Brian W. Pogue

Adjunct Professor of Engineering

Professor & Chair, Dept of Medical Physics, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Research Interests

Optics in medicine, biomedical imaging to guide cancer therapy; molecular guided surgery; dose imaging in radiation therapy; Cherenkov light imaging; image guided spectroscopy of cancer; photodynamic therapy; modeling of tumor pathophysiology and contrast


  • BSc Hons, Physics, York University (Canada) 1989
  • MSc, Physics, York University (Canada) 1991
  • PhD, Medical Physics, McMaster University (Canada) 1996
  • Research Fellow, Harvard Medical School, Massachusetts General Hospital (USA) 1996

Professional Activities

  • Dean of Graduate Studies, Dartmouth College 2008-2012
  • Chair, Biomedical Imaging Technology Study Section, National Institutes of Health, 2012-2014
  • Conference Chair, Gordon Research Conference: Lasers in Medicine and Biology, July 2012
  • Conference Chair: Molecular Guided Surgery: Molecules Devices and Applications, SPIE BiOS, San Francisco CA
  • Editorial Boards: Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Biomedical Optics, SPIE Press


QUEL Imaging
Co-founder & Advisor

Research Projects

  • Near-infrared imaging

    Near-infrared imaging

    Near-infrared imaging (NIR) provides a way to quantify blood and water concentrations in tissue, as well as structural and functional parameters. Since normal tissue, benign tumors, and malignant tumors each carry different concentrations of both hemoglobin and water, and have different levels of oxygen demand and ultrastructural scattering, NIR spectroscopy can be combined into standard imaging systems as an effective method of to provide additional information for breast cancer detection and diagnosis. Work is ongoing to improve techniques for better image reconstruction, display and integration with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and computed tomography (CT) imaging.

    See also Center for Imaging Medicine

  • Optical molecular imaging

    Optical molecular imaging

    Optical molecular imaging is being used to provide molecular guidance in cancer surgery. Fluorescent contrast agents are in pre-clinical and clinical studies to image cancer tumors in vivo, with a dual focus, first on getting more accurate information out of the tissue, and secondly to provide better information about the specificity of the molecules as markers. Systems and algorithms for diffuse fluorescence imaging of tissue are studied, both as a stand-alone system, and as coupled to magnetic resonance imaging and computed tomography imaging. Tracer kinetic modeling is also being developed to allow quantitative imaging of molecular binding in vivo.

  • Fluorescence-guided surgery

    Fluorescence-guided surgery

    Fluorescence-guided surgery is important for the resection of some types of cancerous tumors where the tumor and normal tissue are similar in appearance and texture, and patient prognosis depends heavily on the completeness of resection. By selectively tagging tumor tissue with fluorescent dyes, it becomes possible to visually discriminate between normal and tumor tissues and improve significantly the completeness of tumor resection.

  • Photodynamic therapy

    Photodynamic therapy

    Photodynamic therapy (PDT) is a newly emerging therapy for displastic tissues, such as cancer, age-related blindness, pre-malignant transformation or psoriasis. The therapy involves the administration of a photosensitizing agent, together with the application of moderate intensity light to active the molecules to produce local doses of singlet oxygen. Ongoing research topics include, developing improved dosimetry instrumentation and software, fluorescence tomography imaging to sense drug localization, and assaying unique tumor biology and treatment effects in experimental cancers.

  • Quantitative scatter imaging

    Quantitative scatter imaging

    Quantitative scatter imaging makes use of the fact that normal functioning cells and cancerous cells show differences both in the components within the cells and in the structural organization of the cells within the tissue. These physical distinctions in biological structure have been shown to scatter light differently. This study develops a new approach to imaging scatter-based contrast over a wide field of view in tissue using high frequency structured light. These scattering features may provide a method to diagnostically identify abnormal tissue without the need to administer targeted compounds. This approach has the potential to generate new diagnostic screenings and new approaches for surgical guidance.

  • Cerenkov imaging in radiation therapy

    Cerenkov imaging in radiation therapy

    Radiation therapy is used to treat cancer tumors by killing the tissue with high ionizing radiation doses. Until recently it has not been possible to image the radiation dose delivered to tissue, but through Cherenkov light imaging, this delivered dose can be mapped with high resolution cameras. The research group focuses on quantification of the imaging, and developing tools which allow radiation therapy to be delivered in a safer and more validated manner.

  • Scintillation dosimetry for quality assurance in radiotherapy

    Scintillation dosimetry for quality assurance in radiotherapy

    Radiation therapy is used to treat cancer tumors by killing the tissue with high ionizing radiation doses. Modern external beam radiotherapy systems deliver high dose levels to precisely marked tumor volume in less time. As a mis-administration can have potentially severe impact to the surrounding healthy tissue, more stringent and complex quality assurance measurements are required in clinics. By developing a comprehensive optical dose imaging camera system, we aim to fundamentally simplify the quality assurance process and, in turn, to further promote the culture of safety in radiotherapy. By converting the dose to visible light using scintillation phantom, we can image and reconstruct 3D dose maps in real time, enabling complete and accurate verification in a fast enough timeframe for it to be useful in every procedure.

Selected Publications


Professor Brian Pogue

Imaging Medicine at Dartmouth

Graduate Student Engineering Research: Čerenkov Fluorescence Imaging

Graduate Student Engineering Research: Optics and Radiation Therapy

Medical lasers: diagnosing disease, treating disease, curing disease


In the News

Nature Communications
A good-for-something second brain
Jan 03, 2024
Medical Physics Web
Algorithm enhances Cherenkov-based dose verification
Mar 28, 2018
Valley News
Startup Gets $1.4 Million From NIH
Nov 23, 2015
To dye for: Breast cancer on the margins
Sep 03, 2015
Medical Physics Web
Cerenkoscopy monitors breast treatments
Feb 09, 2015
Institute of Physics
Imaging scheme tracks tumour oxygenation
Oct 01, 2014
Medical Physics Web
Cerenkov technique eyes linac QA
Feb 25, 2013
The Dartmouth
Thayer prof. named OSA fellow
Feb 07, 2013
Medical Physics Web
Tracking oxygenation during radiotherapy
Oct 15, 2012
The Dartmouth
College names search committee
Jun 12, 2012
Medical News Today
Testing New Technique to Examine Breast Tissue
Mar 07, 2011
VOX of Dartmouth
Gribble, Pogue Receive Mentor Awards
Mar 07, 2011
VOX of Dartmouth
Deep vision
Mar 07, 2011
Medical lasers: diagnose, treat, cure
Mar 07, 2011
Dartmouth Medicine
Could function prove better than form?
Mar 07, 2011