Vanderbilt University
Institute of Imaging Science

E. Duco Jansen, Ph.D.

Professor of Biomedical Engineering and Neurological Surgery
Director of Graduate Studies, Department of Biomedical Engineering

Contact Information
(615) 343-1911


Having worked in the area of light-tissue interactions for over 20 years, my laboratory is interested in the development and application of lasers and optical technologies to solve problems in medicine and biology. Our efforts cover a range of activities from using lasers as therapeutic modalities, developing and applying novel optical imaging technologies and using optical spectroscopy for sensing and diagnosis.


The primary focus areas of my laboratory are include: 1) research focused on development and application of optical imaging technologies, in particular bioluminescence imaging; 2) fundamental studies of tissue optics and light-tissue interactions (especially ultrashort pulse tissue ablation); and 3) the development of optical neural interfaces. In particular the latter, currently the main focus in the lab, includes the development of novel ways to use light to exchange information with the neural system. This encompasses device development, studying the underlying neurobiological mechanisms, development of optically-based prosthetic devices and translating this technology to the clinic.


Jenkins MW, Duke AR, Gu S, Chiel HJ, Watanabe M, Jansen ED, Rollins AM Optical pacing of the embryonic heart Nature Photonics, Sept, Vol. 4: 623-6; doi:10.1038/nphoton.2010.166 (2010).

Wilmink GJ, Opalenik SR, Nanney LB, Mahadevan-Jansen A, Davidson JM, Jansen ED Molecular Imaging-Assisted Optimization of Hsp70 Expression During Laser Preconditioning for Wound Repair Enhancement J Invest Derm 129, 205 - 216 (2009).

Wilmink GJ, Opalenik SR, Beckham JT, Mackanos MA, Nanney LB, Contag CH, Davidson JM, Jansen ED In-vivo optical imaging of hsp70 expression to assess collateral tissue damage associated with infrared laser ablation of skin J Biomed Opt 13, 054066 (2

Wilmink GJ, Opalenik SR, Beckham JT, Davidson JM, Jansen ED - Assessing laser-tissue damage with bioluminescent imaging J Biomed Optics 11:041114 (2006).

Wells JD, Kao C, Mariappan K, Albea J, Jansen ED, Konrad P, Mahadevan-Jansen A - Optical stimulation of neural tissue in vivo - Optics Letters 30(5): 504-6 (2005).