Spotlight on Biomedical Engineering

Professor Irene Georgakoudi and biomedical engineering graduate student Nilay Vora each hold open one side of a book titled 'Quantitative Biomedical Optics'. They are sitting on colored Adirondack chairs.

Student highlight

Name: Nilay Vora
Degree: PhD in Biomedical Engineering
Faculty lab: Professor Irene Georgakoudi
Hometown: Jersey City, NJ

Why Tufts?
When I was applying for grad school I heard a Spotify ad that said, “There is small, there is big, and then there is Tufts.” That really encapsulates what Tufts is and why I love it here. Tufts is perfectly nestled outside of Boston, giving students a chance to collaborate not only within the school, but also with other schools in the area. At Tufts you’re not just a face; professors in the department know who you are, even if you work in a different lab. Tufts truly gives students an opportunity to grow and pursue what they are passionate about, both as students and as individual people.

Favorite thing about living in the Medford/Somerville and Boston area?
With Boston only a train ride away, food, concerts, and museums are always an option. At the same time, Medford and Somerville offer you a break from city with hiking and biking trails and kayaking in the Middlesex Fells Reservation.

Any advice you’d give to prospective students or new graduate students?
Finding a good work-life balance really makes the experience of graduate school worth it. Whether it's taking a short break during the day to go for a walk or leaving the lab at a reasonable time, having a good balance can really enhance your experience as a student. Finding my hobbies outside of lab led me to become friends with some really amazing people and helped foster my passion for my research!

Professor Georgakoudi and biomedical engineering student Nilay Vora sit on colorful Adirondack chairs and chat amicably.

Faculty highlight

Name: Professor Irene Georgakoudi
Research interests: Label-free high resolution tissue imaging, non-linear microscopy, metabolic imaging, matrix characterization, in vivo flow cytometry, cancer detection, osteoarthritis, and neurodegenerative diseases.

About Professor Georgakoudi:

Irene Georgakoudi has been working on the use of lasers for therapeutic and diagnostic applications since her undergraduate years. She is the author of several patents on spectroscopy and imaging approaches to characterize tissues or to detect specific populations of cells, and has published extensively on the topic. Her lab is interested in the development of innovative technologies that rely on light interactions with molecules that are naturally present in our cells and tissues to help us understand how cells communicate with each other and their surrounding environment with micron scale resolution. These optical tools obviate the need for a biopsy or for an exogenous contrast agent and enable us to uncover dynamic interactions in space and time in living samples of all scales, from organelles to humans. These methods will yield critical new insights regarding how conditions such as cancer, osteoarthritis, cardiovascular and neurodegenerative diseases develop and will provide new paradigms for disease detection and treatment.