There are major advances to be made in how we address diseases like cancer or neurological conditions. However, many diseased and healthy tissues are hard to visualize within the body, presenting a major challenge for making these advances.
We develop techniques that use light and custom molecular contrast agents to visualize tissue inside living animals and humans.
We then use these tools to better understand the underlying biology on a molecular level, make diagnosis tools that are more accurate and less invasive than existing methods, and develop novel light-based treatments for disease.Specifically, we…

  • Develop fluorescent contrast agents to target pathophysiological processes for disease detection and monitoring, particularly in cancer
  • Create optical systems to detect these compounds and other disease-related structures in the body
  • Design optical systems to image the brain and visualize neural activity
  • Leverage optical imaging to better understand biological processes
  • Develop multimodal agents that combine optical techniques with magnetic resonance and radionuclear (positron and single photon emission) medicine
  • Create light and radiation activated drugs for cancer therapy

Each of the Principle Investigators in the Optical Radiology Lab leads a research program addressing issues like these. To learn more about specific projects, please visit each PI’s page.