Laura Marcu, Ph.D.

Laura Marcu Image

Position Title
Leader, TRD1


Dr. Laura Marcu is a Professor of Biomedical Engineering and Neurological Surgery. Her research interest is in the area of biomedical optics, with a particular focus on development of optical instrumentation for tissue spectroscopy and imaging. Her group is best known for research into the advancement of time-resolved (lifetime) fluorescence techniques for label-free biomedical diagnostics. Her work has been particularly innovative and impactful in three distinct areas: intraoperative fluorescence lifetime imaging (FLIM) with applications in surgical oncology and robotic surgery; intravascular FLIM with applications in cardiovascular diagnostics; and FLIM in multimodal imaging platforms with applications in regenerative medicine. A more recent emphasis in her laboratory is on the integration of optical technologies in multimodal diagnostic platforms (with optical coherence tomography, ultrasound backscatter microscopy, and photoacoustics). 

Professor Marcu’s broad scientific contributions are substantiated by several accomplishments including over 210 publications (>120 peer-reviewed), 9 patents, over 120 invited talks/seminars, and editor of the first textbook on Fluorescence Lifetime Spectroscopy and Imaging: Principles and Applications in Biomedical Diagnostics. Since 2007 she has served as co-director of the Comprehensive Cancer Center - Biomedical Technology Program, at the UC Davis Medical Center.  Currently, she serves as a member of the Editorial Board for the Journal of Biophotonics and the Translational Biophotonics, and was the Associate Editor for Biomedical Optics Express. She is an elected Fellow of the American Association for Advancement in Science (AAAS), the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineers (AIMBE), the Biomedical Engineering Society (BMES), the Optical Society (OSA), the International Society for Optics and Photonics (SPIE) and the National Academy of Inventors (NAI).