventional techniques. This research will positively influence the field of bioimaging for years to come.” 

Cheng was nominated for this fellowship by Todd.

“I'm humbled to be selected as a Scialog Fellow, with opportunities to accelerate the work of 21st-century transformational science through research, dialog and community,” Cheng said. “I highly appreciate the nomination from Dr. Todd and the support from my colleagues and the University.”

Cheng’s research covers an array of topics, mostly focused on the design, fabrication and application of wearable devices and degradable electronics for biomedicine. Most recently, Cheng’s published work included research focused on developing wearable sensor health monitors that could potentially administer drugs through human saliva and tears.

Cheng and his team are also working on a type of photoacoustic tomograph that would enable 3D imaging of the human cortex and a wearable sweat patch that monitors cytokine in order to detect bacterial and viral infections.

“By leveraging my expertise on wearable devices, stretchable electrical impedance tomography and stretchable acoustic and photoacoustic imaging, I hope that I can contribute to development of the next generation of imaging technologies,” Cheng said. “I am hopeful that my research will enhance the ability to study tissues at cellular or sub-cellular resolution and map biological processes within and throughout organisms.”

Since coming to Penn State in 2015, Cheng has received numerous awards and honors for his research and work in academia. He received the 2021 Frontiers of Materials Award, was selected to attend the 70th Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting in 2020 and was named to the 2017 Forbes 30 Under 30 in Science list. Cheng earned his bachelor’s degree in engineering mechanics and aerospace engineering from Tsinghua University in Beijing. He earned his master’s degree and doctoral degree in mechanical engineering from Northwestern University.


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College of Engineering Media Relations

professor in suit and tie poses for professional headshot photo

Huanyu “Larry” Cheng, Dorothy Quiggle Career Development Professor in Penn State’s Department of Engineering Science and Mechanics. IMAGE: PENN STATE COLLEGE OF ENGINEERING