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Neuro Optics Lab


Group Leader: Dr Gemma Bale

Gianna Angelopoulos Assistant Professor in Medical Therapeutics

Jointly appointed in the Department of Engineering and the Department of Physics


Read Gemma's bio here.

Postdoctoral Research Associates

Dr Deepshikha Acharya

Deepshikha completed her PhD from Carnegie Mellon University in Biomedical Engineering. Her research used NIRS and EEG to measure changes in neurovascular coupling during clinical conditions that alter pressure in the head (such as TBI, hydrocephalus, etc). Her current postdoctoral research aims to use broadband NIRS along with other wearable technologies to monitor sleep and sleep signatures in dementia patients.

PhD Students

Georgina Leadley

Georgina completed an MSci degree in Medical Physics at UCL, where she first encountered medical optics and its applications in hospitals. She then studied at the Centre for Doctoral Training with UCL and Cambridge obtaining an MRes degree in Connected Electronic and Photonic Systems. This background puts her in a unique position to collate Physics, Engineering and Electrical Engineering principles and apply them to research in the advancement of medical technologies. Her current doctoral research focuses on the development and preliminary testing of a new generation of wearable neuroimaging systems capable of monitoring brain oxygenation and metabolism, with a view to investigating brain trauma, particularly in newborns, along with sleep and dementia.


Sruthi Srinivasan

Sruthi grew up in the United States and previously completed her B.S. in Electrical and Computer Engineering at Cornell University in 2021, where she also worked on research in computational imaging, particularly optical coherence tomography. Her current research focuses on computational methods for brain image reconstruction from high-density diffuse optical tomography data, as well as the development of intelligible deep learning models to identify optical biomarkers for early-stage dementia.


Emilia Butters

Emilia is a second year PhD student supervised by Gemma Bale (Neuro Optics lab, Department of Engineering) and John O’Brien (Old Age Psychiatry Group, Department of Psychiatry). She completed her BSc in Neuroscience at University College London and her MSc in Translational Neuroscience at Imperial College London. Her research focuses on the application of near-infrared spectroscopy to dementia with the aim of developing biomarkers of brain oxygenation and neurometabolism for dementia diagnosis and monitoring. As part of this work, Emilia created the ‘Optical Neuroimaging and Cognition’ study, a large-scale observational dementia study exploring brain oxygenation and neurometabolism across a range of dementia subtypes and severities. By combining statistical and computational methods, potentially transformative markers of vascular state may be developed to detect dementia in its early stages.


Nuzli Karam

Nuzli received her BEng (Hons) in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Liverpool. She is currently in the second year of her PhD as part of an EPSRC 1+3 program in Sensor Technologies. Her project focuses on the microfabrication of implantable devices to study the electrophysiology of neural populations within brain organoids.


Aparajita Naik (AJ)

Aparajita is a first-year PhD student in the Neuro Optics Lab at University of Cambridge. Her research interest lies in the non-invasive monitoring of lipid deposits in the brain using Short Wave Infrared (SWIR) imaging techniques, specifically for Alzheimer's Disease. Prior to joining Cambridge, she worked as a Research Assistant at Goa University in India, where her research focused on Hyperspectral and Multispectral Imaging in the Visible to Near Infrared (VNIR) range, particularly in the areas of biometric gender classification and agro food-safety. She holds a Master's degree in Bioengineering from the University of California, Berkeley, where she conducted research in Prof. Liwei Lin's lab, developing MEMS-based piezoelectric sensors for healthcare and diagnostic applications inspired by Pulse Auscultation techniques in Traditional Chinese Medicine. She completed her Bachelor's degree in Electronics and Communications Engineering from Goa University, where she conducted her undergraduate thesis on non-invasive detection of heart valve defects from auscultated heart sounds using Digital Signal Processing Techniques.


Carina Graf


Rachel Hudson


Rachel completed her undergraduate degree at Durham University (with a year abroad in Germany) where she studied Physics. After graduation, she worked as a space instrument engineer at Imperial College London. She is now undertaking a PhD in biomedical optics and engineering. She is designing and testing a wearable device for non-invasive monitoring of brain activity using broadband NIRS.


Cameron Smith


Cameron received his BSc and MSc in Computer Science and Advanced Computer Science from Newcastle University before joining the Connected Electronic and Photonic Systems CDT at UCL for his MRes year. He is currently in the first year of his PhD and his research focuses on how NIRS technologies can be used in aiding traumatic brain injury during the acute phase.


Jasmine Yeh


Master's Students


Seb Morris


Jennifer Lu


Jed Beynon


Abi Hyde


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