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Keynote and Invited Lectures

Keynote Lecture

Prof Joseph Culver

Dr. Joseph P. Culver, Ph.D. is the Sherwood Moore Professor of Radiology, at Washington University in St. Louis, St. Louis Missouri, US.  Prof. Culver’s group focuses on developing neurophotonic imaging systems and advancing functional mapping paradigms.  Culver’s group developed a series of improvements in high-density diffuse optical tomography (HD-DOT) including high-performance instrumentation, high-density DOT imaging arrays, ergonomic imaging caps and de-noising methods. The resulting increases in resolution and brain specificity relative to previous systems enabled the first optical angular and eccentricity mappings of the human visual cortex along with a collection of language tasks and networks. In parallel, Prof. Culver’s group developed a seminal task-less approach to mapping functional connectivity (FC) patterns in optical recordings of spontaneous brain activity. Their first paper initiated a trend in FC analysis for both DOT and functional near infrared spectroscopy. Together, the FC and HD-DOT methods are enabling a broad range of applied studies, including preterm infants, acute stroke, deep brain stimulation, cochlear implants, and childhood brain development.  More recently Culver’s group has focused on naturalistic mapping paradigms and developing wearable HD-DOT instruments. 

At Washington University in St. Louis, Prof. Culver is Director of the Biophotonics Research Center, within the Radiology Department, and co-Director of the Imaging Sciences PhD program within the McKelvey School of Engineering. He has affiliate appointments in the Departments of Physics, Biomedical Engineering, Electrical Systems Engineering, and Neuroscience. Dr. Culver earned a Bachelor of Science in Physics from the University of Washington, Seattle, and his Ph.D. in Physics at the University of Pennsylvania, where he developed ultrafast laser spectroscopy for metal surfaces. He later switched to the field of Biomedical Optics, for a Postdoc. In 2003 he moved to Washington University to join the Radiology Faculty as an Assistant Professor. In 2017 Prof. Culver, worked with a team of Professors from the McKelvey Engineering School to develop a new PhD program in Imaging Science, that combines machine learning with computational modelling towards primary applications in medical imaging.

Presidential Lecture

Prof David Delpy

Professor Delpy is currently Emeritus Professor of Medical Photonics at University College London (UCL). He studied physics at Brunel University then spent two years in industry, before going to UCL where he stayed for 35 years. His research focused on the development of sensors for monitoring infants and adults in intensive care with a particular emphasis on the measurement of tissue oxygenation and metabolism. He helped develop a range of sensors and instruments many of which were commercialised either through collaborations with medical industries or through the company “Physiological Instrumentation” that he and colleagues set up (subsequently acquired by Novametrix Medical Systems Inc). He is best known for developments of NIR Spectroscopy and Imaging of brain oxygenation including the early “time of flight” measurements of optical pathlength in tissue with many of these developments being marketed in collaboration with Hamamatusu Photonics.At UCL, he was Head of the Department of Medical Physics and Biomedical Engineering for seven years and then the UCL Research Vice Provost for a further seven. He left UCL in 2007 to become CEO of the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), stepping down in 2014. He was subsequently Chair of the UK Ministry of Defence Scientific Advisory Council (2014-2017) and Chair of the National Quantum Technologies Programme Strategic Advisory Board (2014-2019). He is currently a member of the UK Home Office Science Advisory Council, Brunel University Council, Institute of Physics (IoP) Honorary Treasurer and Chair of IoP Publishing Board. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society, Royal Academy of Engineering and Academy of Medical Sciences.

Invited Lectures

Dr Xiaojun Cheng

Dr. Xiaojun Cheng is a Research Assistant Professor in the department of Biomedical Engineering at Boston University. Dr. Cheng has a Ph.D. background in Physics conducting fundamental studies of wave scattering inside ordered and disordered media at the City University of New York. She has then worked as a postdoc at Boston University with Dr. David Boas on modeling and system designs for various optical imaging techniques.  She has worked on optical microscopy for mouse brain imaging using multi-photon microscopy, optical coherence tomography (OCT) and laser speckle contrast imaging (LSCI). She has also worked on measuring human brain hemodynamics using techniques including functional near infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS), diffuse correlation spectroscopy (DCS), and has developed the novel fiber-based speckle contrast optical spectroscopy (SCOS) system and the data processing pipeline for human cerebral blood flow measurements. Dr. Cheng’s main focus is to exploit the speckle pattern arising from the interference of coherent scattered light to probe brain structure and function in health and disease.

Prof Judit Gervain

Judit Gervain is a Full Professor of Developmental Psychology, University of Padua, Italy and a Senior Research Scientist, CNRS, France. Her research focuses early speech perception and language acquisition in typically and atypically developing infants. Her work is published in leading journals, such as Science Advances, Nature Communications, PNAS, Current Biology. She is an associate editor at Developmental Science, Cognition and Neurophotonics. Her work is currently funded by an ERC Consolidator Grant.

Prof Antonia Hamilton

Dr Hamilton is a Professor in Social Neuroscience and leader of the Social Neuroscience group at the Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience (UCL). She completed a PhD in computational motor control and postdoctoral work on imitation in autism and brain systems for action understanding. Her research now uses fNIRS to examine brain mechanisms of human social interaction, with a focus on advancing methods and developing theories that can help us understand how interaction works. By using fNIRS hyperscanning in conjunction with detailed behavioural analysis and strong cognitive theories, her work can reveal how and why people imitate each other, how social skills differ in autism, and the neural mechanisms of face to face social interaction. She was awarded the Experimental Psychology Society prize lectureship for 2013 and a Lundbeck Visiting Professorship at the University of Copenhagen in 2021. She is currently Editor in Chief of the Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology.

Prof David Highton

Confirmed. Pic and bio coming soon.

Dr Bettina Sorger

Dr. Bettina Sorger is an associate professor at the Cognitive Neuroscience Department at the Faculty of Psychology and Neuroscience at Maastricht University (The Netherlands). She has worked in several fields of fundamental and clinical neuroscience with a focus on developing methods for brain-based interaction and neurofeedback learning exploiting hemodynamic brain signals. Currently, her particular research objective is the transfer of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) methodology and results to mobile functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) to increase usability of hemodynamic brain-computer interfaces (BCIs) and provide patients instantly and permanently with useful BCI systems that are applicable in everyday-life.

Special Session: Neuroethics

Dr Daniel Richard Leff

Daniel is currently a Reader in Surgery working in the Departments of BioSurgery and Surgical Technology, the Hamlyn Centre for Robotic Surgery and the Cancer Research UK Centre at Imperial College London. He is an Honorary Consultant in Oncoplastic Breast Surgery working within the Breast Unit at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust. Daniel works at the Hamlyn Centre’s ‘Neuroergonomics and Perception Laboratory’ focusing on evaluations of brain function in surgeons with a view to gaining insights into technical skills training, expertise development, cognitive burden and fatigue. His teams’ recent research focus has been in the detection of changes in brain function that differentiate high and low demand surgical tasks, facilitate workflow analysis, and which may indicate task induced cognitive overload. These factors if reliably detected may form the basis of intelligent feedback loops as means to realise brain computer interfacing to enhance patient safety. He has published >130 publications on surgical performance assessment, clinical neuroergonomics and precision surgery.

Daniel’s research has won national and international recognition, including the Hounsfield Prize, British Journal of Surgery Prize (ABS), Patey Prize (SARS), Sir Pat Forrest Award (BBG), Parasuraman Award, Athanasiou Medal (ABME), and a young scientist nomination at MICCAI. He has attracted funding from Industry (Waters Corp, Hitachi Medical Corp), the Academy of Medical Sciences and Wellcome Trust (AMS), Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), Association of Breast Surgery and Cancer Research UK (CRUK). He has delivered a number of key-note lectures including “McGuire Lecture in Surgical Oncology”(Queens University, Kingston, Canada) and won prestigious travelling fellowships and professorships including the Price Thomas Fellowship and James IV Association of Surgeons Fellowship.