(Title image: Ultrasound-encoded wavefront used for optical resolution imaging with diffuse light, as described iNature Photonics 2013 7(4): 300-305 and the corresponding News & Views Article)



We are a group of neuroscientists, physicists, biologists and engineers who develop and apply new optical techniques with the goal to study brain-wide neuronal circuits at unprecedented depth and scale. The lab is part of the NeuroCure Cluster of the German Excellence Initiative and is located on the Charité / Humboldt University campus in the centre of Berlin. 

Principal Investigator

Benjamin Judkewitz

Benjamin Judkewitz

Benjamin Judkewitz, professor in Bioimaging and Neurophotonics. 

2010 - 2014: Sir Henry Wellcome Postdoctoral fellow at the California Institute of Technology, departments of Electrical Engineering and Bioengineering

2006 - 2010: PhD in Neuroscience and Physiology at University College London.

2000- 2005: Biology undergraduate training in Heidelberg, Berkeley and at the Max Planck Institute for Medical Research.

Deep Imaging

Photo by Salih Külcü/iStock / Getty Images
Photo by Salih Külcü/iStock / Getty Images

If all our bodies were as transparent as these jellyfish, the implications for biomedical science would be tremendous. Biologists could directly look at deep tissues to study their function and doctors could diagnose diseases such as cancer by direct observation. 

Yet, when light propagates through most biological tissues, refractive index inhomogeneities cause diffuse scattering that increases with depth. This poses a major challenge to optical techniques, fundamentally limiting their biomedical usefulness to thin sections or cultured cells in vitro and superficial layers of tissue in vivo. As a result, despite many breakthroughs enabled by advances in optical imaging and optogenetics, these techniques are still severely handicapped by scattering.

The goal of our research is to address this challenge by developing new optical techniques based on wavefront engineering and optical time reversal. These approaches, in combination with functional imaging and electrophysiology, will enable us to study circuits of the brain that have thus far been inaccessible to noninvasive optical methods.