1. Wellman-HST Summer Institute for Biomedical Optics
In collaboration with the Harvard-MIT Health Sciences and Technology (HST), the Wellman Center has run the Summer Institute for Biomedical Optics since 2003.


This program provides undergraduate student participants with research experience in the field of biomedical optics. The program objective is to inspire talented students to pursue advanced research, education, and careers in science and engineering. Faculty mentors offer interdisciplinary cutting-edge research projects in diverse, yet cohesive, themes in biomedical optics.


Twelve undergraduate students admitted each summer pursue full-time laboratory research for nine weeks, working in one of the laboratories at the Wellman Center and MIT. In addition to research, students attend lectures and research seminars, as well as professional development workshops on scientific writing, presentation and research ethics. All student participants are accommodated in the dormitory at the MIT campus, receive weekly stipends, and participate in various peer group activities, making their summer experience go much beyond what could be provided by a typical summer research experience in a single lab.


Research experience in this program is focused on engineering--from discovery of new transformative approaches to development of cutting-edge technologies. Innovation in biomedical optics requires understanding of physical and engineering principles, as well as biological and medical insights, to define important challenges and to understand how new technologies must perform. This program takes a coherent and interdisciplinary approach to introducing students to the full spectrum of biomedical optics and will help to realize the promise of biomedical optics by attracting talented students to pursue careers in this area at the graduate level and beyond.

The program is funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the Wellman Center. The Director of the Summer Institute is Prof. S.H. Andy Yun.


Details and an application form can be obtained at the MIT-HST web site. This year's program will run from June 8, 2012 to August 3, 2012. Students must be a sophomore, junior, or senior undergraduate at the time of applying and must also be a United States Citizen or have permanent residence status. Summer stipends are available. Application for the 2012 summer is available here.

The application deadline for this summer program is on January 31, 2012.


2. MGH-KAIST Summer Internship Program
In collaboration with the KAIST (Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology) in Korea, we have established a global summer internship program. Each year since 2010, six undergraduate students from KAIST spent 9 weeks in Boston, fully immersed in the multidisciplinary research-oriented environment at the Wellman Center. The students also participated in various social networking and voluntary activities and attended the Biomedical Optics Lecture Series organized by the Wellman Center. This program is funded by KAIST (http://www.kaist.edu) and Wellman Center. The Director of this program is Prof. S.H. Andy Yun.


3. MGH-Tokyo Summer Training Program
In collaboration with the University of Tokyo in Japan, we have established a global summer internship program. Each year since 2009, 4-6 graduate students from Tokyo spent 9 weeks in Boston, broadening their research experience. This program is funded by the Center for Disease Biology and Integrative Medicine (http://www.cdbim.m.u-tokyo.ac.jp/english/index.html) and the Wellman Center. The Director of this program is Prof. S.H. Andy Yun.



Research Topics in 2011


Tony Wu investigated the vascular and cellular response of tumor models to angiopoietin inhibitors using OFDI imaging technology. He is growing a renal carcinoma cell line, implanting this inside the brains of mice, and using OFDI to image the tumor angiogenesis. He tested these two prototype tumor inhibitors to see if they have an effect on the growth and development of the implanted tumor.  Another aspect of the project he is working on is porting the image processing algorithms to the Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) so the data analysis can be done faster and more efficiently.


Atray Dixit studied the use of laser speckle microrheology to study cancer. Using both ex vivo and in vitro techniques, we are able to better understand the mechanical development of cancer as it progresses from several cells to larger tumor nodules. This technique is being explored with respects to its potential for diagnostic capabilities as well.   


Melissa W Haskellís research project examines the optical properties (specifically attenuation and backscattering) of plaque phantoms.  The phantoms are created by injecting substances such as water, oil, or melted butter into segments of tissue from swine aorta.  The phantoms are imaged using Spectroscopic Optical Coherence Tomography (SOFDI), and the data acquired will be used as a model for the optical properties of atherosclerotic plaques.  


Nanoparticles are increasingly used for the delivery of drugs in cancer therapeutics, though it can be difficult to visualize nanoparticle uptake without using potentially interfering dyes or tracers. Coherent anti-Stokes Raman scattering (CARS) microscopy allows for label-free chemically-selective imaging, and will be used to follow the uptake of polymer nanoparticles in cancer models. Using a home-built CARS microscope, Sarah Rae Rokosh visualized nanoparticle uptake, distribution, and degradation in model cancerous lesions to understand and improve nanoparticle-based drug delivery systems.


Michael Gliddenís research is in photodynamic therapy (PDT) and consists of exploring different treatment regimens of high frequency fractionated light delivery as a means to better kill pancreatic (AsPC-1) cancer cells.  He is currently studying the enhanced effect of fractionation in 3D tumor nodule models and determining not only the most effective regimen, but also the mechanism as to what makes fractionation beneficial by studying residual photosensitizer photobleaching and confirming that reoxygenation of the hypoxic core of the nodules is a major component.  In addition to this primary project, he is also helping to construct a hyperspectral fluorescence microendoscope as well as upgrading the lab's current PDT set up. 


Sang Ho Nam did research about Photosensitizers(WST11, AsCat) and their effects on various bioorganisms. His goal is to find optimal PDT condition for Photosensitizers. we can find tendancy on this experiemnt.


In A Yoon performed research related to the drug delivery. She is trying to make nanoparticles to deliver the drugs into our body by looking for optimal condition for the reaction. To make the best nanoparticle which can deliver the drug efficiently is one of the goals of our research.


Photochemical tissue bonding (PTB) is a technique in which a photoactive dye is applied to tissue surface and then irradiated with visible light, which induces covalent crosslinking of proteins across the surfaces. Rose Bengal (RB) has been mainly used as the dye for crosslinking human amniotic membrane (HAM). Yun Suk Naís current study is on investigating new types of dyes to be used for PTB and determining the relative efficiencies of these dyes. 


Seunghee (Erica) Lee worked on the process of developing polarization sensitive OCT which measures the depth-dependent polarization states of backscattered light, polarization signal from anisotropic components of microdomain below the resolution limit were detected instead of averaging out. The aim of this project is to develop an optical phantom that mimics the effect of an agglomeration of such small anisotropic structures, and to gain insight into its signature in the PS OFDI signal.


Chi Heon Kwon worked on Photochemical Tissue Bonding (PTB), which applies photochemical dyes to make crosslink between proteins or tissues for various purposes including tissue repair. Basically our current research is focused on three parts: crosslink of collagen, human amniotic membrane, and silk. Based on these protein materials, she is searching for optimal dose of dyes, and testing the effectiveness of a new photoactive dye, Toluidine Blue. 


Heon Jeong Ohís research focuses on bio-lasers. The project mainly concerns inventing a novel laser employing organic materials as a gain medium which can be applied to in vivo or intracellular sensing, microscopy and imaging.


Hiroaki Takeharaís current research project is to develop a new class of optical devices made of biocompatible and biodegradable materials. Such devices can be implanted in the body, deliver the light into the tissue and be absorbed over time. They are expected to be used for light-based therapy, surgery and diagnosis. 


Takahiro Nomotoís research project is to investigate the optical properties of the tissue after laser-thermal treatment, using optical frequency domain imaging (OFDI). The change of optical properties will be correlated to doppler signal during the laser-thermal treatment.


Minkyu Kimís research project focuses on development of compound varifocal liquid lens for Confocal Laser Endomicroscopy that can compensate for anatomic tissue surface irregularites and dynamic focal variation from the patient motion.


Irradiation has been proved to cause inflammatory response of normal tissues by up-regulation of endothelial cell adhesion molecules (ECAMs). The activated ECAMs regulate in the trafficking of leukocytes across the vascular endothelial barrier, which will cause further inflammation. However, little is known about the time course and magnitude of the up-regulation of the ECAMs. Yuan Pang is trying to specify this issue by monitoring the ECAMs expression on the endothlium after irradiation.

2011 Summer Students

2011 Poster Presentation Day (August 3, 2011)

2011 Poster Presentation Day (August 3, 2011)

2011 Yao Su Summer Student Award winners and their mentors

2011 Summer Students and Mentors (August 3, 2011)

2010 Summer Students (August 10, 2010)