The long term goal of the Eye Imaging Lab is research is to help prevent and cure blindness through technological innovations. Dr. Jiao’s lab, is dedicated to the development of novel optical technologies for 3D high resolution imaging of the anatomy and functions of the eye in vivo. The optical imaging technologies the lab currently focuses on include Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT), Photoacoustic Microscopy, and Multimodal Imaging. These technologies serve as tools for the research and diagnosis of diseases such as age-related macular degeneration (AMD), glaucoma, and diabetic retinopathy. They also provide powerful tools for monitoring the functional regeneration of photoreceptors in regenerative medicine such as stem cell therapy.

Medical Photonics Laboratory

Dr. Jessica Ramella-Roman

The Medical Photonics Laboratory (MPL) at FIU conducts research in bio-photonics and focuses particularly on the development of devices and methodologies for diagnosis of disease. The lab focuses on the detection of early signs of Diabetic Retinopathy, a disease associated with diabetes, using spectroscopic and polarimetric techniques. They are also developing methodologies for non-invasive monitoring of the skin. They are conducting research on the discrimination of melanoma, one of the most dangerous forms of skin cancer, and we are seeking insights into several forms of skin damage including pressure damage, thermal damage, and electrical damage.

Nanobioengineering/Bioelectronics Laboratory

Dr. Chenzhong Li

The research of our group interfaces with biomedical engineering, nanobiotechnology,  electrochemistry, BioMEMS, biochemistry,  nanomedicine, surface science, and materials science. The work done here looks ahead to the next generation of nanoelectrical components such as protein nanowires, DNA transistors as well as end use electronic devices such as Lab-on-Chip, biosensors and enzymatic biofuel cells.

Neuronal Mass Dynamics Laboratory

Dr. Jorge Riera

The primary research interest of the Neuronal Mass Dynamics (NMD) laboratory is the development of methods for the integration of different brain imaging modalities. These methods will found direct translations into clinical practice, for instance in the diagnosis and intervention of a variety of brain disorders.

Optical Imaging Lab

Dr. Anuradha Godavarty

The research done in the Optical Imaging Lab focuses in the area of optical-based molecular imaging (diffuse optical and fluorescence-enhanced optical imaging) and tomography. Optical imaging is based on the principles of near-infrared light propagation in scattering media (such as biological tissues) and the use of external fluorescent contrast agents to better differentiate normal and diseased tissues based on the differences in their optical properties. The research work requires an understanding of transport phenomena in biological systems, application of experimental skills towards instrument development, incorporation of optimization and mathematical tools towards image reconstructions, and development of biomedical aspects of engineering towards practical applications, such as cancer diagnostics, wound imaging, functional brain mapping.

Plasticity, Monamines and Recovery of Function Laboratory

Dr. Jacob McPherson

The PMRF lab studies interrelationships between motor control and pain processing in networks of spinal neurons. The ultimate goal of this work is to develop focused therapeutic strategies that facilitate and direct the intrinsic ability of the central nervous system to reorganize and repair following stroke or spinal cord injury. Our translational research draws from the fields of neurophysiology, neural engineering, neurology, and physical therapy, and incorporates both animal models and human-subjects experiments.

Tissue Engineered Mechanics, Imaging and Materials Laboratory

Dr. Sharan Ramaswamy

The Tissue Engineered Mechanics, Imaging and Materials (TEMIM) laboratory’s primary research focus lies in the area of cell and engineered tissue mechanics with application in cardiovascular regenerative medicine.  The TEMIM lab, conducts both experimental and computational investigations in this area. A major goal of the lab is to develop functional tissue engineered heart valves (TEHVs) using 1) porcine small intestinal submucosa (PSIS) substrates and 2) mechanically regulate stem cells for the TEHV application as well as for (3) broader application in cardiovascular regenerative medicine. Concurrently the TEMIM lab is also working towards the elucidation of mechanobiological cellular and molecular mechanisms that are involved in the etiology of valve diseases, particularly aortic valve calcification.  A specific project in this area involves (4) the delineation of mechanosensitive fluid and structural conditions of the aortic valve due to elastin remodeling that may serve as an early indicator of calcific aortic valve disease (CAVD).  In addition, at the cellular level, the lab is interested in identifying the fluid-induced mechanobiological responses of valve endothelial cells in valve homeostasis and in the development of CAVD.   The research in the TEMIM lab has been supported by the AHA, NSF, industry and academic funding sources.

Vascular Physiology and Biotransport Laboratory

Dr. Nikolaos Tsoukias

The main focus of the laboratory is on the mechanisms that regulate blood flow and pressure in the human body. The lab investigates the physiology of the microcirculation through the parallel development of theoretical and experimental models. Mathematical modeling guides experimentation and assist in data analysis while in vitro experimental studies provide important modeling parameters and promote further model development.

Visual Cortical Circuits Laboratory

Dr. James Schummers

The research in the Visual Cortical Circuits Laboratory lies at the intersection of two fundamental questions about brain function:  How is an external sensory stimulus encoded in the activity of brain cells in the cerebral cortex? How do astrocyte interactions with neurons contribute to information processing?  To address these questions, the lab makes use of recent developments in non-linear microscopy, viral vector engineering and protein engineering to ask cutting-edge questions about the cellular basis of brain function.  In particular, current studies apply two-photon imaging of genetically-encoded calcium indicators that have been targeted to specific brain cell types via viral vectors with specific serotypes and promoters to enable measurements of cellular and subcellular activity in both neurons and astrocytes.  With these tools, we address questions about the spatial scale of visual stimulus representation within cortical neurons and astrocyte, and the temporal dynamics of brain activity that underlie visual perception.  Ultimately, these studies will lay the groundwork for interventions to rescue vision in patients with compromised vision, or other neurological dysfunctions.