Advanced photonic techniques using ultrafast lasers, multi-photon, time-resolved and phase-resolved detection techniques, polarization and lifetime measurements further extend the usefulness of molecular and cell-based assays.
Another important advance in photonic technologies is the development of advanced imaging systems that have the combined capability of high-resolution, high-throughput and multi-spectral detection of optical reporters. Near-field spectroscopies provide important tools to investigate and develop new classes of molecular and cellular labels based on inorganic fluorophors, second-generation quantum dots, and plasmonics nanoprobes. Single-molecule detection techniques using various photonics modalities provide the ultimate tools to elucidate cellular processes at the molecular level.
Another area of research focus involves novel photonics platforms for ultra-high throughput assays and diagnostics and therapy in personalized medicine.
A new research area involves the so-called "Terahertz (THz) gap", which refers to the region of the electromagnetic spectrum that lies between microwave and infrared wavelengths. Due to the difficulties involved in making reliable THz sources and detectors, the terahertz frequency range still remains one of the least explored regions of the electromagnetic spectrum. However, this regime is rich with possibilities in spectroscopy and imaging.
We will also form a team of theoretical investigators in systems modeling and medical data treatment, who will be developing the much needed mathematical models for deep tissue imaging and image construction.
Other important theoretical areas involve bioinformatics, biomolecular computing, and theoretical modeling of self assembly of DNA nanostructures and photonic nanosystems.