Rao Lab

Neurobiological Interfaces

scientific curiosity, determination and execution

Our Missions

scientific discoveries

We are studying the fundamental scientific principles at the interfaces of biological and material systems.

Curiosity has the boundless power to drive scientific discoveries. We acquire inspiration from biophysics, material science and engineering, electronics and neurobiology and investigate the phenomena of magnetism, electricity, chemistry and optics between the material and nervous systems. These fundamental principles can further guide us to effective engineering designs for biomedical applications.

biotechnology advancement

We are developing effective engineering methodologies to investigate neurobiological questions.

Biotechnology advancement is an indispensable catalyst for addressing neurobiological questions. Targeting specific technological challenges in neurobiology, we synthesize and fabricate functional materials, from nanoscale materials to devices, and apply them as engineering tools with various modalities to study the neural mechanisms underlying neurological and psychiatric disorders, including depression, addiction and social deficits.


We are working in multiple-disciplinary fields to promote biomedical engineering advancement.

Neural modulation

Remotely controlled neural modulation with non-invasive stimulus


Biophysics and chemical principles in the neurobiological interfaces


Nanoscale materials for neural intervention


Nanoscale and device-size electronics to intervene and record neural activity

Integrated neural probes

Fiber-inspired devices for probing nervous system with optical, electrical and pharmacological approaches

Beyond the brain

Circuit-wide neuronal system


We are an energertic group with material scientitsts, electrical engineers, bioengineers and chemists.



Siyuan Rao

Assistant Professor



Qianbin Wang

Research Assistant Professor



Sizhe Huang

PhD student in BME program



Eunji Hong

PhD student in BME program



Weixuan Chen

PhD student in BME program



Kayla Felix

Undergraduate student in BME



Collin Maley

Undergraduate student in BME



Jacob Naroian

Undergraduate student in BME



Jacob Tajchman

Undergraduate student in BME, Neuroscience, and Computer Science and Engineering



Jingyi (Alex) Xu

Undergraduate student in BME



Sophia Tsekov

Undergraduate student in BME


08/2021     Welcome BME undergraduate students Jacob Tajchman, Alex Xu and Sophia Tsekov joining our group!

08/2021     Welcome Eunji Hong  and Weixuan Chen joining our group! Eunji and Weixuan are enrolled in BME PhD program starting from 2021 Fall.

07/2021     Congratulations to Sizhe Huang  on passing his Qualify Exam of BME PhD program!

07/2021     Kayla Felix, Collin Maley and Jacab Naroian  are awarded with Honors Research Grants for their undgergraduate research projects! Congratulations!

05/15/2021     Congratulations to Christine Yao  (Class of BME 2021) on her graduation!

03/29/2021     Dr. Siyuan Rao and Jingyi Qiu expressed their Viewpoint about Material Engineering Platform for Next Generation of Neurobiological Interfaces on Accounts of Materials Research.

03/13/2021     NBI team first campus tour retreat. After COVID-19 lockdown over one full year, we cherish the moment of unity during the challenging pandemic time.

02/02/2021     Dr. Siyuan Rao joined UMass Neuroscience and Behavior (NSB) program as a core faculty member. NSB PhD students are welcomed to find research opportunities in our lab.

01/2021          Collin Maley, Jacob Naroian and Sizhe Huang joined our lab. We are excited to have fresh blood to strengthen our team. Welcome!

01/12/2021     Kayla Felix was selected as Junior Fellow into Junior Fellowship Program at UMass. Congratulations to Kayla!

12/01/2020     NBI Lab was open for bussiness.

2020 Fall semester     Jingyi Qiu, Kayla Felix and Christine Yao joined NBI Lab. We are so pround to have these young women scientists as the first generation of lab members in our team. Welcome!     


Welcome to join our team and find collaborative opportunities

240 Thatcher Rd
Amherst, MA 01003