Mary-Ann Mycek

College of Science Distinguished Speaker - Thursday October 10, 2013
3:30pm Chester F. Carlson Center for Imaging Science CAR 1125 (open to the public)

Biomedical Optics - Shining Light on Clinical Medicine


Many of the discoveries and techniques of the physical sciences, including ionizing radiation, nuclear magnetic resonance, and ultrasound, have been successfully applied to medicine, leading to the development of medical technologies that constitute the current standard of care for patients in clinical settings.

Recent advances in optical sciences and engineering have expanded the important role of the physical sciences in medicine to include several new and emerging applications of optics to clinical tissue diagnostics and therapeutics, offering exciting opportunities to improve human healthcare in the future.

This presentation will provide an overview of medical research and technology development in Biomedical Optics, a multidisciplinary field incorporating elements of the physical and life sciences, engineering, and medicine, and will describe the promise and the practice of Biomedical Optics for clinical diagnostics in the 21st century.


Mary-Ann Mycek, Ph.D., is a Professor in the Biomedical Engineering Department in the College of Engineering and the School of Medicine at the University of Michigan. She received her B.S. degree in Physics from Rochester Institute of Technology and her M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in Physics from the University of California, Berkeley.

Her cross-disciplinary training and research experiences include engineering physics and surface science (IBM Corporation), surface probe microscopy (Sandia National Laboratories), condensed matter physics and ultrafast optical spectroscopy (University of California, Berkeley & Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory), and laser medicine (Harvard Medical School & Massachusetts General Hospital). As an Assistant Professor of Physics & Astronomy at Dartmouth College, she was named an Edward and Joan Foley Faculty Fellow and was honored to receive a Career Enhancement Fellowship funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, as well as a Mentor Recognition Award from Dartmouth’s Women in Science Program.

At the University of Michigan (U of M), she joined the Biomedical Engineering (BME) Department as an Associate Professor and established the Biomedical Optical Diagnostics Laboratory: . Her translational (“bench to bedside”) research program develops optical tools and methods to quantitatively probe living biological tissues, with a goal of impacting patient care by creating non- and minimally-invasive optical diagnostic technologies. At U of M, she is a Full Professor of Biomedical Engineering, a Faculty Member in the Applied Physics Graduate Program, and a Core Member of the Comprehensive Cancer Center. She has served as an Associate Chair for the BME Department and in that capacity was Director of the U of M Graduate Program in BME, which is one of the oldest and largest BME graduate programs in the nation.