Xiaowei Zhuang is a pioneer of single-molecule and super-resolution imaging for the studies of biological systems. She invented STORM, one of the first and most widely-used super-resolution imaging methods and has used STORM to make discoveries of novel cellular structures. She also invented a single-cell transcriptome imaging method, MERFISH, and has applied this method to study cells and tissues at the systems level. She has also developed other single-molecule approaches to investigate the dynamics and function of biomolecules.
Zhuang received her BS in physics from the University of Science and Technology of China, a PhD in physics in the lab of Y. R. Shen at University of California, Berkeley, and her postdoctoral training in biophysics in the lab of Steven Chu at Stanford University. She joined the faculty of Harvard University in 2001 and was selected as a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator in 2005.
Zhuang, who joined the Stowers Scientific Advisory Board in 2017, is a member of the US National Academy of Sciences. She is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a foreign member of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the European Molecular Biology Organization, a fellow of the American Association of the Advancement of Science and the American Physical Society, and an honorary fellow of the Royal Microscopical Society. She has received numerous awards, including the H. P. Heineken Prize for Biochemistry and Biophysics, the National Academy of Sciences Award in Molecular Biology, the Raymond and Beverly Sackler International Prize in Biophysics, and a MacArthur Fellowship, among others.