Rong Fan, who has made significant contributions to biotechnology innovation and precision medicine, particularly in the area of single-cell and spatial omics and cancer immunotherapy, has been named the Harold D. Hodgkinson Professor of biomedical genius.
He is a faculty member of the Yale School of Engineering & Applied Science in the Department of Biomedical Engineering. He also has a position in the Department of Pathology at the Yale School of Medicine.
Fan joined the Yale faculty in 2010 after 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, as evidenced 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 an impressive track record as an inventor academic, successfully developing a number of transformative and innovative technologies with broad and far-reaching impact in many scientific fields (e.g., bioengineering, stem cell science, immunology, cancer biology, neuroscience and precision medicine). He has demonstrated an ability to move into new areas, identify critical issues, and develop tools that have far-reaching impact. He has also demonstrated an exceptional ability to move technology innovation from the lab to the clinic and from proof-of-concept demonstration to commercialization.
During his career at Yale, Fan invented several innovative and transformative technologies in the analysis of single-cell and spatial omics, 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 pharmaceutical companies in the field of immuno-oncology. In 2017, this technology won the top prize among Scientist magazine’s 10 best innovations and, in the same year, the Fierce Bio Innovation award. The U.S. patent for this technology obtained fast-track approval from the USPTO and was licensed to a Yale spin-off company, IsoPlexis; products marketed by this company have been used by more than 100 cancer centers and pharmaceutical companies, including the top 15 pharmaceutical companies in the world.
He also invented a portable microdevice for single cell sequencing applications, which led to the creation of a second company, Singleron Biotechnologies, based on his patents. Recently, he pioneered a number of spatial omics techniques, including multi-omics spatial sequencing and the first and only spatial epigenome sequencing technology, which became the basis of a third company , AtlasXomics, founded in 2020, which has attracted considerable attention from leading life science tool companies, the pharmaceutical industry and biotech investors.
Additionally, Fan is an enthusiastic and valued mentor to young inventors. Its graduate students and post-docs are often co-inventors on patent applications and embark on inventive careers themselves.
He received a BS and MS from the University of Science and Technology of China, and his Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley.