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School of Engineering

Irene Georgakoudi

Biomedical Engineering
Optical Diagnostics for Diseased and Engineered Tissues

Irene Georgakoudi

Biomedical Engineering
Optical Diagnostics for Diseased and Engineered Tissues

Phone 617-627-4353
Science and Technology Center, Room 243
4 Colby Street, Medford, MA
spectroscopic imaging and characterization, in vivo flow cytometry

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.

Ph.D., Biophysics, University of Rochester, 1999
M.Sc., Biophysics, University of Rochester, 1996
B.A., Physics, Dartmouth College, 1993
Professional Experience: 

Department of Biomedical Engineering, Tufts School of Engineering

  • 2017-present: Professor
  • 2008-2017: Associate Professor
  • 2004-2008: Assistant Professor

Visiting Scientist, École Polytechnique, Laboratoire d'Optique et Biosciences


Instructor, Harvard Medical School


Assistant in Physics, Massachusetts General Hospital


Research Scientist, MIT

Research Interests: 

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.

Selected Honors and Awards: 
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
Professional Memberships: 
Optical Society of America
American Association for Cancer Research
SPIE – International Society for Optical Engineering
Biomedical Engineering Society
Teaching/Courses Taught: 
EN-31: Exploring Laser Light
BME-101: Medical Optics and Lasers

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