eng (Li-Heng) Cai (蔡历恒)
Curriculum Vitae: [pdf]
DOB: August 1985
Postdoctoral Fellow with Prof. David A. Weitz
School of Engineering and Applied Sciences
Cambridge, MA 02138
Ph.D. in Applied Sciences and Engineering, May 2012
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Dissertation: Structure and Function of Airway Surface Layer of the Human Lungs
& Mobility of Probe Particles in Complex Fluids
Research advisor: Michael Rubinstein
B.S. in Physics, July 2006
Lanzhou University, China
Graduated with honors
Advisors: Fa-Shen Li & De-Sheng Xue
Currently I am a postdoc working with Prof. Michael Rubinstein in Department of Chemistry at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. I also did my Ph.D. with Prof. Michael Rubinstein from 2007 to 2012. Before joining Prof. Rubinstein's group in August 2007, I spent five years at Lanzhou University, located in west of China, known for its unique historical views such as Dunhuang.
During Ph.D. study I have built up my background on both theory and experiments. I was trained with a solid background in polymer physics, specialized in scaling theory, with extensive knowledge and some hands on experience for typical experimental techniques, with the knowledge of computer simulations. I also received experimental training in biochemistry and biophysics, specialized in developing new techniques to understand the biological systems on the cell level.
Specifically the theoretical project I have been working on is the motion of probe particles in complex fluids, such as polymer liquids (solutions and melts) and solids (gels and networks), and how can we relate the behavior of the particle motion to the structure and dynamics of probed environments. One of my theoretical papers was published in Macromolecules.
My experimental training was mainly received through Cystic Fibrosis/Pulmonary Research and Treatment Center at UNC medical school under the mentorship of Dr. Brian Button and Dr. Richard Boucher, the tutoring from Dr. John K. Sheehan and Dr. Mehmet Kesimer, as well as other great scientists there. The experimental project involves designing and performing experiments to understand the structure and function of human airway surface layer and how can we apply such knowledge to elucidate the physical reasons for chronic pulmonary diseases, such as Cystic Fibrosis (CF) and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). One of my experimental works has been published in Science as a research article, featured by a COVER, highlighted by a Perspective, commented by the editor, and reported world widely by BBC, US News, Science Daily, and etc. Based on this discovery we started a new experimental lab to conduct further studies. I am leading the construction of the new lab.
I also have broad interests in experimental and theoretical studies in soft matter and and seek for opportunities to broaden my expertise in preferentially experimental aspects.