Jones Seminar: Molecular Biophotonics for Tumor Detection and Therapy Guidance

Jonathan T.C. Liu, Director, Molecular Biophotonics Laboratory, University of Washington

Friday, October 14, 2016, 3:30–4:30pm

Spanos Auditorium, Cummings Hall

The molecular biophotonics lab, directed by Dr. Jonathan Liu, is developing optical strategies for disease diagnostics and therapy. These endeavors require multi-disciplinary efforts in optical and mechanical design, contrast-agent development, image processing, and preclinical/clinical validation studies. For example, over the past few years, the lab has developed miniaturized optical-sectioning microscopes and molecular probes to enable real-time point-of-care pathology for the early detection of cancers (e.g. oral cancers) as well as for guiding the surgical resection of tumors (e.g. brain tumors). In addition, Dr. Liu’s lab is developing spectral imaging devices in conjunction with molecularly targeted Raman-coded nanoparticles to guide breast-cancer lumpectomy procedures, where the ability to image a multiplexed panel of tumor biomarkers is necessary for the sensitive detection of phenotypically diverse lesions. Finally, efforts are being made to develop light-sheet microscopy systems for rapid 3D digital pathology of fresh surgical specimens (e.g. prostatectomies). These advances have the potential to revolutionize patient care by enabling early cancer detection and/or by providing surgical oncologists and pathologists with intraoperative and postoperative tools to guide various interventions. 

About the Speaker

Jonathan Liu received degrees in mechanical engineering at Princeton (BSE, 1999) and Stanford (MS, 2000 & PhD, 2005). He was a postdoctoral fellow in the department of electrical engineering (Ginzton Labs) and the Molecular Imaging Program at Stanford (2005–2009), and was later appointed as an instructor within the Stanford University School of Medicine (2009–2010). Jonathan was previously an assistant professor in the biomedical engineering department at the State University of New York (SUNY) at Stony Brook (2010–2014) and is now with the mechanical engineering department at the University of Washington in Seattle. He received an award as the top graduate in mechanical engineering at Princeton, an NSF graduate research fellowship, a Canary Foundation / American Cancer Society postdoctoral fellowship, and a K99/R00 career-development award from the NIH. His laboratory for molecular biophotonics develops optical strategies for improving the diagnosis and treatment of diseases.

For more information, contact Jessica Widdicombe at