Assistant Professor

Chenxi Qian

PhD, University of Toronto

Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre
2075 Bayview Avenue, S Wing, Room S650, Toronto, Ontario Canada M4N 3M5
Research Interests
Biomedical Imaging, Cancer Diagnosis and Therapy, Data Science and Computational Biology, Neuroscience
Graduate Students


  • NSERC Postdoctoral Fellow, Chemistry, California Institute of Technology (Caltech)
  • Research Scholar, Applied Physics, Stanford University
  • PhD, Chemistry, University of Toronto

At A Glance

Advanced Optics, AI, cancer, neurodegenerative diseases:

  • Raman microscopy, stimulated Raman scattering imaging (label-free live cell and tissue imaging, methodology)
  • Ultrafast Raman histology and cancer diagnosis/prognosis
  • Tissue clearing and high-throughput volumetric imaging
  • Machine learning aided cell and tissue imaging and fast phenotyping
  • Subcellular metabolomics
  • Tumor microenvironment
  • Neurodegenerative disease models

Short Bio

Dr. Chenxi Qian received his Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of Toronto and carried out postdoctoral research with an NSERC Fellowship at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech). He is an OICR (Ontario Institute of Cancer Research) Early Career Investigator, Scientist at the Sunnybrook Research Institute, and Assistant Professor of Medical Biophysics at the University of Toronto. His current research focuses on machine learning aided label-free imaging approaches for fundamental and clinical studies.

Research Synopsis

Dr. Qian’s lab focuses on research in both basic and translational sciences. The Qian Lab is developing advanced nonlinear vibrational imaging methods, combining physics/chemistry and machine learning tools, aiming to achieve higher throughput for tissue imaging, and to enable fast, precision cancer diagnosis and prognosis. Dr. Qian developed new imaging methods that enabled scalable label-free super-resolution interrogations of protein-rich biological structures, offering new tools for cancer imaging and brain imaging.

Dr. Qian’s research interests also include single cell metabolite imaging. As part of his postdoctoral fellowship at Caltech, Dr. Qian worked with pioneers in cancer therapy and single cell metabolomics, demonstrated the promise of Raman spectro-microscopy for mapping metabolites in single cells, and discovered new druggable metabolic susceptibilities. The Qian Lab at Sunnybrook is developing the next-generation imaging methods for single cell metabolomics studies.

Recent Publications

Super-resolution label-free volumetric vibrational imaging. Qian C, Miao K, Lin LE, Chen X, Du J, Wei L. Nat Commun. 2021 Jun 15;12(1):3648. doi: 10.1038/s41467-021-23951-x.

High spatial-resolution imaging of label-free in vivo protein aggregates by VISTA. Lin LE, Miao K, Qian C, Wei L. Analyst. 2021 Jun 28;146(13):4135-4145. doi: 10.1039/d1an00060h.

Label-free Super-resolution Imaging Enabled by Vibrational Imaging of Swelled Tissue and Analysis. Miao K, Lin LE, Qian C, Wei L. J Vis Exp. 2022 May 17;(183):10.3791/63824. doi: 10.3791/63824.

Raman-guided subcellular pharmaco-metabolomics for metastatic melanoma cells. Du J, Su Y, Qian C, Yuan D, Miao K, Lee D, Ng AHC, Wijker RS, Ribas A, Levine RD, Heath JR, Wei L. Nat Commun. 2020 Sep 24;11(1):4830. doi: 10.1038/s41467-020-18376-x.

Toward photoswitchable electronic pre-resonance stimulated Raman probes. Lee D, Qian C, Wang H, Li L, Miao K, Du J, Shcherbakova DM, Verkhusha VV, Wang LV, Wei L. J Chem Phys. 2021 Apr 7;154(13):135102. doi: 10.1063/5.0043791.

Graduate Students

Accepting new grad students.