Wellcome / EPSRC Centre for Interventional and Surgical Sciences


Speaker profiles



Erwin Alles – University College London

Title: Video-rate and freehand in vivo All-Optical Ultrasound Imaging

Research interests: Erwin Alles is a lecturer at the Wellcome/EPSRC centre for Interventional and Surgical Sciences (WEISS). His research interests include developing clinical optical ultrasound imaging systems capable of video-rate imaging in both external and interventional settings. In particular, he is keen on developing multimodal applications in conjunction with, for example, MRI or CT imaging.

Key publicationVideo-rate all-optical ultrasound imaging

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Shai Ashkenazi – University of Minnesota

Title: Waveguide fiber Fabry-Pérot ultrasound detectors

Research interests: Photoacoustic Imaging, Photodynamic Therapy, and Optical methods for Ultrasound Imaging

Key publication: Polymer Waveguides for Improved Sensitivity in Fiber Fabry-Perot Ultrasound Detectors


Esra Aytac Kipergil – University College London

Title: Laser-generated focused ultrasound transducers for minimally invasive therapeutic procedures 

Research interests: Esra Aytac Kipergil is a research associate at the Wellcome/EPSRC centre for Interventional and Surgical Sciences (WEISS). Her research interests include developing versatile fabrication methods for laser-generated ultrasound (LGFU) transducers. She is exploring the therapeutic capabilities of LGFU transducers at a scale that is suitable for interventional use. She is interested in simultaneous ultrasound therapy and monitoring. 

Key publication: Versatile and scalable fabrication method for laser-generated focused ultrasound transducers

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Hyoungwon Baac – Sungkyunkwan University

Title: Laser-generated focused ultrasound and its applications

Research interests: Laser-generated focused ultrasound, optoacoustic lens, optoacoustic transmitter, acoustic cavitation, focused ultrasound therapy, histotripsy, fiber-optic hydrophone.

Key publicationsCarbon-Nanotube Optoacoustic Lens for Focused Ultrasound Generation and High-Precision Targeted Therapy
Carbon nanotube composite optoacoustic transmitters for strong and high frequency ultrasound generation

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Richard Colchester – University College London

Title: Minimally Invasive Imaging with All-Optical Ultrasound

Research interests: My research interests include the development of minimally invasive medical imaging systems based on laser-generated ultrasound and complementary optical modalities, such as photoacoustic imaging and laser ablation. I am exploring the use of optical fibre based devices for imaging and therapy during surgical procedures. Potential medical applications span cardiac, gastrointestinal, and endobronchial, amongst other.

Key publication: All-Optical Rotational Ultrasound Imaging

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Adrien Desjardins – University College London

Research interests: Adrien Desjardins is a Professor at the University College London in the Department of Medical Physics and Biomedical Engineering and a co-I at the Wellcome/EPSRC centre for Interventional and Surgical Sciences (WEISS). He is the founder and a co-PI of the Interventional Devices Group. His research is centred on the development of new imaging and sensing modalities to guide minimally invasive medical procedures, with a particular interests in the clinical translation of optical ultrasound imaging.

Key publication: Through-needle all-optical ultrasound imaging in vivo: a preclinical swine study

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Malcolm Finlay – Barts Heart Centre


L. Jay Guo – University of Michigan

Title: Optical Generation and Detection of Ultrasound and their Applications

Research interests: Dr. L. Jay Guo is a Professor at University of Michigan. His group’s research include polymer-based photonic devices and sensor applications, organic and hybrid photovoltaics and photodetectors, structural colors and nanophotonics, nanoimprint-based and roll to roll nanomanufacturing technologies. His lab developed polymer microring resonator based broadband and sensitive ultrasound detector, and has applied it to ultrasound, photoacoustic, and THz detections. His lab also developed carbon nanomaterial composite based high efficiency photoacoustic generator, and invented photoacoustic lens capable of focusing laser generated ultrasound to tight spot, which enabled various interesting applications.

Key publication: Laser-Induced Focused Ultrasound for Cavitation Treatment: Toward High-Precision Invisible Sonic Scalpel

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Nam (Trung) Huynh – University College London

Title: High resolution Fabry-Perot scanner for photoacoustic and optical ultrasound imaging

Research interests: Nam Huynh is a research associate in the Photoacoustic imaging group at the Department of Medical Physics and Biomedical Engineering, University College London. His research interests lie primarily in the area of instrumentations for novel imaging techniques using optics and ultrasound. He has been involved in developing high speed high resolution Fabry-Pérot clinical scanner and using the system to conduct patient studies over the last 5 years.


Callum Little – Royal Free Hospital

Research interests: Callum Little is a Clinical Research Fellow at Wellcome/EPSRC Centre for Interventional & Surgical Sciences and Senior Interventional Cardiology Fellow at Royal Free Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, London. His research areas of interest include the clinical translation of emerging intravascular technologies including imaging, physiological assessment and therapeutics.

Key publication: Optically Generated Ultrasound for Intracoronary Imaging

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Srirang Manohar – University of Twente

Title: Laser-induced ultrasound for non-invasive imaging

Research interests: My interest is in technology development and demonstration of new imaging instruments that use light and ultrasound. Specifically, I work in photoacoustic imaging developing prototypes for non-invasive imaging of breast cancer. This work has potential in diagnosis, guiding of biopsy and monitoring of therapy. A second application area is in minimally-invasive imaging, for potential guidance of biopsies and of needle-based therapies such as radiofrequency ablation.

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Vasilis Ntziachristos – Technische Universität München

Title: Listening to sound: optoacoustic imaging and applications

Abstract: Optical imaging is unequivocally the most versatile and widely used visualization modality in the life sciences. Yet it has been significantly limited by photon scattering, which complicates the visualization of tissue beyond a few hundred microns. For the past few years, there has been an emergence of powerful new optical and optoacoustic imaging methods that offer high resolution imaging beyond the penetration limits of microscopic methods. The talk discusses progress in multi-spectral opto-acoustic tomography (MSOT) and mesoscopy (MSOM) that bring unprecedented optical imaging performance in visualizing anatomical, physiological and molecular biomarkers. Advances in light technology, detection methods and algorithms allow for highly-performing visualization in biology and medicine through several millimetres to centimetres of tissue and real-time imaging. The talk demonstrates implementations in the time and frequency domain, showcase how it is possible to accurately solve fluence and spectral coloring issues for yielding quantitative measurements of tissue oxygenation and hypoxia and demonstrate quantitative in-vivo measurements of inflammation, metabolism, angiogenesis in label free mode. In parallel, progress with clinical systems and the complementarity with ultrasound imaging, fluorescence molecular imaging and other modalities is discussed. Finally the talk offers insights into new miniaturized detection methods based on ultrasound detection using optical fibers, which could be used for minimally invasive applications.

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Ivan Pelivanov – University of Washington

Title: Non-contact PA molecular fingerprinting in laboratory biomedicine


Fernando Pérez-Cota – University of Nottingham


Jami Shepherd (Johnson) – University of Auckland

Title: Development and applications of non-contact all-optical ultrasound imaging

Research interests: My primary research goal is to advance medical photoacoustic and ultrasonic imaging capabilities through physics and engineering. I am interested in creating altogether new imaging systems as well as enabling new capabilities for devices already embedded into clinical routine. My research therefore spans multiple facets of imaging including development of novel instrumentation, designing and adapting imaging reconstruction methods, and extracting buried information through image processing. Beyond early-stage development, my research includes clinically relevant applications both ex vivo and in vivo toward the essential end-goal of clinical translation.

Key publication: All-optical extravascular laser-ultrasound and photoacoustic imaging of calcified atherosclerotic plaque in excised carotid artery

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Rami Shnaiderman – Technische Universität München

TitleSilicon-photonics sensor array for high resolution optoacoustic imaging

Research interests: Rami Shnaiderman is a research associate at the institute of biological and medical imaging. His research interests include development of novel ultrasound sensors and parallelization of large sensor arrays. His current research is directed toward sensor miniaturization with photonic integrated circuits for ultrasonic and optoacoustic imaging, and development of fiber sensors for endoscopic applications.

Key publicationA submicrometre silicon-on-insulator resonator for ultrasound detection

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Xingwei Wang – University of Massachusetts Lowell

Title: Validation of An Ultrasound Transducer’s Generation and Receiving Function on One Single-mode Fiber 

Research interests: Optical Fiber Sensors, Bio-sensing and Biomedical Devices, Optical Imaging, Distributed Sensing and Sensors for Harsh Environments 

Key publication: Laboratory of Optics

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Xiang (Shawn) Zhang – Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Title: Tissue LUS Imaging

Research interests: Xiang (Shawn) Zhang is a Postdoctoral Associate in the Computational Instrumentation Lab advised by Dr. Brian Anthony. Shawn’s research focuses on non-contact laser ultrasound (LUS) and design of novel systems to enhance/extend ultrasound beyond present capabilities. In particular, Shawn is interested in using novel instrumentation and materials to enhance LUS performance for clinical translation and integrating LUS methodologies into conventional ultrasound to enable novel diagnostic applications.

Key publication: Full noncontact laser ultrasound: first human data

headshot of Xiang (Shawn) Zhang