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Optical Molecular Probes, Imaging and Drug Delivery

14 April 2019 – 17 April 2019 Loews Ventana Canyon Resort, Tucson, Arizona United States

This multidisciplinary topical meeting will highlight recent advances in these rapidly evolving areas with a goal of stimulating novel strategies for molecular probe development, site-specific drug delivery, monitoring treatment response, and clinical translation to improve diagnosis or treatment of diseases. Areas to be covered include, but are not limited to, novel molecular probe design, applications of smart molecular probes in basic and applied research, endogenous and exogenous optical molecular biomarkers, multimodal imaging, advances in instrumentation and algorithms for optical molecular imaging, molecular and functional imaging of normal and diseased tissue, image-guided drug delivery, drug screening and monitoring therapeutic response. Broad participation by experts, postdoctoral fellows and students is expected and encouraged.


  1. Optical visualization/detection of biomolecular processes and pathways
    • optical tomographic imaging
    • advanced microscopy techniques (multiphoton, SHG, FRET, FLIM, SRS, pump-probe, CARS, etc.)
    • photoacoustics, diffuse reflection
    • quantitative phase imaging,
    • vibrational imaging
  2. Reporters and contrast agents
    • luminescence and bioluminescence imaging
    • endogenous and exogenous contrast
    • genetically encodable probes
    • molecular probes
    • nanoparticle probes
  3. Advanced optical molecular imaging instrumentation
    • assays
    • pre-clinical
    • clinical prototypes (in-vivo / intracavital)
    • surgical microscopes
    • progress in instrumentation
  4. Novel tools for and approaches to image data analysis and reconstruction
  5. Optical monitoring
    • specific delivery& localization
    • action of drugs
    • contrast agents
    • Dosimetry in photodynamic therapy (PDT)
  6. Quantitative validation methods
  7. Multi-modal molecular imaging techniques
    • photoacoustics
    • combinations of optics with MRI, X-ray, radio-diagnostics, ultrasound etc.
    • FLIM, FRET, OCT, Raman and CARS
  8. Clinical translation of optical molecular imaging, spectroscopy and image guided surgery and therapy



  • Brian Applegate, Texas A&M UniversityUnited States 
    To be Determined
  • Jennifer Barton, University of ArizonaUnited States 
    Endogenous and exogenous contrast mechanisms for detection of ovarian cancer
  • Mikhail Berezin, Washington Univ School MedicineUnited States 
    Detecting inflammatory responses in live animal models with near-infrared ROS probes
  • Thomas Bocklitz, Friedrich-Schiller-Universität JenaGermany 
    Machine learning methods for spectral and image data
  • Paola Ceroni, Universita degli Studi di Bologna 
    Luminescent silicon nanocrystals as bioimaging probes
  • Arthur Gmitro, University of ArizonaUnited States 
    Polyscopic Imaging of Window Chamber Mouse Models
  • Jesse Jokerst, University of California at San Diego 
    Photoacoustic Spectroscopy for Molecular Imaging and Image-Guide Drug Delivery
  • Charles Lin, Massachusetts General HospitalUnited States 
    Intravital Imaging of Bone Remodeling and Cross Talk with Hematpoietic Stem Cell Activity
  • Jonathan Liu, University of WashingtonUnited States 
    Nondestructive 3D pathology with open-top light-sheet (OTLS) microscopy for precision medicine
  • Laura Marcu, University of California DavisUnited States 
    Fluorescence Lifetime Techniques for Longitudinal Study of Bioengineered Tissues Properties
  • Mark Niedre, Northeastern UniversityUnited States 
    Shedding Light on Circulating Tumor Cell Mediated Metastasis
  • Gregory Palmer, Duke UniversityUnited States 
    Intravital optical imaging and spectroscopy to monitor tumor therapeutic and immune response
  • John Rasmussen, Texas A&M UniversityUnited States 
    Near-Infrared Fluorescence Lymphatic Imaging in the Clinical Setting
  • Kimberley Samkoe, Dartmouth Medical SchoolUnited States 
    Intracellular paired-agent imaging (iPAI) in live cells and tissues for monitoring drug-target interactions and signal cascade response
  • Iwan Schie, IPHT Jena 
    High-Throughput Screening Raman Spectroscopy (HTS-RS) Platform for Label-Free Single Cell Analysis
  • Jennifer Shell, Dartmouth CollegeUnited States 
    Vitamin B12 derivatives for light activated chemotherapy
  • Marina Shirmanova, Privolzhsky Research Medical UniversityRussia 
    Functional Imaging and Treatment of Tumors Using New Fluorescent Proteins
  • Bryan Spring, Northeastern UniversityUnited States 
    Targeting Drug-Resistant Cancer Stem Cells Using Photodynamic Fluorescent Probes
  • Judith Su, University of ArizonaUnited States 
    Label-free ultra-sensitive molecular detection for bioscience and translational medicine
  • Kenneth Tichauer, Illinois Institute of TechnologyUnited States 
    Quantitative Fluorescence Molecular Imaging through Kinetic Modeling and Paired Agent Methods
  • David Vera, University of California San DiegoUnited States 
    Intra-Operative Molecular Imaging
  • Bruno Weber, Universitat ZurichSwitzerland 
    Glia-neuron interaction in the light of in vivo two-photon imaging
  • Lu Wei, California Institute of TechnologyUnited States 
    Chemical Imaging for Biomedicine
  • Tomasz Zal, Univ of Texas M. D. Anderson CtrUnited States 
    Two-Photon Phosphorescence Lifetime Imaging Reveals Oxygen Role in Tumor Immune



Brian Pogue, Dartmouth, United States , Chair
Juergen Popp, Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena, Germany , Chair
Summer Gibbs, Oregon Health and Science University, United States , Program Chair
Sergei Vinogradov, University of Pennsylvania, United States , Program Chair

Mikhail Berezin, Washington University School Medicine, USA
Jesse Jokerst, University of California at San Diego, USA
Wei Min, Columbia University, USA
Kimberley Samkoe, Dartmouth Medical School, USA
Bryan Spring, Northeastern University, USA
Kenneth Tichauer, Illinois Institute of Technology, USA
Andrew Tsourkas, University of Pennsylvania, USA


Plenary Session

Valentina Emiliani

Vision Institute Paris, France

Toward Circuit Optogenetics

Valentina will present how recent joint progress in light delivering approaches, opsins engineering and laser sources development have brought the field of optogenetics into a new phase that we can name ‘circuit optogenetics’, where neural circuits can be optically interrogated with milli-second temporal precision and single-cell resolution.

About the Speaker

Valentina Emiliani joined the Max Born Institute after having obtained her PhD in Physics in Rome in 1998.  She investigate carrier transport in quantum wire by near field optical microscopy (SNOM). In 2002 she moved at the European Laboratory for Nonlinear Spectroscopy to lead a research group focused on the investigation of light propagation in disordered structure by SNOM. In 2002 she moved to Paris at the Institute Jacques Monod in Paris. Her interest was to study the role of mechanical forces on the establishment of cell polarity by optical tweezers. In 2005 she was awarded with the European Young Investigator grant and formed the “Wave front engineering microscopy” group at Paris Descartes University, pioneering the use of wave front shaping for neuroscience. Valentina became research director in 2011 and Director of the Neurophotonics laboratory in 2014.

In 2018, she moved her group at the Vision Institute in Paris where she has also taken the head of the photonics department. In 2015 she obtained the Prix “Coups d’élan pour la recherche française” from the Bettencourt-Shueller foundation and in 2017 the Axa chair  “Investigation of visual circuits by optical wave front shaping “.

Aydogan Ozcan

California NanoSystems Institute UCLA, USA

Deep Learning-enabled Computational Microscopy and Sensing

Deep learning is a class of machine learning techniques that uses multi-layered artificial neural networks for automated analysis of signals or data. The name comes from the general structure of deep neural networks, which consist of several layers of artificial neurons, each performing a nonlinear operation, stacked over each other. Beyond its main stream applications such as the recognition and labeling of specific features in images, deep learning holds numerous opportunities for revolutionizing image formation, reconstruction and sensing fields. In this presentation, I will provide an overview of some of our recent work on the use of deep neural networks in advancing computational microscopy and sensing systems, also covering their biomedical applications.

About the Speaker

Aydogan Ozcan is the Chancellor’s Professor at UCLA and an HHMI Professor with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, leading the Bio- and Nano-Photonics Laboratory at UCLA and is also the Associate Director of the California NanoSystems Institute. Ozcan holds 38 issued patents and >20 pending patent applications and is also the author of one book and the co-author of >500 peer-reviewed publications in major scientific journals and conferences.

Ozcan is the founder and a member of the Board of Directors of Lucendi Inc. and Holomic/Cellmic LLC, which was named a Technology Pioneer by The World Economic Forum in 2015. Dr. Ozcan is a Fellow of the International Photonics Society (SPIE), The Optical Society (OSA), the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE), the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC), and the Guggenheim Foundation, and has received major awards including the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, International Commission for Optics Prize, Biophotonics Technology Innovator Award, Rahmi M. Koc Science Medal, International Photonics Society Early Career Achievement Award, Army Young Investigator Award, NSF CAREER Award, NIH Director’s New Innovator Award, Navy Young Investigator Award, IEEE Photonics Society Young Investigator Award and Distinguished Lecturer Award, National Geographic Emerging Explorer Award, National Academy of Engineering The Grainger Foundation Frontiers of Engineering Award and MIT’s TR35 Award for his seminal contributions to computational imaging, sensing and diagnostics.


Special Events

Hot Topic Discussions

Monday, 15 April, 13:00-13:45
Join your colleagues for informal discussions on a selection of current hot topics . Round tables will be set on the back patio and a different topic will be featured at each table. Topics to be discussed include, Deep Learning for Quantitative Imaging Analysis, Artificial Intelligence in Optics and Photonics and Implicit Bias . You can also bring your own topic and host a table . Please note that lunch will not be provided . We recommend that you visit the hotel’s Visita Barista or Bill’s Grill for lunch and then come on over with it.

Student & Early Career Professional Development & Networking Lunch and Learn

Monday, 15 April, 12:30–14:00
This program will provide a unique opportunity for students and early career professionals, who are close to finishing or who have recently finished their doctorate degree, to interact with experienced researchers. Key industry and academic leaders in the community will be matched for each student based on the student's preference or similarity of research interests. Students interested in all career paths – from those seeking an academic position, to those wishing to start a technology business, to those interested government/public service, to those looking to translate their benchwork skills to product development – are encouraged to apply.  Students will have an opportunity to discuss their ongoing research and career plans with their mentor, while mentors will share their professional journey and provide useful tips to those who attend. Lunch will be provided.

This Workshop is complimentary for OSA Members and space is limited. Not all who apply will be able to attend due to space limitations and priority will be given to those who have most recently or are close to graduation. 

Hosted By: OSA Foundation

Congress Reception 

Monday, 15 April, 18:30–20:00
Join your fellow attendees for the Congress Reception. Enjoy western fare while dancing the night away in the hotel's Coyote Corral. One reception ticket is included in the Full Technical Registration Fee. Guest tickets may be purchased for US $50.

 Emerging Biomedical Applications of Nonlinear Optics

Tuesday, 16 April; 12:30-14:00
Join the OSA Nonlinear Optics Technical Group for this special event exploring potential applications for nonlinear optics within the field of biomedical optics. Our speakers will give short five-minute talks on their research, which is at the intersection of nonlinear optics and biomedical engineering, followed by a moderated question and answer session. This technical group event will also provide an opportunity for you to network with others who share an interest in this area. 

Hosted By: OSA Nonlinear Optics technical Group

A Celebration of the Nobel Prize Winning Work of Arthur Ashkin

Tuesday, 16 April, 17:30–19:30
Attendees are invited to join the OSA Optical Trapping and Manipulation in Molecular and Cellular Biology Technical group as they celebrate the pioneering work of Dr. Arthur Ashkin. The event will bring together members of the optical trapping community to recognize Dr. Ashkin for receiving the 2018 Nobel Prize in Physics and to discuss his work in this area. Dr. Gabe Spalding of Illinois Wesleyan University will give a brief presentation reflecting on Ashkin’s work, which will be followed by a networking reception bringing together researchers who share an interest in optical trapping and manipulation.

Hosted By: OSA Optical Trapping and Manipulation in Molecular and Cellular Biology Technical Group


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