Irene Georgakoudi has been working on the use of lasers for therapeutic and diagnostic applications since her undergraduate years. She started as a physicist at Dartmouth College and continued her graduate studies in biophysics at the University of Rochester. Her interests in spectroscopy and spectroscopic imaging using endogenous sources of contrast were founded during her postdoctoral years at the MIT Spectroscopy Lab. After working on the development of fluorescence-based in vivo flow cytometry while an instructor at the Wellman Laboratories for Photomedicine at Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School, Georgakoudi joined Tufts in 2004. She is the author of several patents on the development and use of spectroscopy and imaging to characterize tissues or to detect specific populations of cells, and has published numerous peer-reviewed manuscripts, review articles, and book chapters on these topics. She is the recipient of a Claflin Distinguished Scholar, an NSF Career Award, and an American Cancer Society Research Scholar award. She has served on the Board of Directors of the Optical Society of America.
Irene Georgakoudi's lab is interested in the development of new or improved methods to assess different aspects of the normal or diseased development of human tissues that rely on light interactions and are thus non-invasive. Its goal is to identify means of providing biochemical and morphological information about the tissue by using an optical probe, instead of using current approaches that rely on excising the tissue and processing it. These optical methods obviate the need for a biopsy and enable the study of the same specimen dynamically over time. They do not interfere with the physiology of the subject and they do not suffer from artifacts. This is especially true for the methods that Georgakoudi's lab studies, which rely entirely on endogenous sources of contrast.
- 2016: Fellow, Optical Society of America
- 2015: Fellow, American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering
- 2009-2013: Research Scholar Grant, American Cancer Society
- 2008-2009: Board of Directors, Optical Society of America
- 2006: Attendee of the "U.S. Frontiers in Engineering Symposium" organized by the National Academy of Engineering
- 2006-2011: NSF Career Award: Non-invasive modalities for optical imaging of cell-matrix interactions in engineered tissues
- 2005: Inaugural Sturge Price awarded for pioneering contributions to spectral diagnosis of biological materials using optical spectroscopic methodology
- 2004: Claflin Distinguished Scholar Award, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School
- 1999-2002: National Research Service Award, U.S. National Institutes of Health