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Past Winner
2013 NSERC E.W.R. Steacie Memorial Fellowships

Yu Sun

Mechanical and Industrial Engineering

University of Toronto

Yu Sun
Yu Sun

Microtechnologies are robotic systems and automated micro devices that operate at the cellular level and have the potential to revolutionize medical care and improve human health. 

Yu Sun is an international leader in developing robotics and automation technologies for manipulating biomaterials, such as precision instrumentation capable of injecting molecules into biological cells. His published work has laid the foundation and sparked worldwide interest in robotic cell manipulation. His research into automated processes for biological cell manipulation is revolutionizing how genetic studies, cancer research and clinical cell surgery and diagnostics are conducted.

Dr. Sun, a 2013 recipient of an NSERC Steacie Fellowship, studies both fundamental and applied aspects of robotics and device technologies at the micrometre and nanometre scales.

He leads the University of Toronto’s Advanced Micro and Nanosystems Laboratory, which develops technologies for use in biomedical, clinical and precision industry environments.  Over the past several years, his lab has developed a series of automated cell manipulation systems and devices that proved effective in biology labs and are now moving to clinical trials. His new generation of nanorobotic manipulation systems is being integrated into the electron microscopes by Hitachi High-Technologies Canada, Inc.

Dr. Sun’s NSERC Steacie Fellowship research will focus on the quality assessment of stored red blood cells. His work aims to improve tests conducted prior to patient transfusion, with project partners including Mount Sinai Hospital and Canadian Blood Services. In particular, his new technologies in cell biophysics will allow for rapid measurements of banked red blood cells and lead to enhanced patient safety in transfusion medicine.