Dates: August 25th - 29th 2020

The Bi-annual BIGSS School is a five ECTS accredited course with leading professors teaching for approx. four hours each to give a substantial grounding in the main topics of Biophotonics in the picturesque village of Ballyvaughan in the Burren

Interested candidates should send the completed abstract to BIGSS 2020 (

Download the Abstract Template here: Bigss 2020 Abstract Template

Deadline for submissions: March 16th, 2020

Lectures: (Tuesday – Friday in Ballyvaughan, Co. Clare)


Image Type

Programme Outline

Tutors for BIGSS 2020:

 Steve Jacques (Tufts): Tissue optics and laser-tissue interactions
Origins of optical properties;
Measurements of optical properties - lookup tables; Monte Carlo simulations;
Coupling tissue optics into modelling of photochemical, photothermal and photomechanical effects. 

Martin Booth (Oxford): Advanced  Microscopy
Basic background concepts: imaging, point spread functions, resolution, contrast mechanisms. Imaging and scanning microscopes.
Fluorescence microscopy. Confocal and multiphoton microscopy. Wide-field sectioning methods. Super-resolution microscopy (single molecule, structured illumination, STED).
Aberrations and adaptive optics. Imaging through scattering media

David Sampson (Surrey): OCT
Motivating medical microscopy, tissue optics basics, OCT basic principles, OCT image characteristics, OCT extensions – parametric imaging, angiography, elastography,
birefringence, examples of clinical applications of OCT: burns, airways – sleep apnoea, asthma, COPD, breast cancer.

 Caroline Boudoux (Montreal): Endoscopy
Instrumentation for in vivo imaging. Fibre types (single-mode, multimode, double-clad, photonic crystals and fibre bundles), couplers, scanners, and detection schemes. Challenges associated with handheld, laparoscopic and endoscopic applications of spectroscopy, OCT, confocal and nonlinear microscopy.

Sarah Bohndiek (Cambridge): Photoacoustics
A historical perspective,  Basic principles of optoacoustic signal generation,
Imaging instrumentation,  Photoacoustic microscopy, Tomography and image reconstruction,
Hybridization with ultrasonography and optical imaging modalities, Biological and translational applications.

 Arjun G. Yodh (University of Pennsylvania): Brain Neurophotonics
Diffuse optics theory and experimental methodology for measurement of brain tissue scattering, chromophore concentrations, blood flow and in combination or with other techniques, for measurement of cerebral oxygen metabolism, autoregulation, resting-state networks, and other biomarkers.
Selected optical microscopies in the context of neuroimaging. Pre-clinical and clinical examples.   

 Brian Wilson (Toronto): Photo Medicine, Radiation Medicine and NanoMedicine
Phototherapeutics, primarily photodynamic and photothermal. Optical spectroscopies and imaging for intervention guidance, particularly surgery. Phototherapeutics and interventional guidance using optically-active nanoparticles.

 Wei R. Chen Oklahoma): Photo-immunotherapy for metastatic cancers
A brief introduction to cancer and cancer immunotherapy; phototherapy (photodynamic therapy and photothermal therapy) induced immune responses;
Local photo-immunotherapy for metastatic cancers; immunologically modified nanotubes and nanoparticles for photo-immunotherapy.