I completed my Lic. Sc. Phys. at the Science Faculty of the Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB) in 1999 after two years study at the Institut superieur d'architecture intercommunal Victor Horta. In 2001, I was awarded the Scientific Prize of the Belgian Physical Society for the best Masters thesis in physics. The aim of my thesis was to model gas transport in the lungs.
I was awarded my PhD in 2003 for research conducted in the Optics and Acoustics Department of the Applied Sciences Faculty. I was supported by the FRIA. During my PhD I investigated nonlinear optical phenomena in fibers for applications to wavelength-division-multiplexing (WDM) telecommunication systems and to Raman optical amplifiers.
In 2004, I commenced a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Auckland. In 2005, I was appointed to the position of Lecturer in the Department of Physics and later promoted to senior lecturer in 2008 and above the bar in 2013.
My principal research area is now biophotonics, ie, using light to observe and to understand physiological processes. Since 2005, I have been working on an all-fibre real time spectroscopic optical probe (or optrode) and on optical coherence tomography (OCT) imaging.
OCT is an interferometric technique that allows high resolution in vivo, non-invasive imaging of human tissues. Such a system uses the coherence properties of a light source to map biological tissues in 3 dimensions. If the light source is sufficiently incoherent, details as small as a few microns can be resolved, ie, a few cells, and it is possible to scan up to a few millimeters in the depth of the tissue under investigation without having to cut or even to touch it.
On top on developing state-of-the-art imaging capabilities, I have successfully worked towards improving the technique itself, in particular through the development of original signal processing methods. These developments have lead us to use OCT to identify tissues of different natures, adding a layer of functional information to the structural image provided by OCT.
In parallel with our work on the OCT systems, we are also working on fluorescence imaging. In particular we are developing modular all fiber fluorescence spectroscopy systems (optrode). I have turned the optrode into a very versatile tool and it has been applied to the measurement of the heart action potential in vivo, to bioremediation monitoring and to water safety testing.