Rong Fan appointed Hodgkinson Professor of Biomedical Engineering

Fan, a member of Yale’s faculty since 2010, has made significant contributions to biotechnology innovation and precision medicine.
Rong Fan
Rong Fan

Rong Fan, who has made significant contributions to biotechnology innovation and precision medicine, particularly in the field of single-cell & spatial omics and cancer immunotherapy, has been appointed the Harold D. Hodgkinson Professor of Biomedical Engineering.

He is a faculty member at the Yale School of Engineering & Applied Science in the Department of Biomedical Engineering. He also has an appointment in the Department of Pathology at Yale School of Medicine.

Fan joined the Yale faculty in 2010 following a postdoctoral fellowship at the California Institute of Technology. Since establishing his independent research group at Yale, he has become widely regarded as an international expert in the field of single-cell and spatial omics analysis, which is exemplified by his recent publications and patents and his recognition with prestigious awards, including the Packard Fellowship for Science and Engineering, an NSF CAREER award, and elected to the American Institute of Biological and Medical Engineers (AIMBE), Connecticut Academy of Science and Engineering (CASE), and the National Academy of Inventors (NAI).

An expert in a wide range of diverse fields — including bioanalytical chemistry, microengineering, proteomics, immunobiology, cancer biology, and translational medicine — he has demonstrated an impressive track record as an academic inventor, successfully developing a number of transformative and innovative technologies with a broad and far- reaching impact across many scientific areas (e.g., bioengineering, stem cell science, immunology, cancer biology, neuroscience, and precision medicine). He has exhibited an ability to move into new fields, identify critical problems, and to develop tools that have far-reaching impact. He has also demonstrated an exceptional ability to take technology innovation from the laboratory to the clinic and from the proof-of-concept demonstration to commercialization.

During his career at Yale, Fan has invented multiple innovative and transformative technologies in single-cell and spatial omics analysis, and demonstrated a unique talent for inventing new technologies to advance human genomics and precision medicine. For example, his invention of single-cell high-plex protein secretion profiling to monitor cancer immunotherapy has been widely adopted by pharma companies in the immuno-oncology space. In 2017, this technology won first prize among the Scientist Magazine top 10 innovations, and in the same year won the Fierce Bio Innovation Prize. The U.S. patent for this technology was granted a fast-track approval by the USPTO and licensed to a Yale spinout company IsoPlexis; products commercialized by this company have been used by more than 100 cancer centers and pharmaceutical companies including all top15 major pharma in the world.

He has also invented a portable microdevice for single-cell sequencing applications, which led to the formation of a second company, Singleron Biotechnologies, based on his patents. Recently, he pioneered a number of spatial omics techniques including spatial multi-omics sequencing and the first-and-only spatial epigenome sequencing technology, which have become the foundation for a third company, AtlasXomics, founded in 2020, which has gained significant attention from major life science tool companies, pharmaceutical industry, and biotech investors.

In addition, Fan is an enthusiastic and valued mentor to young inventors. His graduate students and postdocs are frequently co-inventors on patent applications, and are moving into inventive careers of their own.

He received a B.S. and M.S. from the University of Science and Technology of China, and his Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley.

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