14 October 2014 Congratulations to New ICFO PhD graduate

Dr. Parisa Farzam graduated with a thesis in ‘Hybrid Diffuse Optics for Monitoring of Tissue Hemodynamics with Applications in Oncology’ Dr. Parisa Farzam received her Master Degree in Photonics from the joint master program coordinated by the University of Barcelona, the Autonomous University of Barcelona and the Technical University of Catalonia. After completing this degree, she joined the Medical Optics research group at ICFO, led by Prof. Turgut Durduran, and centered her doctoral work on diffuse optical techniques for preclinical and clinical investigations. Dr. Farzam’s thesis, entitled \'Hybrid Diffuse Optics for Monitoring of Tissue Hemodynamics with Applications in Oncology\' was supervised by Prof. Turgut Durduran.


Noninvasive measurement of hemodynamics at the microvascular level may have a great impact on oncology in clinics for diagnosis, therapy planning and monitoring, and, in preclinical studies. To this end, diffuse optics is a strong candidate for noninvasive, repeated, deep tissue monitoring.

In this multi-disciplinary, translational work, I have constructed and deployed hybrid devices which are the combination of two qualitatively different methods, near infrared diffuse optical spectroscopy (NIRS) and diffuse correlation spectroscopy (DCS), for simultaneous measurement of microvascular total hemoglobin concentration, blood oxygen saturation and blood flow.

In a preclinical study, I applied the hybrid device to monitor the response of renal cell carcinoma in mice to antiangiogenic therapy. The results suggest that we can predict the output of therapy from early hemodynamic changes, which provide us with valuable information for better understanding of the tumor resistance mechanism to antiangiogenic therapies.

In two in vivo studies in human volunteers, I have developed protocols and probes to demonstrate the feasibility of noninvasive diffuse optical spectroscopy to investigate the pathophysiology of bone. First study was study on the physiology of the patella microvasculature, the other introduced the manubrium as a site that is rich in red bone mar- row and accessible to diffuse optics as a potential window to monitor the progression of hematological malignancies.

Overall, during my Ph.D., I have developed instrumentation, algorithms and protocols and, then, applied this technique for preclinical and clinical investigations. My research is a link between preclinical and clinical studies and it opens new areas of applications in oncology.

Thesis Committee:

Dr. Carles Justicia - IDIBAPS
Dra. Raquel Delgado – Hospital Sant Pau
Prof. Romain Quidant – ICFO