Biophotonics and Biomedical imaging are some of the most important toolsets we have for understanding biology, physiology, and human disease. Despite the fact that it’s been over 350 years since DIY pioneer Leeuwenhoek first observed single celled organisms through his homemade microscope, there continues to be a pipeline of new breakthroughs that provide previously unobtainable imaging contrasts, improving our understanding of the natural world. Biophotonics and biomedical imaging span disciplines, spatial scales, and time scales, and form the foundation of many scientific endeavors. BU BME biophotonics and biomedical imaging faculty are innovators in new microscopy, spectroscopy, clinical imaging modalities, optical modulation, phototherapy, and imaging probes, with applications spanning a swath as wide as biomedical engineering itself. Biophotonics and biomedical imaging at the BU Photonics Center are tightly coupled to the fields of neuroscience, cancer biology, and clinical medicine among others, and faculty collaborate broadly across our institution and beyond.

Biophotonics & Biomedical Imaging Faculty 

Primary Faculty: Irving Bigio, David Boas, Ji-Xin Cheng,  Anna Devor, Michael Economo, Xue Han, Laura Lewis, Jerome Mertz, Hadi Nia, Darren RoblyerLucia Vaina, John White

Research Faculty:  Fernando Fernandez, Thomas Szabo, Martin Thunemann, Meryem Yücel

Affiliated Faculty: Jerry Chen, Jeffrey Gavornik, Michelle Sander, Benjamin Scott, Lei Tian

Emeritus: Malvin Teich

Affiliated Research Centers

BME Biophotonics & Biomedical Imaging in the news:

  • November 8, 2022

    Seeing a Way to Combat Cancer

    In the fight to treat ovarian cancer, innovative chemical imaging techniques developed by Professor Ji-Xin Cheng (ECE, BME, MSE) are fast becoming valuable tools, as reported in two high-impact journals in the space of two months. [ More ]

  • October 21, 2022

    Nia Earns NIH Award for Ground-Breaking Lung Research Technology

    Assistant Professor Hadi Nia (BME, MSE) has earned the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Director’s New Innovator Award. Granting him nearly $2.5 million, the award will empower Nia to pursue novel models and tools to image the lung in real time and at cellular resolution. He will probe the links... [ More ]

  • February 18, 2022

    Trio Tapped to Join AIMBE College of Fellows

    Prestigious honor for top biomedical engineers For the second year in a row, three ENG faculty members have been elected to the College of Fellows of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE). This time, the honorees are Professor James Galagan (BME, Microbiology), Associate Professor Xue Han (BME), and... [ More ]

  • December 8, 2021

    BME’s Laura Lewis in SCIENCE

    Using fMRI technology to monitor brain activity, Lewis’s research on sleep is featured in one of the world's top academic journals. [ More ]

  • November 18, 2021

    Cross-disciplinary research teams win Kilachand funding

    Five Studies Pushing the Limits of Science: This year’s Kilachand fund awards will support pioneering research across engineering and life sciences [ More ]

  • November 16, 2021

    Going from Gauzy to Granular

    Anna Devor and collaborators aim to extract neuronal circuit activity from fMRI, opening door for clinical applications By Patrick L. Kennedy Say you’re listening to a lecture and paying close attention. When that happens, your brain releases a chemical called acetylcholine. Later, though, you start to doze off. Suddenly, the professor calls... [ More ]

  • July 14, 2021

    Photoacoustic Stimulation with Single-Neuron Precision Developed by a BU Team

    An article by a BU team entitled “Non-genetic Photoacoustic Stimulation of Single Neurons” will appear in Light: Science & Applications. This research is led by Professors Chen Yang (ECE, Chem, MSE) and Ji-Xin Cheng (ECE, BME, MSE) in collaboration with Professor John White (BME) and Professor Heng-Ye Man (Biology). The graduate students and researchers who made key contributions to the work include Linli Shi (Chemistry), Ying Jiang (ECE), Fernando Fernandez (BME), Guo Chen (ECE), and Lu Lan (ECE). [ More ]

  • June 15, 2021

    Laura Lewis Named a Pew Scholar

    Continuing a streak of honors for her ground-breaking research into the complex neural circuits that govern sleep, Assistant Professor Laura Lewis (BME) has been selected one of 22 early-career researchers to join the Pew Scholars Program. [ More ]

  • March 26, 2021

    One Small Step For A Mouse: Using Information Science to Understand the Brain

    by Allison Kleber How does learning a new skill or process change the physical structure of the brain? Using techniques from data science and high-dimensional statistics, Professors Bobak Nazer (ECE), Venkatesh Saligrama (ECE, SE), and Xue Han (BME), aim to find out. Their project, titled “Discovering Changes in Networks: Fundamental Limits, [ More ]

  • February 24, 2021

    Professor Cheng Awarded $2.4 Million Grant by NIH

    [ More ]