Xuena Zhu

Degree: Ph.D., Biomedical Engineering

College/School: College of Engineering and Computing

Xuena Zhu is a high-achieving researcher who is putting health screening in the palm of your hand.

Under the mentorship of Professor Chenzhong Li, Xuena has been working on technology that allows the use of handheld devices or even smartphones to read important medical information. For example, she developed a paper strip that can be used with a smart phone to detect oxidative DNA damage caused by adverse physicochemical, environmental or pathological agents such as atmospheric pollutants, cigarette smoking, ultraviolet rays, and toxic chemicals. Her work can lead to devices that can help monitor and treat diabetes and other health conditions.

The technology, once commercialized, could be a cheaper option in developing countries or in clinical settings that cannot afford or accommodate larger, expensive medical equipment.

Among her many achievements, Xuena has published one book chapter, nine research articles (four of them as first author), and one review paper in peer-reviewed journals. Xuena also is a student leader who helped organize the fourth NanoFlorida conference at FIU. She also has taken a leadership role in the lab, handling lab safety, ordering supplies and managing lab activities.

After graduation, Xuena, who gave birth to a son in September 2015, plans to pursue a career as a professor.