Carnegie Mellon University

Kai Yu

Dr. Kai Yu

Research Scientist of Biomedical Engineering

Scott Hall 4N300C
Carnegie Mellon University
5000 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213


  • B.S., Biomedical Engineering, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, China, 2009
  • M.S., Biomedical Engineering, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, China, 2012
  • Ph.D., Biomedical Engineering, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, 2018


Kai Yu is a research scientist and special faculty in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University. He was a Gold Medalist of the 40th International Exhibition of Inventions, Geneva, Switzerland. Dr. Yu’s research interests cover a broad spectrum in biomedical engineering, including neuromodulation, ultrasound, biomedical imaging, bioinstrumentation, and biosensors. Dr. Yu is a recipient of IEEE Brain Initiative Neurotech Entrepreneurs’ Award, Outstanding Peer Reviewer awards from Physics in Medicine & Biology and Journal of Ultrasound in Medicine. During his doctoral training, he was awarded the Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship, MnDRIVE Graduate Research Fellowship, and Best Student Poster 1st Place Award. He was also the recipient of the Best Innovation Award and was the champion of the 2nd NXP Cup Innovation Contest of Greater China. He was also the recipient of the Excellent Graduate Student Award from Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, China, and the Outstanding Graduate Student Award from Zhejiang Province, China.


Dr. Kai Yu is currently a research scientist in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University and a co-investigator of an NIH HEAL initiative research project titled as “Treating Pain in Sickle Cell Disease by means of Focused Ultrasound Neuromodulation”. He is also the principal investigator of a research project titled as “Functional Imaging Guided Transcranial Focused Ultrasound for Neuromodulation at Human Motor Cortex” funded by Samuel and Emma Winters Foundation. His current research focus is on investigating the mechanism of focused ultrasound neuromodulation in the in vivo brain of animal models, exploring neuroimaging guidance for the transcranial focused ultrasound on humans, and developing neuromodulation devices for pain treatment. His research works have been published in Advanced Functional Materials, IEEE Transactions on Medical Imaging, IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering, Nanomedicine: Nanotechnology, Biology and Medicine, Current Opinion in Biomedical Engineering, Cancer Biomarkers, Physics in Medicine & Biology, etc.

Research Interests: neuromodulation, ultrasound, biomedical imaging, bioinstrumentation, and biosensors


Awards and Recognition

  • Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship: "High-resolution Neuroimaging-guided Brain Stimulation using Low-intensity Transcranial Focused Ultrasound", Graduate School, University of Minnesota, 2016-2017

  • Distinguished Peer Reviewer: Journal of Ultrasound in Medicine, 2015