Dr Yuhui Gong
Prof. Marriott received a BSc (Hons) in Biochemistry from Birmingham University, UK in 1980 and a PhD from the University of Illinois in 1987 under the tutorship of Gregorio Weber, a pioneer in biological spectroscopy. He was awarded prestigious fellowships from the Alexander von Humboldt Stiftung and the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science working with Profs. Thomas Jovin and Kazuhiko Kinosita, respectively. His postdoctoral research led to the introduction and applications of caged proteins and fluorescence lifetime resolved imaging microscopy. As a C3-professor at the Max Planck Institute for Biochemistry in Martinsried he applied caged proteins to address fundamental mechanisms of muscle contraction and cell motility, and he introduced new quantitative and dynamic fluorescence microscope techniques to map with spatial high-resolution the functional dynamics of protein complexes, associated with force generation in muscle contraction and cell motility. He was recruited to University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1999 to lead a new biophotonics initiative, and to UC-Berkeley in 2009 where he directs an innovative research program on novel biosensors and optical microscopy with applications to high contrast imaging and optical control of proteins and biomaterials. He has received prestigious awards during his career including a top 10 innovation award from The Scientist magazine for his high-contrast OLID imaging microscopy. Professor Marriott also holds guest professorships at the South East University Nanjing, and formerly at Tsinghua University, Shenzhen, where he served as the co-Director of the laboratory for Precision medicine and Healthcare. Professor Marriott has patented several innovative technologies including new classes of molecular optical switches, novel small molecule anti-cancer drugs, natural drug delivery vehicles, and a completely new quantitative approach for rapid and sensitive of protein and drug interactions. He also has developed new classes of genetically-encoded fluorescent proteins for FRET and FA-imaging for quantitative analysis and imaging of target proteins. Prof. Marriott has recently initiated programs of research in the area of smart biomaterials, including contact lenses that release glaucoma drugs during exposures to daylight, and lenses that allow individuals to quantify multiple disease biomarkers, including diabetes, neurologic disorders and cancer. Other work on sensor materials has led to the development of new biomarker sensing platforms specifically designed for at-home diagnostics. Work on smart biomaterials and composites has led to the development of liquid polymers that rapidly gel on injection – these composite materials are being developed for the slow release of drugs to treat ocular conditions. Finally, with colleagues in Japan and China he is developing mechanoluminescence composite materials (ML) that emit light in an otherwise completely dark environment during exposures to compression and stretching. Current activities in this program include sensors that emit ML in the NIR2 region for in vivo imaging of stress distributions in implanted devices and joints, and integrating ML crystals in biocomposite materials for in vivo imaging of the structural health of load-bearing tissues.