Al-Hafeez Z Dhalla


Assistant Research Professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering

My research focuses on the application of optical technologies for non-invasive, high-resolution imaging of biological tissues.  In particular, our laboratory develops optical coherence tomography (OCT), scanning laser ophthalmoscopy (SLO), light detection and ranging (LiDAR) and other optical imaging technologies for applications in the diagnosis and treatment of disease, particularly diseases of the eye. My work focuses not only on the engineering and technical development of novel imaging technologies, but also the preparation of these technologies for commercialization through clinical validation and regulatory approval.

Appointments and Affiliations

  • Assistant Research Professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering
  • Faculty Network Member of the Duke Institute for Brain Sciences

Contact Information

  • Office Location: 101 Science Drive, Fciemas 2574A, Durham, NC 27708-0281
  • Office Phone: +1 919 660 5126


  • Ph.D. Duke University, 2012

Research Interests

Biomedical optics, especially optical coherence tomography, scanning laser ophthalmoscopy and LiDAR, applied to the diagnostic imaging, image guided surgery and robotic microsurgery.

Courses Taught

  • ME 494: Engineering Undergraduate Fellows Projects
  • ME 493: Engineering Undergraduate Fellows Projects
  • BME 791: Graduate Independent Study
  • BME 590: Special Topics in Biomedical Engineering
  • BME 494: Projects in Biomedical Engineering (GE)
  • BME 493: Projects in Biomedical Engineering (GE)
  • BME 436L: Biophotonic Instrumentation (DR)
  • BME 394: Projects in Biomedical Engineering (GE)

Representative Publications

  • Wei, F; Li, CY; Hagan, K; Stinnett, SS; Kuo, AN; Izatt, JA; Dhalla, A-H, Spiral scanning improves subject fixation in widefield retinal imaging., Opt Lett, vol 49 no. 9 (2024), pp. 2489-2492 [10.1364/OL.517088] [abs].
  • Hagan, K; Zhou, KC; Dhalla, A-H; Izatt, JA, Shot-noise limited optical hybrid based on fused fiber couplers., Optics letters, vol 49 no. 2 (2024), pp. 347-350 [10.1364/ol.501105] [abs].
  • Wei, F; Hagan, K; Viehland, C; Tao, YK; Kuo, AN; Izatt, JA; Dhalla, A-H, Hybrid spiral scanning in a double-clad fiber-based handheld confocal scanning light ophthalmoscope., Biomed Opt Express, vol 14 no. 10 (2023), pp. 5162-5181 [10.1364/BOE.500608] [abs].
  • Li, JD; Viehland, C; Dhalla, A-H; Trout, R; Raynor, W; Kuo, AN; Toth, CA; Vajzovic, LM; Izatt, JA, Visualization of surgical maneuvers using intraoperative real-time volumetric optical coherence tomography., Biomed Opt Express, vol 14 no. 7 (2023), pp. 3798-3811 [10.1364/BOE.488967] [abs].
  • Trout, RM; Viehland, C; Li, JD; Raynor, W; Dhalla, A-H; Vajzovic, L; Kuo, AN; Toth, CA; Izatt, JA, Methods for real-time feature-guided image fusion of intrasurgical volumetric optical coherence tomography with digital microscopy., Biomed Opt Express, vol 14 no. 7 (2023), pp. 3308-3326 [10.1364/BOE.488975] [abs].