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2023 Fellow

Yirui (Arlene) Zhang

PhD Institution
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Postdoctoral institution and lab

Dionne Lab, Stanford University

Yirui‘s PhD focused on improving clean energy storage where she developed in-situ spectroscopy and captured interfacial reaction pathways to understand the process of battery degradation, kinetics, and electrocatalysis.

As a Schmidt Science Fellow, Yirui will pivot from Mechanical Engineering to Biophotonics at the Dionne Lab at Stanford. Yirui hopes to achieve bacterial pathogen identification in complex liquid media by combining plasmon-enhanced spectroscopy, electrokinetics, and machine learning. Her research could help deliver label-free, rapid, and cost-effective methods for detecting pathogens. Such advancements could have implications for both community-level pathogen monitoring in wastewater-based epidemiology and individual-level personal healthcare.

Yirui is committed to addressing clean energy and accessible healthcare. She hopes her research will deepen our understanding of energy storage, conversion, and biosensing technologies to pave the way for the development of more efficient, durable, and affordable materials and devices, such as batteries and biosensors.