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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. This will be augmented with hands on training at NUI Galway.

Fee: €900 including courses, excursion to Bunratty Castle for Medieval Banquet, accommodation and food during the Summer School. One day (September 3) participation at Photonics Ireland 2018, including the Biophotonics session is also included. The registration page is here:

Interested candidates should send the completed abstract to BIGSS 2018 (

Download the Abstract Template here: BIGSS_2018_Abstract_Template

Deadline for submissions: April 27, 2018

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

Hands-on training: (Saturday at NUI Galway)
   Photoacoustic Imaging – NUI Galway and iThera
   Optical Coherence Tomography – NUI Galway and Thorlabs


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Programme Outline

Steve Jacques (Tufts)- Tissue optics and modelling

Origins of optical properties; Measurements of optical properties - lookup tables; Monte Carlo simulations; Coupling tissue optics into modelling of photochemical, photothermal and photomechanical effects.

 Irving Bigio (Boston) - Nonlinear optics in spectroscopy and microscopy

The basics of fluorescence spectroscopy and molecular electronic transitions. Basics of vibrational spectroscopy, including a semi-classical derivation of Raman scattering. Basic principles of harmonic generation (SHG and THG). Basic physics issues of symmetry requirements and wave-vector mismatch, that are often minimally addressed in the literature.

 Paola Borri (Cardiff) – Advanced Light Microscopy.

Nonlinear methods such as CARS/SRS and electronically resonant four-wave-mixing, some aspects of DIC, plasmonics with metallic nanoparticles for imaging and sensing, CARS/SRS, and linear and nonlinear properties of plasmonic nanoparticles including their electronically resonant FWM.

 Caroline Boudoux (Montreal) – Endoscopy

Total internal reflection to fibre optics, single- and multi-mode, silica and photonics crystals;
Single fibre endoscopy: components (couplers, circulators), applications (OCT, confocal, fluorescence)
Challenges: losses, autofluorescence (as noise in fibre-based Raman imaging), dispersion (as a factor contributing to degrading resolution in OCT and SNR in nonlinear imaging);
Double-clad fibre couplers for multimodal imaging and theragnostics.

 Elizabeth Hillman (Columbia) - High-speed optical imaging and microscopy of in-vivo brain function.

Opticalmethods for imaging and altering brain function in living mice, flies, fish and worms. Diffuse reflectance imaging spectroscopy for looking at brain haemodynamics in mice, microscopy and fluorescence. Optogenetics. Light sheet and two-photon in the context of neuroimaging.

 Ton van Leeuwen (Amsterdam)- Optical coherence tomography
Optical Coherence Tomography.

 Sergio Fantini (Tufts) - Diffuse optics and applications to tissue oximetry and non-invasive brain studies

Diffusion theory (just key points, without detailed derivations) and diffuse optics in CW, time-domain, and frequency-domain (including the microscopic and modified Beer-Lambert laws), Applications to tissue oximetry and non-invasive optical studies of the brain.

 Brian Pogue (Dartmouth)- Optics in Surgery & Radiation Therapy - photochemistry/radiochemistry

Surgical devices; Variations of devices; Optical tracers; Molecular optical tracers; Photochemistry & photodynamic therapy; Radiation therapy; Radiochemistry; Nanoparticles in photophysics and radiophysics; Optical Diagnostics in radiation therapy.

 Daniel Razansky (Munich) – Optoacoustic Imaging

Historical perspective, Basic principles of optoacoustic signal generation, Imaging instrumentation, Optoacoustic microscopy, Tomography and image reconstruction, Hybridization with ultrasonography and optical imaging modalities, Biological and translational applications.