Research at the intersection of biomedical imaging, biophotonics and algorithm design

The Computational Optics Lab develops new microscopes, cameras and computer algorithms for better biomedical images. The lab is directed by Dr. Roarke Horstmeyer, who will begin as an Assistant Professor in the Biomedical Engineering Department at Duke Univeristy in 2018.

Visible light is useful for probing and understanding biological processes. It is easy to create, not very harmful, and offers a rainbow of colors with which one can extract information. Digital optical sensors, in the form of pixel arrays, are also now almost everywhere. For example, you likely have one in your pocket right now (in your cell phone camera).

However, it is still challenging to clearly capture many important biological events. The image resolution, field-of-view, and video frame rate of many optical recordings are still not as high as they should be. In addition, scattering prevents us from seeing beneath the very top layers of biological tissue. These limits are felt across many areas of study, from the pathologist who can only examine one small part of a histology slide at a time, to the neuroscientist who can only use light to monitor neural activity along the top surface of the brain.

The Computational Optics Lab develops new optical tools and algorithms to overcome these barriers. Here are a few current projects:

1. A microscope to capture gigavoxel-scale 3D images using principles from Fourier ptychography

2. Ways to improve the depth and field-of-view of deep-tissue images in neuroscience

3. Techniques to optically record in vivo neural activity in freely moving animals 


Interested in joining the lab? We are currently seeking PhD and post-doc candidates who would like to begin working in the lab in 2018. While the start date is still a while away, it is always helpful to begin to plan early! Please feel free to get in touch