WashU BME announces new faculty hires

Two new faculty members have joined the Department of Biomedical Engineering in the McKelvey School of Engineering at Washington University in St. Louis.

Song Hu and Chao Zhou will come on as associate professors of biomedical engineering and will bring the number of professors and lecturers on the core faculty to 21. Hu will start Jan. 1, 2020, and Zhou began on July 1.

“The addition of Profs. Zhou and Hu greatly expand our research strengths in biomedical imaging sciences,” said Lori Setton, chair of the Department of Biomedical Engineering. “With their research focus on neurovascular imaging and cardiac technologies, their activities will be important bridges to our established strengths in neuro- and cardiovascular engineering.”

Song Hu, associate professor

  • PhD, biomedical engineering, Washington University in St. Louis
  • BS and MS, electronic engineering, Tsinghua University, Beijing
Hu joins the McKelvey Engineering School from the University of Virginia (UVA), where he has been an assistant professor of biomedical engineering since 2013. Previously, he completed a postdoctoral fellowship at WashU with Lihong Wang, former professor of biomedical engineering.

Hu’s research focuses on the development of cutting-edge photoacoustic technologies for multi-parametric neurovascular imaging in application to stroke, brain cancer and neuromotor and neurodegenerative diseases. While at UVA, he advanced novel methods and algorithms for label-free imaging of blood perfusion, oxygenation and flow at the microscopic level enabling high-resolution oxygen-metabolic imaging. Hu has further advanced photoacoustic microscopy to improve resolution and acquisition speed with demonstrated value in mechanistic research of many human diseases, including Alzheimer’s disease and cardiovascular disease. Hu won a National Science Foundation CAREER Award in 2018 and the Ralph E. Powe Junior Faculty Enhancement Award in 2014. He begins Jan. 1, 2020.

Chao Zhou, associate professor

  • PhD, physics, University of Pennsylvania
  • BS, physics, Peking University, China
Zhou joins the McKelvey Engineering School from Lehigh University, where he is an associate professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and a founding member of the Department of Bioengineering. He joined Lehigh in 2012 as an assistant professor and served as the P. C. Rossin Assistant Professor from 2015-2017. He completed postdoctoral work at Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. Zhou joined the faculty July 1.

His research interests are in optical coherence microscopy, a growing technology used to perform high-resolution cross-sectional imaging using light. He has multiple grants funded by the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, and other federal and private sources. He holds multiple patents, both in the U.S. and in China for his inventions, and has published dozens of articles in peer-reviewed journals as well as several book chapters. He is associate editor for IEEE Photonics Journal, Journal of Biomedical Optics and Medical Physics.