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Optical Molecular Probes, Imaging and Drug Delivery

12 April 2021 – 16 April 2021 OSA Virtual Event - Pacific Daylight Time (UTC - 07:00)

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



  • Theresa Busch, University of Pennsylvania
  • Edward Delikatny, Washington State UniversityUnited States
    Title to be Announced
  • Nicholas Durr, Johns Hopkins UniversityUnited States
  • Stanislav Emelianov, Georgia Institute of TechnologyUnited States
    Laser Activated Contrast Nanoagents for Background-free Photoacoustic and Ultrasound Imaging
  • Sergey Ermilov, PhotoSound Technologies, Inc.United States
  • Summer Gibbs, Oregon Health and Science UniversityUnited States
    Title to Be Announced
  • Susanne Kossatz, Technische Universität MunchenGermany
  • Frederic Leblond, Polytechnique MontréalCanada
  • Christie Lin, OnLume SurgicalUnited States
    Applications of a Novel Translational Fluorescence-guided Surgery Platform
  • Jonathan Lovell, SUNY BuffaloUnited States
  • Guolan Lu, Stanford UniversityUnited States
    Title to Be Announced
  • Tommaso Patriarchi, Universitat Zurich
  • Brian Pogue, Dartmouth CollegeUnited States
    Cherenkov Light Molecular Imaging and Therapy Enhancement from X-rays
  • Milind Rajadhyaksha, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer CenterUnited States
  • Daniel Razansky, Helmholtz Zentrum München GmbHSwitzerland
    Title to Be Announced
  • Kimberley Samkoe, Dartmouth CollegeUnited States
    Title to Be Announced
  • Melissa Skala, University of Wisconsin-MadisonUnited States
    Label-free Imaging of Stem Cell-derived Cardiomyocytes
  • Bryan Spring, Northeastern UniversityUnited States
    Title to Be Announced
  • Kenneth Tichauer, Illinois Institute of TechnologyUnited States
    Title to Be Announced
  • Sergei Vinogradov, University of PennsylvaniaUnited States
    Title to Be Announced
  • Lu Wei, California Institute of TechnologyUnited States
    High-resolution Chemical Imaging of Cells and Tissues
  • Max Witjes, University Medical Center GroningenNetherlands
    Fluorescence Guided Surgery in Head & Neck Cancer for Tumor Detection and Margin Assessment Using Cetuximab-800CW



  • Summer Gibbs, Oregon Health and Science University, United StatesChair
  • Sergei Vinogradov, University of Pennsylvania, United StatesChair
  • Mark Niedre, Northeastern University, United StatesProgram Chair
  • Kimberley Samkoe, Dartmouth College, United StatesProgram Chair
  • Christie Lin, OnLume Surgical, United States
  • Guolan Lu, Stanford University, United States
  • Srivalleesha Mallidi, Tufts University, United States
  • Bryan Spring, Northeastern University, United States
  • Kenneth Tichauer, Illinois Institute of Technology, United States


Plenary Session

Sandrine Lévêque-Fort

Paris Saclay University

Alternative Strategies for 3D Single Molecule Localization Microscopy

I will present our recent work on 3D imaging in Single Molecule Localization Microscopy, where intrinsic properties of fluorescence emission can be directly used to enhance the resolution.

About the Speaker

Sandrine Lévêque-Fort is a CNRS Researcher Director at the Institute of molecular science (ISMO) in Paris Saclay University. She obtained her PhD on the development of a new acousto-optic imaging approach for imaging through scattering media in the Optical Lab of ESPCI in Paris. She then became a postdoctoral fellow in the physics department of Imperial College, where she started to develop time resolved fluorescence microscopy but also structured illumination strategy. She joined the CNRS in 2001 to develop different strategies to improve spatial and temporal resolution for fluorescence microscopy, by implementing new configurations or used plasmonics substrates to engineered fluorescence emission. Since 2009, she has proposed various approaches to take advantage of supercritical angle fluorescence (SAF) emission as an alternative intrinsic tool given by the fluorophore itself to access axial information. In wide field microscopy this allows a dual depth imaging without any photon loss while preserving ideal sectioning for membrane imaging. In combination with super-resolution microscopy techniques (DONALD/DAISY), these new approaches permit to reveal quantitatively the 3D cellular nanoarchitecture. Since 2016, she has combined structured excitation with single molecule localization. By introducing a time signature within the localization process, this technique called ModLoc permits to retrieve the fluorophores’ information thanks to the phase of their modulated emission and benefits of an enhanced and uniform localization precision.

Dan Oron

Weizmann Institute of Science

Quantum Enhanced Superresolution Confocal Microscopy

We show how the resolution of a standard confocal can be increased fourfold with a twofold axial resolution increase by harnessing the quantum phenomenon of fluorescence antibunching and by its classical analog of fluorescence intermittency.

About the Speaker

Dan Oron earned a B.Sc. in mathematics and physics from the Hebrew university in 1994. He earned his M.Sc. degree in physics from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in 1998 and received his Ph.D., also in physics, from the Weizmann Institute of Science in 2005, under the guidance of Prof. Yaron Silberberg. After conducting postgraduate research with Prof. Uri Banin at the Hebrew University for two years, he joined the staff of the Weizmann Institute in April 2007. He is currently a professor at the department of Molecular Chemistry and Materials Science at the Weizmann institute. His main research interests are at the interface between light and the nanoscale, studying both the interaction of light with nanostructured materials (mostly inorganic and hybrid semiconductor nanocrystals), optical superresolution methods harnessing both quantum and classical fluctuations in light emission and the optics of biological nanostructured materials.

R. Clay Reid

The Allen Institute for Brain Science

Petascale Microscopy for Brain Mapping: Electron and Light Microscopic Approaches to Connectomics

The reconstruction of neural pathways and connections (connectomics) requires high-resolution microscopy over large volumes, thus requiring extremely large data sets. I’ll discuss approaches, from data collection through segmentation, for analyzing neural circuits at the petascale.

About the Speaker

Clay Reid is Senior Investigator at the Allen Institute for Brain Science, where he started a department in 2012 to study how information is encoded and processed in neural networks of the visual system. Prior to joining the Allen Institute, Reid was Professor of Neurobiology at Harvard Medical School. Throughout his career, he has used a combination of imaging and anatomical approaches to investigate how the structure of neural connections relates to the function of cortical circuits. He has helped to pioneer new methods for recording increasingly large ensembles of neurons to study sensory processing. In parallel, he has developed methods to analyze connections in these ensembles using large-scale anatomical reconstructions (connectomics) with serial-section electron microscopy.


Special Events

Meet the Plenary Speaker Series

The Biophotonics Congress: Optics in the Life Sciences will feature 3 Plenary Speakers. Following technical talks, join your colleagues for a meet-and-greet and discussion with our Congress Plenary Speakers.

  • Tuesday, 13 April: Dan Oron, Weizmann Institute of Science

  • Wednesday, 14 April: Sandrine Lévêque-Fort, Paris Saclay University

  • Thursday, 15 April: R. Clay Reid, The Allen Institute for Brain Science

Monday, 12 April

Successfully Navigate an OSA Virtual Meeting

The post-COVID world has new challenges in regards to virtual meetings – are you prepared? Listen to Isaiah Hankel, Cheeky Scientist, help guide you through the different platforms OSA uses and how you can effectively network and get the most out of your meeting experience.

Tuesday, 13 April

Optical Trapping and Manipulation: Careers and Networking Event
Poster Session I

Wednesday, 14 April

Meet the OSA Journals Editors

The OSA Publishing journal Editors welcome your questions, ideas, and concerns. Join this online event to learn more about journal acceptance criteria, responding to review requests, addressing reviewer feedback, and other topics of interest. All are welcome!

Poster Session II

Thursday, 15 April

Photobiomodulation: An emerging biophotonics of clinical transitions and advanced therapeutic devices


Image for keeping the session alive