Alumni / Content

Du Cheng, Alumnus of 2011: A young neuroscientist

Du Cheng, M.D. at Weill Cornell Medicine and founder of iDu Optics, the only overseas Chinese selected for the Crain’s New York Business 2018 class of 40 Under 40 honorees.

Cheng invented a special camera lens adapter (iDu Microscope adapter) that allows users to take pictures of specimens under a microscope with cell phones. He also developed a cell phone retinal imaging device used for the 3D-printed model for neurosurgery planning. He hopes to change medical research with technology.

Cheng is taking a Tri-Institutional MD-PhD program with Weill Cornell Medicine, The Rockefeller University and Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, mainly engaging in research on neurology, Genes, images, calculator analysis, etc.

Born in Zhengzhou in 1988, Du Cheng had been very naughty when he was a little boy. Not performing well academicly, he failed in his first college entrance examination with a score of only 400. After taking the twelfth-grade course for one more year, he was finally enrolled by Henan University. Catching a life-changing opportunity, he went to Humboldt State University in California through an HENU dual-degree program to study Cellular and Molecular Biology. During his university years, he found his interest in a bacterium related to Lyme disease, which later led him to a new world of medicine.

Once in an experiment, Cheng noticed his classmate tried and failed to use a camero to take a picture of the sample under the microscope due to the placement structure of the light microscope. So Cheng developed a lens adapter, which can be placed onto a cellphone to take pictures directly under a microscope.

With this invention, Cheng established his own company, iDu Optics, to manufacture lens adapters for iPhone and iDu Optics quickly made it’s name in the industry. So far, his lens adapters have been widely used in more than 2,000 hospitals and universities for scientific research.


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