Special Brainmap Seminar: Visualizing Microscopic Determinants of Disease for Diagnosis and Discovery

Wednesday, May 16, 2018 - 09:00
149 13th Street (Building 149), Room 2204

Special Brainmap Seminar: Visualizing Microscopic Determinants of Disease for Diagnosis and Discovery

Stephen A. Boppart, M.D., Ph.D.


Biophotonics and optical imaging technologies are increasingly being used to visualize the complex microscopic structural, molecular, metabolic, and functional properties of cells and tissues, and reveal new image-based biomarkers to differentiate between states of health and disease.  These technologies enable views at the molecular- and micro-scale, complementing the larger clinical imaging modalities of MRI, X-Ray CT, PET/SPECT, and ultrasound imaging in unique ways that span dimensional scales, and visualizing functional aberrations and determinants of disease at early stages.  Translational research opportunities and applications exist across many medical and surgical specialties.  In primary care, optical coherence tomography (OCT) has been developed to noninvasively detect middle-ear effusions and biofilms for the diagnosis of ear infections that are ubiquitous in the pediatric population, yet remain challenging to diagnose accurately with standard instruments.  In surgery, the high-speed real-time microstructural imaging capabilities of OCT have enabled surgeons to detect positive breast tumor margins intraoperatively, with the potential to significantly reduce the unacceptably high re-operation rates associated with breast cancer surgery.  Recent advances in optical science and laser-source technology have enabled new multimodal multiphoton imaging platforms that provide label-free molecular and metabolic imaging of fresh tissue, tumor microenvironments, and drug distribution and efficacy, with the potential to augment or even replace the time- and labor-intensive histopathology protocols with real-time point-of-care in vivo optical biopsies of tissues.  Neuroimaging and neuro-interrogation at the cell and circuit level have been advanced by optical pulse shaping and coherent control in optogenetics, and single-source systems for all-optical stimulation and recording of neural circuit activity are possible with functional feedback control in the brain and the neural retina.  These advances and novel technological capabilities with biophotonics and optical imaging will lead to many more collaborative interdisciplinary investigations and applications that will identify microscopic determinants of disease, and change paradigms for disease screening, for clinical diagnosis, and for fundamental biological discovery.

About the Speaker

Stephen Boppart is the Abel Bliss Professor of Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) with appointments in the Departments of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Bioengineering, Medicine, and the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology.  His Biophotonics Imaging Laboratory is focused on developing novel optical biomedical diagnostic and imaging technologies and translating these into clinical applications.  Prof. Boppart received his Ph.D. in Medical and Electrical Engineering from MIT (EECS/HST), his M.D. from Harvard Medical School, and specialty training in Internal Medicine.  He has published over 330 invited and contributed publications, delivered over 800 invited and contributed presentations, and has over 45 patents related to optical biomedical imaging technology.  He has mentored over 165 interdisciplinary undergraduate, graduate, and post-graduate researchers.  He was recognized by MIT Technology Review magazine as one of the Top 100 Young Innovators for his development of medical technology, and with the Paul F. Forman Engineering Excellence Award from the Optical Society of America for dedication and advancement in undergraduate research education.  More recently he received the international Hans Sigrist Prize in the field of Diagnostic Laser Medicine, and the IEEE Technical Achievement Award.  Prof. Boppart has co-founded three start-up companies to commercialize and disseminate his optical technologies for biomedical imaging.  He is a Fellow of AAAS, IEEE, OSA, SPIE, AIMBE, and BMES.  He established and served as Director of Imaging at Illinois, a university-wide program to integrate imaging science, technology, and applications across multiple modalities and fields, and is currently Director of the Center for Optical Molecular Imaging, supported by an academic-clinical-industry partnership with GlaxoSmithKline.  Prof. Boppart has been a strong advocate for the integration of engineering, technology, and medicine to advance human health and our healthcare systems, and is playing an active role in the visioning, development, and launch of a new engineering-based College of Medicine at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Biophotonics Imaging Laboratory:  http://biophotonics.illinois.edu