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Personal profile


Dr. Puxiang Lai received his Bachelor from Tsinghua University in 2002, Master from Chinese Academy of Sciences in 2005, and PhD from Boston University in 2011. In September 2015, he joined Department of Biomedical Engineering at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University as a Tenure-track Assistant Professor, and was promoted to Tenured Associate Professor in July 2021. 

Dr. Lai’s research interests focus on deep-tissue optical focusing, imaging, stimulation, and treatment. Current research projects include, but are not limited to, wavefront shaping, photoacoustic imaging, neuron stimulation, computational optics, and artificial intelligence. His research has fueled more than 80 top journal publications, such as Nature Photonics,Nature Communications,Light: Science & Applications,PhotoniX, Advanced Photonics, Advanced Science, and The Innovation. He has been invited to give more than 90 seminars or invited talks worldwide. Since 2015, his research has been continuously supported by National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC), Hong Kong Research Grant Council (RGC), Hong Kong Innovation and Technology Commission (ITC), Department of Science and Technology of Guangdong Province, and Shenzhen Science and Technology Innovation Commission (STIC). 

Dr. Lai was awarded the 2016-2017 Hong Kong RGC Early Career Award, the 2018/2021 Hong Kong Polytechnic University Faculty of Engineering Research Grant Achievement Award, the 2019 PolyU K.C. Wong Belt and Road Visiting Fellowship Award, and the 2020 Hong Kong Polytechnic University Faculty of Engineering Faculty Research Award. As a recognition for his contribution to the field, currently Puxiang serves as Associate Editor of Journal of Visual Computing for Industry, Biomedicine, and Art (VCIBA), Editor of Journal of Innovative Optics in Health and Science (JIOHS), Session Editor of Medicine in Novel Technology and Devices (MEDNTD), Editor of Advanced Photonics Nexus, Youth Editor in The Innovation, Standing Committee Member of the Biomedical Optics Panel in the Chinese Optical Society, Committee Member of the Biomedical Optics Panel in the Chinese Society of Biomedical Engineering, Senior Member of the Optical Society of America (Optica/OSA), and Guest Professor of Southern Medical University (China). 

Research interests

High-resolution deep-tissue optical focusing, imaging, treatment, and stimulation via techniques:

  • Optical wavefront shaping
  • Photoacoustic/optoacoustic imaging
  • Adaptive optics
  • Ultrasound-modulated optical tomography
  • Digital holography
  • Artificial intelligence


  • Fundamentals of Biomedical Instrumentation II (PolyU BME31121)
  • Biosignal Processing (PolyU BME31116)
  • Molecular and Functional Imaging: From Body System to Molecules (PolyU BME5051)

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 7 - Affordable and Clean Energy

Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Philosophy, Boston University

Master of Science, Chinese Academy of Sciences

Bachelor of Engineering, Tsinghua University


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