About FOIL

The Functional Optical Imaging Lab (FOIL) at Northwestern University is dedicated to develop novel optical, ultrasonic, and electrical imaging techniques for biomedical research and clinical applications.

The research work in FOIL is highly interdisciplinary. It involves knowledge and expertise from electronics, optics, lasers, ultrasound, imaging processing, programming, mechanics, physiology, anatomy, and clinical science. Hence, FOIL is setting up collaborations in a wide spectrum nationwide.



Where we are

We are located in Tech Institute EB11/EB13/EB15/EB17/EB57/EB59.

Open Positions

Postdocs: We have one post-doct position open. Please find more details here.

Ph.D. student: We usually admit 1 or 2 new Ph.D. students every year. The application to Northwestern BME is very competitive and only less than 10% of the applicants will receive offers. However, completing your Ph.D. study at Northwestern University is very rewarding from all aspects. If you are interested in our lab, please contact H. F. Zhang. More informaiton regarding the application procedure can be found from the BME website.

Undergraduate student: We are looking for undergraduate student to work on imge processing of super-resoltuion optical microscopy and metabolic retinal imaging. If you are a Northwestern University student interested in undergraduate research, or student from other schools interested in summer research, please contact H. F. Zhang directly.

Visiting scholar: FOIL welcomes visiting scholars to conduct jointly interested projects. Please contact H. F. Zhang for more information.

Latest News: New postdoc fellowship position avilable [details]. Looking for two new Ph.D. students [details]. Looking for a computer guru [details].

Lab News

September 2015

Our paper entitled "Measuring oxygen saturation in retinal and choroidal circulations in rats using visible light optical coherence tomography angiography" is among the top downloaded articles in August 2015 by Biomedical Optics Express.

August 2015

Collaborative project to improve Biomedical Electronics education received $159k from NSF.

First human imaging using visible-light optical coherence tomography published [link].

Dr. Ji Yi started his independent career as an Assistant Professor at Boston University. Congratulations and thanks for all the contributions to FOIL in the past three years!

Our paper entitled "Measuring oxygen saturation in retinal and choroidal circulations in rats using visible light optical coherence tomography angiography" is among the top downloaded articles in July 2015 by Biomedical Optics Express.

July 2015

Collaborative research to develope deep-tissue, super-resolution optical imaging technology for neuroscience received $200k from the Chicago Biomedical Consortium with support from the Searle Funds at The Chicago Community Trust.

Research work to develope label-free super-resolution optical imaging technology received $70k from the McCormick School of Engineering Catalyst Award.

May 2015

Brian Soetikno is awarded the 2015 SPIE Optics and Photonics Education Scholarship. Congratulations!

Ji Yi's paper reporting imaging retinal metabolic variations is accepted by Light: Science & Applications.

Dr. Lian Duan joined FOIL. Welcome!

February 2015

Brian Soetikno and Siyu Chen received Travel Grants to attend the 2015 ARVO Annual Conference. Congratulations!

NSF I-CORP award will support our effort to commercialize new OCT technologies developed in FOIL.

January 2015

Eric Yang is featured in McCormick Magazine 2014 Fall issue [pdf]. Here are a few niceer photos [1] [2].

August 2014

Wenzhong Liu is selected as a finalist to compete for the best student paper at the IEEE EMBC 2014.

June 2014

Eric Yan received $5,000 McCormick Summer Undergraduate Research Grant.

Christina Chan received $4,000 Biomedical Engineering Summer Undergraduate Research Grant.

Chintan Pathak is admitted by Feinberg School of Medicine and will start his MD study in 2015 here at Northwestern.

Dr. Hao Li received a one-year Research Seed Grant from the Illinois Society for Prevention of Blindness.

Congratulations to all, for the great achivements.

April 2014

Dr. Ji Yi received a three-year fellowship grant from Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation International. Congratulations!

Collaborative research to develope optically-transparent, light-based ultrasonic detector for photoacoustic imaging received $645k from NSF.

Eric Y. Yang (BME class of 2015) joined FOIL. Welcome!

January 2014

Christina Chan (BME class of 2015) joined FOIL. Welcome!

Kevin Zhang received multiple MD/Ph.D. (MSTP) offers with full financial aid. Congratulations!

August 2013

Wenzhong Liu is selected as one of 42 pre-doctoral students from around the country to receive the prestigious International Student Research Fellowship from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI). According to HHMI, "this fellowship recognizes your exceptional academic and personal achievements and reflects HHMI’s confidence in your great potential to become a leader in academic science." Congratulations! Job well done. McCormick News

June 2013

Dr. Ji Yi received a one-year Research Seed Grant from the Illinois Society for Prevention of Blindness for his project "Non-invasively quantifying retinal oxygen saturation by visible-light optical coherence tomography." Congratulations!

April 2013

Kevin Zhang received the Overall Oral Presentation Award in the 2013 Chicago Area Undergraduate Research Symposium.

FOIL welcoms new member Dr. Ben Urban.

March 2013

Steffi Perkins will soon start her Ph.D. study on medical imaging at Stanford University. Congratulations. We are sorry to see her go.

SPIE Newsroom "Combining light and sound for retinal imaging"

Northwestern University News "Developing new ways to treat macular degeneration"

News from McCormick "Consortium to develop new ways to treat macular degeneration"

October 2012

David Qiu and Kevin Zhang were selected as "Fifty For The Future" by the Illinois Technology Foundation.

Kevin Zhang received Northwestern Undergraduate Research Grant.

Collaborative research to develope drugs for age-related macular degeneration (AMD) received $10.2 Million NIH award.

Hao F. Zhang received $20,000 from Northwestern Murphy Society to enhance BME333: Modern Optical Microscopy and Imaging.

June 2012

Dr. Qing Wei received a one-year Research Seed Grant from the Illinois Society for Prevention of Blindness for his project "High-definition choroidal vascular imaging." Congratulations.

March 2012

New FOIL website is up and running. Thanks Allen for the great work.

February 2012

FOIL welcomes new Ph.D. student Siyu Daniel Chen.

September 2011

Wenzhong Liu joined FOIL as a new Ph.D. student.

August 2011

Collaborative work on stimulated Raman imaging is awarded a 3-year NSF grant.

Tan Liu defended his Ph.D. thesis and Santhosh Yegnaraman defended his M.S. thesis.

March 2011

Collaborative work on developing multimodal retinal imaging technology for early detection of diabetic retinopathy is awarded a NIH R01 grant.

February 2011

Hao F. Zhang is awarded the NSF CAREER award.

December 2010

FOIL relocated to Northwestern University, Evanston IL.

Dan successfully defended his thesis and received Master degree. Congratulations!

October 2010

Collaborative work on studying geno- & pheno-type correlation in diabetic retinopathy is awarded a NIH Challenge Grant (RC4).

May 2010

Karanvir Kaleka received the Outstanding Student Award by the College of Engineering. Congratulations!

April 2010

Dr. Fengli Gao joined FOIL.

April 2010

Tan Liu received the Grand Prize for being the 1st place in the College of Engineering graduate student poster competition. Congratulations!

March 2010

Our 3D retinal image is highlighted by OSA Virtual Journal of Biomedical Optics.

March 2010

Our retinal imaging work is highlighted by OCTNews.org as "Feature Of the Week 3/14/10".

Feb. 2010

Our work on the photoacoustic imaging of retina is published by Optics Express.

Jan. 2010

Our work on the integration of fiber-optic confocal microscopy and optical-resolution photoacoustic microscopy is published by Optics Express.

Dec. 2009

Post-doc Dr. Zhixing Xie joined Department of Radiology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor as a faculty member. Congratulations and good luck.

August 2009

Dr. Qing Wei joined FOIL. Welcome.

May 2009

A few media coverages of FOIL. UWM, The Greater Milwaukee Foundation, Business Journal of Milwaukee, and Milwaukee Journal Sentinel..

September 2008

Tan Liu and Jing Wang joined FOIL. Welcome.

April 2008

Daniel Zirbel joined FOIL. Welcome.

January 2008

Dr. Zhixing Xie joined FOIL. Welcome.

August 2007

FOIL created.