Boyuan Yan, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Physiology and Biophysics


1300 York Avenue, Room C-504 B
New York, NY 10065


Research Areas

Research Summary:

My research is broadly at the intersection of computing, neuroscience, and electronic design.  The goal is to 1) apply engineering principles, concepts, and methods to solve problems in biology and medicine, and 2) translate knowledge obtained from biological systems into new innovations in engineering design.

The current work is focused on neuroprosthetics. With Professor Sheila Nirenberg, we develop a new neural prosthetic treatment for blindness due to retinal degenerative diseases, which affect millions of people around the world.  In retinal degenerative diseases, while the retina’s light-sensing cells (the photoreceptors) degenerate, the retina’s output cells remain intact. The new prosthetic treatment utilizes the retina’s neural code, deciphered by Professor Nirenberg, to optogenetically activate the surviving output cells to send signals to the brain. The treatment combines an optogenetic gene therapy and an external electronic device. As of December 5, 2019, we received approval from the FDA to start the first clinical trial.

Selected Publications:

  1. B. Yan, S. Viswanasan, S. E. Brodie, W. Deng, K. E. Coleman, W. W. Hauswirth, S. Nirenberg, “A clinically viable approach to restoring visual function using optogenetic gene therapy”, Molecular Therapy – Methods & Clinical Development, 29, pp.406-417, May 2023.
  2. B. Yan, S. Nirenberg, “An engineering platform for clinical application of optogenetic therapy in retinal degenerative diseases”, IEEE Journal of Translational Engineering in Health and Medicine, 11, pp.296-305, May 2023.
  3. B. Yan, S. Nirenberg, “An embedded real-time processing platform for optogenetic neuroprosthetic applications”, IEEE Transactions on Neural Systems and Rehabilitation Engineering, 26(1), pp.233-243, January 2018.
  4. A. V. Cideciyan, A. J. Roman, S. G. Jacobson, B. Yan, M. Pascolini, J. Charng, S. Pajaro, S. Nirenberg, “Developing an outcome measure with high luminance for optogenetics treatment of severe retinal degenerations and for gene therapy of cone diseases”, Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science, 57(7), pp.3211-3221, Jun 2016.
  5. B. Yan, M. Vakulenko, S. H. Min, W. W. Hauswirth, S. Nirenberg, “Maintaining ocular safety with light exposure, focusing on devices for optogenetic stimulation“, Vision Research, 121, pp.57-71, April 2016.
  6. S. Lai,B. Yan, P. Li, “Localized stability checking and design of IC power delivery with distributed voltage regulators”, IEEE Transactions on Computer-Aided Design of Integrated Circuits and Systems, 32(9), pp.1321-1334, September 2013.
  7. B. Yan, P. Li, “The emergence of abnormal hypersynchronization in the anatomical structural network of human brain”, NeuroImage, 66(15), pp.34-61, January 2013.
  8. Y. Zhang, B. Yan, M. Wang, J. Hu, H. Lu, P. Li, “Linking brain behavior to underlying cellular mechanisms via large-scale brain modeling and simulation”, Neurocomputing, 97(15), pp.317-331, November 2012.
  9. S. Lai,B. Yan, P. Li, “Stability assurance and design optimization of large power delivery networks with multiple on-chip voltage regulators”, Proceedings of IEEE/ACM International Conference on Computer-Aided Design, pp.247-254, San Jose, CA, November 2012 (IEEE/ACM William J. McCalla ICCAD Best Paper Award).
  10. B. Yan, S. X-D. Tan, L. Zhou, J. Chen, R. Shen, “Decentralized and passive model reduction of linear networks with massive ports”, IEEE Transactions on Very Large Scale Integrated Systems, 20(5), pp.865-877, May 2012.
  11. B. Yan, P. Li, “An integrative view of mechanisms underlying generalized spike-and-wave epileptic seizures and its implication on optimal therapeutic treatments”, PLoS ONE, 6(7): e22440, July 2011.
  12. B. Yan, P. Li, “Reduced order modeling of passive and quasi-active dendrites for nervous system simulation”, Journal of Computational Neuroscience, 31(2), pp.247-271, October 2011.
  13. M. Wang, B. Yan, J. Hu, P. Li,  “Simulation of large neuronal networks with biophysically accurate models on graphics processors”, Proceedings of IEEE International Joint Conference on Neural Networks, pp.3184-3193, San Jose, CA, July 2011.
  14. B. Yan, S. X-D. Tan, J. Fan, “Passive rational interpolation based reduction via Caratheodory extension for general systems”, IEEE Transactions on Circuits and Systems II, 57(9), pp.750-755, September 2010.
  15. B. Yan, S. X.-D. Tan, G. Chen, L. Wu, “Modeling and simulation for on-chip power grid networks by locally dominant Krylov subspace method”, Proceedings of IEEE/ACM International Conference on Computer-Aided Design, pp.744-749, San Jose, CA, November 2008.
  16. B. Yan, S. X-D. Tan, B. McGaughy, “Second-order balanced truncation for passive order reduction of RLCK circuits”, IEEE Transactions on Circuits and Systems II, 55(9), pp.942-946, September 2008.