Assistant Professor of Medicine
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
Dana 841-Division of Gastro
330 Brookline Ave
Boston MA 02215
2012 - 2012
Advanced Imaging Concept Development Awards
My career in the field of medical physics and biotechnology started in 2004 when I came to Boston to pursue my Ph.D. degree. Years of physics studies provided me with a solid background in optics and engineering and interactions with clinicians and researchers at BIDMC have inspired my interest in applying this knowledge to medicine and biology.
During my postdoctoral and Ph.D. training in Prof. Perelman's laboratory I successfully worked on two exciting projects.
1. Confocal light absorption and scattering spectroscopic (CLASS) microscopy. The idea of CLASS microscopy, technique I have been working on recently, is based on light scattering spectroscopy developed by my advisor, Prof. Perelman, and his colleagues at MIT and Harvard. Light scattering spectroscopy enables non-invasive detection of disease in various organs of human body without the need for exogenous contrast agents, with hundreds of groups around the world working in this new field of medical imaging now. CLASS microscopy represents a breakthrough in the ability to observe the functions of subcellular organelles in living cells nondestructively with resolution approaching the spatial resolution of electron microscopy. This is accomplished without the need for exogenous contrast agents that could interfere with inherent cell functioning. It provides a novel way to use optical imaging techniques for non-invasive monitoring of embryonic cells on the submicron scale with no exogenous labels. The human embryo development and response to environmental factors could be monitored progressively at all critical stages using CLASS microscopy. For example, when cells are in metaphase, CLASS could provide information concerning the number and shape of chromosomes present. Since the CLASS measurement is nondestructive and requires no exogenous chemicals, a given embryo in vitro could be monitored over time before implantation. These kinds of progression studies are not possible with the techniques currently available. Another important application of CLASS microscopy is imaging gold nanoparticles in cells and tissue. Gold nanoparticles have been recently employed as extremely bright and stable molecular markers. By studying single gold nanorods with CLASS microscopy we observed extremely narrow plasmon scattering spectral lines. Those lines are significantly narrower than lines observed previously in the nanorod ensamples and can be used for imaging multiple molecular targets. We are now applying CLASS microscopy in such diverse areas as reproductive biology, early cancer detection, etc.
2. Endoscopic polarized scanning biopsy guidance technique. The purpose of this project is to develop an optical system which can perform rapid optical scanning and multispectral imaging of the entire epithelial surface of various organs in reproductive and gastrointestinal tracts and present a diagnosis in near real time. This approach is vastly superior to the present strategies of performing random biopsies. Thus, it will provide a powerful tool for screening large populations of patients for early precancerous changes. In its pilot clinical test in the esophagus at BIDMC this instrument, for the first time in the world, successfully guided biopsy detecting and mapping sites of invisible dysplasia missed by the current standard-of-care. A paper describing this work, where I am a first author, has recently been published in Nature Medicine. Also, I have recently been working on applying polarized light scattering spectroscopy to early detection
of ovarian cancer. In collaboration with gynecologic oncologists, surgeons and pathologists, we are in the process of developing a spectroscopic imaging instrument which will enable a physician to survey ovaries in patients with high levels of CA-125, BRCA mutations, and/or a family history of ovarian cancer in a minimally invasive fashion and determine with high probability the presence of early cancer.
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