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Optical Imaging Laboratory

Skala lab 2013

Optical Imaging Laboratory

Optical technologies are attractive for diagnosing cancer and for monitoring cancer therapy because these techniques are inexpensive, portable, fast and provide a wealth of information on tissue structure and function.  Dr. Skala's lab focuses on the development of optical imaging tools that monitor biological markers such as cellular metabolic rate, molecular expression, blood oxygenation and blood flow.  These tools are applied to pre-clinical models for the design and development of effective therapeutic strategies, and in clinical studies to provide early detection and individualized treatment to cancer patients.  Specific technologies under development include optical coherence tomography to monitor blood flow and microvessel morphology, multiphoton and fluorescence lifetime microscopy to image cellular metabolism, photothermal microscopy with nanoparticle contrast agents for molecular imaging, and optical spectroscopy to quantify tissue blood content and oxygenation.

Where to find us:

Yale University Department of Radiology Seminar
16 September, 2014 
New Haven, CT
Cellular-level Metabolic Imaging of Therapeutic Response in Cancer
Melissa Skala

Frontiers in Optics

Symposium on Translational Biophotonics: Focus on Cancer
20 October, 2014

Tuscon, AZ
Amy Shah and Melissa Skala

Advanced TCSPC Workshop
20-21 October, 2014
Bethesda, MD
Alex Walsh

News

August 2014

Congratulations to Kristin Poole, whose poster was selected for the "Best of Basic Science Abstracts" at the American Heart Association Scientific Sessions.

July 2014

Congratulations to Alex Walsh for the acceptance of her paper in Cancer Research! AJ Walsh, RS Cook, ME Sanders, L Aurisicchio, G Ciliberto, CL Arteaga, and MC Skala. "Quantitative optical imaging of primary tumor organoid metabolism predicts drug response in breast cancer," Cancer Res. 2014.

Congratulations to Alex Walsh for a poster award at the Gordon Conference for Lasers in Medicine & Biology, Holderness, NH!

Congratulations to Devin McCormack for successfully completing his Masters degree!

Alex Walsh's entry of: "Illuminating Optics: A hands-on kit for exploring light and color" came in 1st place in the Optical Society of America (OSA) contest for naming the International Year of Light 2015 education outreach kit. Congratulations!

June 2014

Birthdays: Jason Tucker-Schwartz (6th) and Joe Sharick (26th)

  • Congratulations to Devin McCormack for the acceptance of his paper at Biomedical Optics Express! DR McCormack, AJ Walsh, WW Sit, CL Arteaga, J Chen, RS Cook, and MC Skala.  "In vivo hyperspectral imaging of microvessel response to trastuzumab treatment in breast cancer xenografts," Biomed. Opt. Express 5, 2247-2261 (2014)

  • Kristin Poole received an SPIE Optics and Photonics Education Scholarship.  SPIE is an international society advancing an interdisciplinary approach to the science and application of light.  Congratulations Kristin!

  • Holly Thomas joined the lab as an undergraduate researcher, and Re McClendon has joined as a high school student.  Welcome Holly and Re!

May 2014

Birthdays: Alex Walsh (21st) and Miranda Kunz (22nd)

  • Congratulations to Jason Tucker-Schwartz for the acceptance of his paper at Biomedical Optics Express!  JM Tucker-Schwartz, KR Beavers, WW Sit, AT Shah, CL Duvall, and MC Skala, "In vivo imaging of nanoparticle delivery and tumor microvasculature with multimodal optical coherence tomography," Biomed. Opt. Express 5, 1731-1743 (2014) 

  • Congratulations to Amy Shah for passing her qualifying exam! 

  •  Jinjoo Lee and Taylor Cannon have joined the lab as undergratuate researchers.  Welcome Jinjoo and Taylor!

April 2014

  • Congratulations to Kristin Poole, who was selected to receive a Scholar Award from the P.E.O. Sisterhood! The P.E.O. Scholar Award is a merit-based award for women pursuing a doctoral level degree.

  • Congratulations to Joe Sharick who was awarded an NSF graduate research fellowship!

March 2014

February 2014

  • Congratutions to Amy Shah for the accpetance of her paper at PLOS ONE! AT Shah, MD Beckler, AJ Walsh, WP Jones, PR Pohlmann, and MC Skala. “Optical Metabolic Imaging of Treatment Response in Human Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma.” PLOS ONE (2014) accepted.                                            

January 2014

Birthdays: Devin McCormack (3rd) and Amy Shah (28th)

December 2013

Birthdays: Constance Lents (29th)

  • A paper of Will Jones, a high school student who worked in the lab during the summer of 2013, was accepted for publication in Young Scientist. His paper is titled "Effect of Cisplatin, Cetuximab, and BGT226 on SCC25 and SCC61 Squamous Cell Carcinoma Metabolic Rates".  

November 2013

Birthdays: Dr. Melissa Skala (15th) and Maryse Lapierre-Landry (30th)

  • Congratulations to Jason Tucker-Schwartz whose poster titled "In vivo imaging of gold nanorod pharmacokinetics using photothermal optical coherence tomography" won third place at the 14th Annual Nanoscience/Nanotechnology Forum.

  • A paper that Alex Walsh collaborated on was accepted at Cancer ResearchA Venkateswaran, KR Sekhar, DS Levic, DB Melville, TA Clark, WM Rybski, AJ Walsh, MC Skala, PA Crooks, EW Knapik, and ML Freeman. “The NADH Oxidase ENOX1, a Critical Mediator of Endothelial Cell Radiosensitivity, is Crucial for Vascular Development.” Cancer Research 2013, accepted. 

  • Dr. Melissa Skala and collaborator Dr. Craig Duvall are highlighted in this month's edition of VUSE Solutions.

October 2013

  • Congratulations to Jason Tucker-Schwartz whose paper titled "In vivo photothermal optical coherence tomography of gold nanorod contrast agents" was covered as a feature on octnews.org this month. 

  • Dr. Skala's talk, titled "Optical Metabolic Imaging of Drug Efficacy in Cancer" at the 6th Annual Workshop on Advanced TCSPC Techniques at Bethesda, MD went well.

  •  'BME Week' was celebrated during the 21st- 25th of the month to commemorate the 45th year of biomedical engineering at Vanderbilt University and the 25th anniversary of the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Vanderbilt. 

  • Congratulations to Alex Walsh for her two press releases (one on the American Association for Cancer Research's webpage!) for her recent paper in Cancer Research, titled "Optical Metabolic Imaging Identifies Glycolytic Levels, Subtypes, and Early-Treatment Response in Breast Cancer."                                                                

September 2013

Birthdays: Megan Madonna (25th)
 

August 2013

  • We are excited to welcome Joe Sharick and Maryse Lapierre-Landry to our lab as PhD candidates.  Joe recieved his B.S.E. in Biomedical Engineering from Duke and Maryse received her B.S. in Physics from McGill University in Canada.
  • Kristin Poole's paper was accepted at American Journal of Physiology: KM Poole, JM Tucker-Schwartz, WW Sit, A.J. Walsh, CL Duvall, & MC Skala. "Quantitative optical imaging of vascular response in vivo in a model of periperal arterial disease." American Journal of Physiology - Heart and Circulatory Physiology. In press (2013). 
  • Alex Walsh's paper was accepted at Cancer Research: AJ Walsh, RS Cook, HC Manning, DJ Hicks, A Lafontant, CL Arteaga, MC Skala. "Optical imaging identifies glycolytic levels, subtypes, and early treatment response in breast cancer." Cancer Research. 2013.

July 2013

  • Alex Walsh was invited to talk at an advanced imaging workshop in Germany: AJ Walsh, RS Cook, HC Manning, CL Arteaga, MC Skala. "Optical metabolic imaging predicts tumor therapeutic response." 8th Workshop on Advanced Multiphoton and Fluorescence Lifetime Techniques, Saarbrucken, Germany. July 2013.
  • Alex Walsh was invited to talk at a Biomedical Optics seminar in London: AJ Walsh, RS Cook, HC Manning, CL Arteaga, N Merchant, MC Skala. "Optical metabolic imaging predicts anti-cancer therapeutic response." Biomedical Optics Seminar, Imperial College London, United Kingdom. July 2013.
  •  Kristin Poole received the Young Investigator Award from Frontiers in Biomedical Imaging Science IV for her oral and poster presentation: KM Poole, JM Tucker-Schwartz, CA Patil, CE Nelson, CL Duvall, & MC Skala. “Longitudinal Measurement of Vascular Remodeling, Flow Restoration, and Oxygenation with Optical Imaging in the Mouse Hind Limb Ischemia Model.” Oral and poster presentations. Frontiers in Biomedical Imaging Science IV, Nashville, TN (July 2013).

June 2013

  • Kristin Poole received first place in the Student Poster Competition at Engineering Conferences International: Advances in Optics for Biotechnology, Medicine and Surgery XIII: KM Poole, JM Tucker-Schwartz, CA Patil, CE Nelson, CL Duvall, & MC Skala. “Optical Imaging of Vascular Remodeling and Blood Oxygenation after Growth Factor Treatment in the Mouse Hind Limb Ischemia Model.” Poster presentation. Engineering Conferences International: Advances in Optics for Biotechnology, Medicine and Surgery XIII, Lake Tahoe, CA (June 2013).

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May 2013

  • A paper that Jason Tucker-Schwartz collaborated on was accepted in Langmuir: JR Trantum, ZE Eagleton, CA Patil, JM Tucker-Schwartz, ML Baglia, MC Skala, FR Haselton.  “Cross-sectional tracking of particle motion in evaporating drops: flow fields and interfacial accumulation.” Langmuir.  2013; 29 (21)
  • Alex Walsh was awarded American Society for Laser Medicine and Surgery Competitive Research Grant.          

 

April 2013

  • Amy Shah receive the SPIE award to present at the National Science Foundation (NSF) workshop on US-Czech Frontiers in Photonics at the Optics and Optoelectronics conference (Prague, Czech Republic)
  • Alex Walsh received the Air Force Office of Scientific Research Grant for travel in order to present at OSA OMP.
  • Jason Tucker-Schwartz was awarded Air Force Office of Scientific Research Grant for travel to present at OSA.
  • A paper of Regan Givens (a high school student) was accepted for publication in Young Scientist: R Givens, AJ Walsh, & MC Skala. "The effects of varying glucose concentrations on cellular glycolytic rates." Young Scientist 3, 62-64 (2013).

 

March 2013

  • Congrats to Jason Tucker-Schwartz for passing his qualifying exam! 

February 2013

  • The lab was well represented at the SPIE Photonics West Conference
    • Kristin Poole received the SPIE Travel Grant Award to give an oral presentation at SPIE Photonics West
    • Alex Walsh received teh Jen Lab Young Investigator Award for best poster and talk at SPIE Bios
    • Jason Tucker-Schwartz was awarded the Newport Research Excellence Award for travel to present at SPIE Photonics West
  • Congrats to  Alex Walsh for passing her qualifying exam! 

January 2013

  • Jason Tucker-Schwartz’s paper was accepted at SPIE Newsroom:  Tucker-Schwartz JM and Skala MC. “Contrast enhancement in optical coherence tomography.”  SPIE Newsroom.  2013. (http://spie.org/x91623.xml)

  • Kristin Poole’s co-authored paper was accepted at Acta Biomaterialia : RV Joshi, CE Nelson, KM Poole, MC Skala, & CL Duvall. "Dual pH- and temperature-responsive microparticles for protein delivery to ischemic tissues." Acta Biomaterialia 9(5): 6526-6534 (2013).

2012

  • Devin McCormack received the GSA 2012 Predoctoral Fellowship from AHA   
  • Devin McCormack received Honorable Mention for NSF GRFP 
  • Kristin Poole was awarded her Master’s degree in BME
  • Kristin Poole was awarded AHA Predoctoral Fellowship (declined in favor of NSF Fellowship)
  • Kristin Poole was awarded NSF Graduate Research Fellowship
  • Kristin Poole’s co-authored paper was accepted at Journal of Biomedical Optics: AJ Walsh, KM Poole, CL Duvall, & MC Skala. "Ex vivo optical metabolic measurements from cultured tissue reflect in vivo tissue status." Journal of Biomedical Optics 17(11): 116015 (2012).
  • Amy Shah passed her preliminary exam
  • Jason Tucker-Schwartz’s paper was accepted at Biomedical Optics Express: JM Tucker-Schwartz, TA Meyer, CA Patil, CL Duvall, MC Skala.  “In vivo photothermal optical coherence tomography of gold nanorods contrast agents.”  Biomedical Optics Express.  2012; 3 (11)
  • Jason Tucker-Schwartz’s’ paper was accepted at Optics Letters: JM Tucker-Schwartz, T Hong, DC Colvin, Y Xu, MC Skala.  “Dual modality photothermal optical coherence tomography and magnetic resonance imaging of carbon nanotubes.”  Optics Letters.  2012; 37 (5)
  • Alex Walsh was awarded the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship
  • Alex Walsh’s paper was accepted at Journal of Biomedical Optics: AJ Walsh, KM Poole, CL Duvall, MC Skala.  "Ex vivo optical metabolic measurements from culture tissue reflect in vivo tissue status."  Journal of Biomed Optics. 2012;17(11):116015.
  • A paper that Alex Walsh collaborated on was accepted at Investigational New Drugs.  A Venkateswaran, DB Friedman, AJ Walsh, MC Skala, S Sasi, G Rachakonda, et al. "The novel antiangiogenic VJ115 inhibits the NADH oxidase ENOX1 and cytoskeleton-remodeling proteins." Investigational New Drugs. 2012.

 

2011

  • Devin McCormack joined the lab of Dr. Melissa Skala
  • Kristin Poole received Honorable Mention for the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship
  • Kristin Poole passed her preliminary exam
  • Kristin Poole received the Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award  for the fall 2010 semester
  • Amy Shah was awarded the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship
  • Amy Shah joined the lab of Dr. Melissa Skala
  • Jason Tucker-Schwartz was awarded the SPIE Scholarship in Optics and Photonics
  • Jason Tucker-Schwartz passed his preliminary exam
  • Alex Walsh’s paper was accepted at Biomedical Optics Express: AJ Walsh, RS Cook, B Rexer, CL Arteaga, MC Skala. "Optical imaging of metabolism in HER2 overexpressing breast cancer cells." Biomedical Optics Express. 2012;3(1):75-85.
  • Alex Walsh received the award for Top Peer-Reviewed High-Scoring Abstract from the  Host-Tumor Interactions Program & Department of Cancer Biology Retreat
  • Alex Walsh received the Young Investigator Award at the Frontiers of Biomedical Imaging Science III Conference (Nashville, TN)
  • Alex Walsh passed her preliminary exam

 

2010

  • Kristin Poole joined the labs of Dr. Melissa Skala and Dr. Craig Duvall
  • Kristin Poole received the IBM Graduate Fellowship Award
  • Jason Tucker-Schwartz joined the lab of Dr. Melissa Skala
  • Jason Tucker-Schwartz was awarded the IBM graduate fellowship
  • Alex Walsh joined the lab of Dr. Melissa Skala
  • Alex Walsh received the Provost Graduate Fellowship Award


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