Darren Roblyer, Ph.D.
- Primary Appointment Assistant Professor, Biomedical Engineering
- Education Ph.D, Rice University
B.S, Johns Hopkins University
- Additional Affiliations Boston University Photonics Center
BU-BMC Cancer Center Member
BU Neurophotonics Center Member
- Honors and Awards 2018 American Cancer Society Mission Boost Award
2017 BU – Office of Tech Transfer Ignition Award
2017 Coulter Translational Research Partnership Award
2016 St. Baldrick’s Foundation Cancer Research Award
2015 Department of Defense Era of Hope Scholar Award
2015 BU – Fraunhofer Alliance Award
2014 American Cancer Society Research Scholar Award
2014 Center for Future Technologies in Cancer Care Award
- Areas of Interest Optical Functional Imaging, Diffuse Optics, Near Infrared Spectroscopy, Monitoring of Emerging Targeted and Cytotoxic Therapies in Oncology, Non-Invasive Monitoring of Tumor Metabolism.
- Research Areas My group utilizes a suite of optical technologies to study cancer at the molecular, cellular, and tissue levels. We specialize in both diffuse optical techniques and multiphoton imaging to study tumor drug response and chemoresistance in the lab and in the clinic. Our long term goal is to personalize cancer therapies through continuous monitoring with label-free and safe optical technologies.
We are developing a range of optical technologies that target both preclinical and clinical applications in oncology. For example, we’ve developed a technique called digital Diffuse Optical Spectroscopic Imaging (dDOS) that measures the frequency-domain optical tissue response of breast tumors. dDOS allows us to track quantitative metabolic and molecular features of tumors in vivo at unprecedented timescales during treatment. We are also developing wearable optical probes to achieve continuous monitoring of human subjects throughout their cancer treatments. In the future, this may allow physicians to personalize and adjust treatment for individual patients. We are also developing Spatial Frequency Domain Imaging (SFDI) as a new tool for small animal oncology imaging. SFDI allows us to recapitulate the clinical environment in the laboratory, and test new drugs and treatment regimens. Finally, we have a unique skill set in fabricating 3-D printed optical phantoms with customized optical properties.
One of our long term research goals is to improve the efficacy of therapeutic agents by using optical techniques to help explore and validate novel drug combinations and schedulings. This approach has the potential to improve treatment outcomes and delay treatment resistance. We are testing a range of cytotoxic, antiangiogenic, and immuno-active agents to determine how optical treatment feedback using SFDI and intravital multiphoton imaging can delay tumor growth, improve response rates, and identify chemoresistance. In the clinic, we utilize dDOS and wearable optical probes to discover and characterize non-invasive optical signatures of chemotherapy response and resistance in cancer patients. We have an ongoing clinical study at the Boston Medical Center (BMC) which uses a range of optical technologies to monitor breast cancer patients receiving neoadjuvant chemotherapy at timescales from minutes to months.