Poulikakos Lab @ UCSD

Where Nanophotonics Illuminates Global Health Challenges.

Mission Statement

Welcome! We are a theoretical and experimental research group, under the direction of Professor Lisa Poulikakos, in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at UC San Diego. We further the science and engineering of nanophotonic materials to controllably enhance, probe and influence naturally-occurring light–matter interactions. Nanophotonics, the study and manipulation of light at the nanoscale, holds great potential to address a range of societally-relevant challenges from sustainable energy technology, to information security and global health.

We are inspired by the rich palette of unexplored possibilities by which nanophotonic materials can exploit the interaction of light with biological matter from the molecular to the macro scale. Viewing trans-disciplinary challenges through the lens of optics, our research replicates and quantitatively visualizes the source and propagation of disease arising from mechanically, chemically and thermally-induced optical disorder in biological matter. We aim to develop ex-vivo and in-vivo nanophotonic probes, which promise significant impact in low-cost medical diagnostics; rapid, on-chip biochemical drug testing or widely-accessible in-situ biomedical imaging.

To learn more about Prof. Poulikakos and her research, please see her 2019 L’Oréal USA For Women in Science Fellowship Video.

L’Oréal USA For Women in Science Fellowship Video, 2019

The dimmed outlines of phenomenal things all merge into one another unless we put on the focusing glass of theory, and screw it up sometimes to one pitch of definition and sometimes to another, so as to see down into different depths through the great milestone of the world.

– James Clerk Maxwell