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Yan, Yuling

Professor and Founding Chair

Prof. Yuling Yan is currently a Professor and the Founding Chair of the Department of Bioengineering at SCU. She received the Ph.D. degree in mechanical engineering from Keio University, Yokohama, Japan, in 1991. She held post-doctoral fellow and research associate positions in McGill University (Montreal, Canada) and Max Planck Institute for Biochemistry, Munich, Germany from 1992-1996 where she worked on the development of quantitative image and signal analysis methods for dynamic mechanical and bimolecular systems. From 1997~1999, she served on the engineering faculty at the University of the Ryukyus, Japan, where she initiated research in a new area on robotic control of dexterous manipulators for biomedical applications.

Prof. Yan moved to the US in 1999 and while at University of Wisconsin-Madison she collaborated with clinicians on high-speed digital imaging of the human voice production. This period led to the development of novel methods and analytical platform for the processing of laryngeal images and the analysis of vocal fold vibrations that delivers useful clinical information. She was an assistant professor of engineering at University of Hawaii-Manoa from 2002-2005 before moving to the department of Otolaryngology at Stanford University where she is still affiliated as a consulting faculty. She was awarded an NSF grant (2004~2007) for her research on the technology development and application of the high-speed laryngeal imaging.

Prof Yan's research interests center on the basic and translational aspects of voice research including the development of new imaging modalities to study laryngeal dynamics and function with associated approaches for the analysis and modeling of voice production in normal and diseased conditions. She is also participating in a multi-PI project funded by NIH on the development of optical molecular switch probes and novel detection and analytical methods for applications in high contrast, single molecule imaging in cells and tissues.

Current Research Areas

  • Biomedical imaging; Image/signal analysis and visualization
  • Speech biomechanics/Laryngeal dynamics and physiology
  • Fluorescence imaging microscopy; contrast-enhanced imaging using molecular switch probes and optical lock-in detection

Internship Information for Bioengineering Students

Click here for internship information for Bioengineering Students.

Research Funding


  • Co-PI, NIH Multi-Investigator Award (2009-2013). "High-contrast imaging of single molecules in live cells". ($220,842)
  • Co-PI, NIH R01 (Dec. 2006~2010); (2007 sub-contract $115,000) "New optical probes to study cell motility"
  • PI, NSF BS# 0402439. July 1, 2004 - Dec.31, 2007 ($321,475). "Develop new analytical tools for high-speed laryngeal imaging for clinical applications"
  • Co-PI, NIH R01 (Dec.1, 2002-Nov.30, 2007); "Protein structural dynamics in Ca2+-regulated thin filaments"
  • PI; Hawaii State Biomedical Research Infrastructure Network award (2003)
  • PI; Seed Money, College of Engineering, University of Hawaii-Manoa (2003)

Selected Research Publications (2005 ~ Present):

Research articles (selected)
  1. M. Yoshioka, C. Zhu, K. Uemoto, H. Liang, F. Duang and Y. Yan. “Motion Classifier Generation by Mahalanobis Distance for BMI Robotic Arm Control System.”  Journal of Neuroscience and Neuroengineering, Volume 4, No. 1, June 2017, pp. 1-8(8).
  2. S. Akdagli, R. Williams, HJ. Kim, Y. Yan, M. Mustapha and S. Most. “Facial Nerve Crush Injury in MHC I and Classical Complement Pathway Deficient Mice.” Plast Reconstr Surg Glob Open 2016 Dec; 4(12): e1186
  3. A. Hoepker, Y. Yan and G. Marriott. “Genetically-encoded sensors of protein hydrodynamics.” Oncotarget. 2015 6(19): 16808-16809. 5-Year Impact Factor: 6.368.
  4. HJ Kim, T. Shi, S. Akdagli, S. Most and Y. Yan. “Semi-Automated Tracking of Vibrissal Movements in Free-Moving Rodents Captured by High-Speed Videos.” World Academy of Science, Engineering and Technology International Journal of Biological, Biomolecular, Agricultural, Food and Biotechnological Engineering. 9 (5), 2015. p. 565-569.
  5. A. Hoepker, A. Wang, A. Marois, K. Suhling, Y. Yan and G. Marriott. "New genetically-encoded sensors of protein hydrodynamics and molecular proximity." PNAS 2015, May 19;112(20):E2569-74. (Impact Factor: 9.809)
  6. T. Shi, J. Kim, T. Murry, P. Woo and Y. Yan*, "Tracing Vocal-fold Vibrations Using Level-set Segmentation Method." Int. Journal for Numerical Methods in Biomedical Engineering. Volume 31, Issue 6, June 2015.
  7. G. Li, S. Luo, Y. Yan and G. Nin, "A method of extending the depth of focus of the high-resolution X-ray imaging system employing optical lens and scintillator: a phantom study," Biomed Eng Online. 2015;14 Suppl 1:S15. doi: 10.1186/1475-925X-14-S1-S15. Epub 2015 Jan 9.
  8. M. Yoshioka, C. Zhu, K. Imamura, F. Wang, H. Yu, F. Duan and Y. Yan. "Experimental design and signal selection for construction of a robot control system based on EEG signals." Robotics and Biomimetics 2014, 1:22. doi:10.1186/s40638-014-0022-3.
  9. C. Zhu, Y. Okada, M. Yoshioka, T. Yamamoto, H. Yu, Y. Yan, F. Duan. "Power Augmentation of Upper Extremity by Using Agonist Electromyography Signals Only for Extended Admittance Control." IEEJ Journal of Industry Applications.Vol. 3, 2014. No. 3 p. 260-269.
  10. Y. Yan, C. Petchprayoon, S. Mao and G. Marriott. "Reversible Optical Control of Cyanine Fluorescence in Fixed and Living Cells: Optical Lock-in Detection Immunofluorescence Imaging Microscopy." (2013) Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B – Biological Sciences. Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci. 2012 Dec 24; 368(1611): 20120031. doi: 10.1098/rstb.2012.0031. Print 2013 Feb 5. Impact Factor (2011): 6.401
  11. M. Blanco, X. Chen and Y. Yan. "A Restricted, Adaptive Threshold Segmentation Approach for Processing High-speed Image Sequences of the Glottis."  Engineering, 2013, Vol. 5, No.10B. p.357-362.
  12. L. Wu, Y. Dai, X. Jiang, C. Petchprayoon, J E Lee, T. Jiang, Y. Yan and G. Marriott. "High-contrast Fluorescence Imaging in Fixed and Living Cells Using Optimized Optical Switches." (2013). PlosOne 8(6): e64738. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0064738. (Impact Factor: 3.534)
  13. K. Ahmad, Y. Yan and D. Bless. "Vocal-fold Vibratory Characteristics in Normal Female Speakers from High-speed Digital Imaging." Journal of Voice. Vol. 26, 2: 239-253. March 2012.
  14. A, Bhandari, K. Izdebski1, C. Huang and Y. Yan, "Comparative Analysis of Normal Voice Characteristics Using Simultaneous Electroglottography and High speed Digital Imaging." Biomedical Signal Processing &Control. Vol. 7, 1: 20-26. January, 2012.
  15. Yan, Y., Marriott, M.E., Petchprayoon, C. and Marriott, G. "Optical Switch Probes and Optical Lock-in Detection (OLID) Imaging Microscopy: High-contrast Fluorescence Imaging with Living Systems." Biochemical Journal. 433, 411–422. 2011. (Impact Factor: 4.897) (Unofficial Impact factor for review articles: 17.902)
  16. Petchprayoon, C, Yan, Y., Mao, S. and Marriott, G. "Rational Design, Dynthesis and Characterization of Highly Fluorescent Optical Switches for High-contrast Optical Lock-in Detection (OLID) Imaging Microscopy in Living Cells." Bioorganic &Medicinal Chemistry. Vol. 19 (3), 1030-1040. Feb. 2011. doi:10.1016/j.bmc.2010.07.015
  17. S. Luo and Y. Yan. "Implementation of a Virtual Laryngoscope System Using Efficient Reconstruction Algorithms." Med Sci Monit, 2009;15(8): MT 95-100.
  18. Marriott, G., S. Mao, T. Gormez, E. Isacoff and Y. Yan. "Optical Lock-in Detection Imaging Microscopy for Contrast-enhanced Imaging in Living Cells." PNAS (2008);105(46). pp 17789-17794. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0808882105.  (Impact factor: 9.432)
  19. S. Mao, R. Benninger, Y. Yan, Piston, D., Jackson, D. &Marriott, G. "Optical Lock-in Detection of FRET: High-contrast FRET Imaging of Protein Interactions in Living Cells." Biophysical Journal (2008);94(11):4515-4524. (Impact factor: 4.39)
  20. Y. Yan, S. Luo and A. Mcwhorter. "Virtual Laryngoscopy: A Noninvasive Tool for the Assessment of Laryngeal Tumor Extent." Laryngoscope 2007 (117) 6:1026-1030. (Impact factor: 2.02)
  21. Y. Yan, E. Damrose, D. Bless "Functional Analysis of Voice Using Simultaneous High-speed Imaging and Acoustic Recordings." J. of Voice. 2007;(21) 5:604-616.
  22. Y. Yan, X. Chen, D. Bless. "Automatic Tracing of the Vocal-fold Motion from High-speed Laryngeal Image Sequence." IEEE Trans. Biomedical Engineering 2006;53: 7: 1394-1400. (Impact factor: 2.154)
  23. Y. Yan, K. Ahmad, M. Kunduk and D. Bless. (2005). "Analysis of Vocal-fold Vibrations from High-speed Laryngeal Images Using Hilbert Transform based Methodology." Journal of Voice. 2005;19:2;161-175.
  24. Sakata, T., Yan, Y. & Marriott, G. (2005). "Optical Switching of Dipolar Interactions on Proteins." PNAS. 102, 4759-2764. DOI: 1073/pnas.0405265102. (Impact factor: 9.432)
  25. Lee, H.J., Yan, Y. Marriott, G., Corn, R. (2005). "Quantitative Functional Analysis of Protein Complexes on Surfaces." Journal of Physiology (Lond.) 2005. 563: 61-71. (Impact factor: 4.764). DOI: 1113/jphysiol.2004.081117.
  26. Y. Yan and G. Marriott, “Analysis of Protein Interactions Using Biophotonics Technologies”. Current Opinion in Chemical Biology (2003). 7: 5; 635-640. (Impact factor: 9.850)
Edited book and book chapters (selected):
  1. Izdebski, Y. Yan, and B. Wong. "Normal and Abnormal Vocal Folds Kinematics: High Speed Digital Phonoscopy (HSDP), Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) &Narrow Band Imaging (NBI®)," Volume I: Technology. April 7, 2015.
  2. Y. Yan, T. Jiang and S. Luo. "Software for automatic analysis of image and sound data simultaneously acquired from high-speed videoendoscopy." In Normal and Abnormal Vocal Folds Kinematics: High Speed Digital Phonoscopy (HSDP), Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) &Narrow Band Imaging (NBI®). Volume I: Technology. Izdebski, Yan et al. Ed. 2015.
  3. Y. Yan and G. Du. "Snake based automatic tracing of vocal fold motility fromhigh-speed digital images." In Normal and Abnormal Vocal Folds Kinematics: High Speed Digital Phonoscopy (HSDP), Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) &Narrow Band Imaging (NBI®). Volume I: Technology. Izdebski, Yan et al. Ed. 2015.
  4. Y. Yan and K. Izdebski. “Integrated Spatio-temporal Analysis of High-Speed Laryngeal Imaging and Acoustic Signals -Their Role and Applications in the Study of Normal and Abnormal Vocal Functions, in Speech and Language Technology. G. Demenko, Ed. Poznan. 2012.
  5. C. Zhu, M. Oda, H. Yu, H. Watanabe and Y. Yan “Walking Support and Power Assistance of a Wheelchair Typed Omnidirectional Mobile Robot with Admittance Control," Mobile Robots - Current Trends, Published by InTech. October 2011.
  6. Yan, Y. and Marriott, G.Optical Manipulation of Protein Activity and Protein Interactions Using Caged Proteins and Optical Switch Protein Conjugates. In “Photosensitive Control of Biological Function”. Eds. James Chambers & Richard Kramer (2010 online), In print 2011. pp. 213-232.
  7. R., Konietschke, G. Hirzinger, and Y. Yan. “All Singularities of the 9-DoF DLR Medical Robot Setup for Minimally Invasive Applications”. Book chapter: Humanoids and Biomedicine in Advances in Robot Kinematics: Mechanisms and Motion. Edited by J. Lenarcic & B. Roth, Springer Netherlands Pub. 2006. pp. 193-200.
  8. Y. Yan and G. Marriott, “FRET Image Microscopy and Fluorescence Polarization Image Microscopy”. Biophotonics.  Methods in Enzymology 360: 560-582 (2003).
  9. Y. Yan and G. Marriott. “Molecular Imaging of the Cytoskeleton Using GFP-actin”. Progr. Biotech. (2002) 22; 25-38.
Yuling Yan, Bioengineering
Professor and Founding Chair, Department of Bioengineering