Candidates 2018


Maria Angela Franceschini, AssociateProfessor, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard MedicalSchool, USA

I am an associate professor at Harvard Medical School, Massachusetts General Hospital, where I co-­‐lead the Optics @ Martinos group. Throughout my entire scientific career, nearly 25 years now, I have devoted myself to the development and application of non-­‐invasive optical methods to monitor human brain health and function. In particular, I have played an integral role in the development of the Frequency-­‐Domain NIRS ISS device, the TechEn CW6 system, the data analysis tool Homer, the hybrid FDNIRS-­‐DCS device (Metaox, ISS) and most recently the new modality Time-­‐Domain DCS. I have applied these technologies to a range of neuroscience and clinical applications and contributed to the literature with more than 100 publications on NIRS and an h-­‐index of 54 (google scholar). My latest challenge is the development of low-­‐cost and comprehensive NIRS devices to assess brain health and development in children globally.

Research interest:
I am a member of the NIH BMIT-­‐B Study Section, and an editorial board member of NeuroImage. Over the years I have chaired several meetings, and in 2019 and 2020 will chair the OSA “Optics and the Brain” meeting. I am a fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE), the Optical Society of America (OSA), and the American Academy of Radiology. Since 2002, I have trained new fNIRS users every year with the MGH Martinos Center’s Hands-­‐On Course on “Near-­‐Infrared Spectroscopy for Measuring Brain Function”. I have recently expanded our training mission by founding a nonprofit organization, Neuluce, which supports scientists in the adoption of novel optical technologies for studying the brain. Finally, this year I co-­‐founded a startup company, 149 Medical, with the goal of translating DCS for pediatric neuromonitoring applications.

Personal statement and motivation:
I contributed to the foundation of the fNIRS Society. As chair of the communication committee I have dramatically increased communication among the fNIRS community by establishing a robust and popular newsletter, developing content for the society webpage, and creating the Facebook SfNIRS group. Over the years, I believe I have demonstrated my unconditional support for the fNIRS Society and if I have the honor to be elected President I will devote my time to further strengthening it, to increasing its visibility and to creating more opportunities for a solid interdisciplinary environment, to support young and new fNIRS investigators and to further outreach. I strongly support the growth of the society but at the same time I want to make sure we don’t lose the sense of community and inclusion we currently have. I will work hard to help the society during this transitional time, with the need for more infrastructure, outsourced administrative involvement and external funding to support larger venues for meetings and educational workshops. Despite the foreseen growth, this society should be driven by its members and remain a service for its members.

List of three selected fNIRS publications:

  • Sutin J, Zimmermann, B, Tyulmankov D, Tamborini D, Wu KC, Selb J, Gulinatti A, Rech I, Tosi A, Boas DA, and Franceschini MA.  Time-­‐domain diffuse correlation spectroscopy. OPTICA 2016; 3(9): 1006–1013.
  • Roche-­‐LabarbeN, Fenoglio A, RadhakrishnanH, Kocienski-­‐Filip M, Carp SA, Dubb J, Boas DA, Grant PE, Franceschini MA. Somatosensory evoked changes in cerebral oxygen consumption measured non-­‐invasively inprematureneonates.Neuroimage.2014 Jan 15; 85 Pt 1:279-­‐286.
  • Franceschini MA, Toronov V, Filiaci M, Gratton E, Fantini S. On-­‐line optical imaging of the human brain with 160-­‐ms temporal resolution. Opt Express. 2000 Jan 31; 6(3):49-­‐57.


 Topun Austin, Professor and Consultant Neonatologist, Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, UK, Associate Lecturer in Neonatal Neuroscience, Department of Paediatrics, Cambridge University, UK, Honorary Professor, Department of Medical Physics & Biomedical Engineering, University College London, UK

Personal statement and motivation:
I have been involved in NIRS research for over 20 years and have over 30 original publications and reviews on NIRS and DOI in peer-reviewed journals. I have considerable experience of societal and conference management, having sat on the councils of the UK Neonatal Society and European Society for Paediatric Research (ESPR); in the latter role I organized two pre-conference courses on NIRS which were well attended by both clinicians and researchers. I am currently treasurer of the International Pediatric Research Federation and Scientific Chair for the European Academy of Paediatric Societies. I have lectured widely on neonatal NIRS and DOI; in 2010 I participated in a UK-Japan workshop on multimodal imaging in Tokyo; in 2015 and 2016 he gave public lectures as part of the Cambridge Science Festival.I am a passionate exponent of biomedical optics which is why I am applying for the position on the Board of Directors of the Society for fNIRS. With my clinical and research track record, collaborations and experience on national and international societies, if elected to the Board of fNIRS I will make a positive contribution to the development of this society at this exciting time for NIRS.

Hasan Ayaz Associate Research Professor, School of Biomedical Engineering, Science and Health Systems, Drexel University, USA

Hasan Ayaz is an Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering at Drexel University, with adjunct affiliations at the University of Pennsylvania and the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia; and a core member of the Cognitive Neuroengineering and Quantitative Experimental Research (CoNQuER) Collaborative. He received his BSc. in Electrical and Electronics Engineering in 2003 at Boğaziçi University, Istanbul, Türkiye with high honors, and received his MSc & PhD in Biomedical Engineering in 2010 from Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA, USA. Starting in 2001, he worked on the development of miniaturized continuous wave near infrared spectroscopy sensors focusing on brain imaging in natural environments and everyday settings. He has designed and developed enabling software for brain monitoring instruments that are now utilized routinely for clinical and field research in university, government and corporate research labs. As an extension to this, he led the software design and development of the first optical-brain-monitoring medical device, Infrascanner, which is a portable-handheld instrument that utilizes near infrared to detect hematoma in head trauma patients.

Research interest:
Dr. Ayaz’s research involves understanding the neural mechanisms related to human perceptual, cognitive, and motor functioning with a focus on real-world contexts, utilizing mobile neuroimaging, and deploying neuroengineering approaches for neuroergonomics applications. His research has been funded by federal agencies, corporate partners and foundations, and with 200+ publications in international journals and conferences.

Personal statement and motivation:
SfNIRS is a vital catalyst for the growth of the fNIRS field in general. It requires the entire community to cooperate and contribute in order to catapult the field to its full potential. I will be representing researchers from both the users and the developers of fNIRS point of view and would like to carry their combined perspectives to the board.

List of three selected fNIRS publications:

  • Ayaz H, Shewokis PA, Bunce S, Izzetoglu K, Willems B, Onaral B. Optical brain monitoring for operator training and mental workload assessment. Neuroimage. 2012;59(1):36-47.
  • Liu Y, Piazza EA, Simony E, Shewokis PA, Onaral B, Hasson U, Ayaz, H. Measuring speaker-listener neural coupling with functional near infrared spectroscopy. Scientific reports. 2017;7:43293.
  • Batula AM, Mark JA, Kim YE, Ayaz H. Comparison of Brain Activation during Motor Imagery and Motor Movement Using fNIRS. Computational Intelligence and Neuroscience. 2017;2017:12.

Ann-Christine Ehlis Group leader (Psychophysiology & Optical Imaging), Department of Psychiatry & Psychotherapy, University Hospital Tuebingen, Germany

After completing my graduate studies (Psychology) at the Heinrich-Heine-University Duesseldorf (Germany) in 2001, I started working as a research assistant at the Psychiatric University Hospital Wuerzburg in the group of Andreas Fallgatter (Psychophysiology & Functional Imaging) where I first started working with fNIRS (first fNIRS publication in 2003, Biological Psychology). After finishing my PhD on the topic of frontal lobe functions in schizophrenia in 2008, I accepted a position at the Psychiatric University Hospital of Tuebingen in 2010 as scientific head of the newly installed group “Psychophysiology & Optical Imaging” with fNIRS as the core research method. Having filled this position ever since, I visited the University of Padova (Italy) as a guest researcher in 2011 and successfully obtained funding for a junior research group in 2013, which focusses on measuring and training frontal lobe functions in patients with ADHD using fNIRS or combined fNIRS/EEG. In terms of administrative functions, I have previously held the position of equal opportunities commissioner for a collaborative research center (SFB TRR 58) as well as a Graduate School funded by the German Excellency Initiative (GSC 1028) and have served as board member of the LEAD Graduate School and Research Network since 2012.

Research interest:
Application of fNIRS in neuropsychiatric research; methodical development of fNIRS; multimodal functional imaging (e.g., combined fNIRS/EEG; combined fNIRS/fMRI); non- invasive neuromodulation (e.g., fNIRS-based neurofeedback trainings, rTMS, tDCS); frontal lobe functions and pathological alterations; action-monitoring and cognitive control processes/executive functions.

Personal statement and motivation:
I would like to apply as a candidate for the Board of Directors of The Society for functional Near Infrared Spectroscopy, as I have been working on the methodical development and clinical application of fNIRS for the last 15 years. As scientific head of one of the leading clinical NIRS groups, I would like to bring this experience to the BoD and further contribute to fostering fNIRS research as well as a more intensive collaboration between NIRS groups worldwide. I believe that a more systematic combination of expertise in basic research, clinical fields and methodological innovation could further increase the standing and scientific significance of fNIRS in international, interdisciplinary research at the intersection of psychology, medicine and cognitive neuroscience.

List of three selected fNIRS publications:

  • Ehlis AC, Schneider S, Dresler T, Fallgatter AJ. Application of functional near-infrared spectroscopy in psychiatry. Neuroimage. 2014 Jan 15;85 Pt 1:478-88.
  • Kroczek AM, Haeussinger FB, Fallgatter AJ, Batra A, Ehlis AC. Prefrontal functional connectivity measured with near-infrared spectroscopy during smoking cue exposure. Addict Biol. 2017 Mar;22(2):513-522.
  • Hudak J, Blume F, Dresler T, Haeussinger FB, Renner TJ, Fallgatter AJ, Gawrilow C, Ehlis AC. Near-infrared spectroscopy-based frontal lobe neurofeedback integrated in virtual reality modulates brain and behavior in highly impulsive adults. Front Hum Neurosci. 2017 Sep 4;11:425.

Christophe Grova Associate Professor, Physics department and PERFORM centre, Concordia University, Canada, Adjunct Professor, Biomedical Engineering Dpt and Neurology and Neurosurgery Dpt, McGill University, Canada , Chair of PERFORM Applied Bio-Imaging Committee, Canada

I received my Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering from University of Rennes in France in 2003, before starting a postdoctoral fellowship at the Montreal Neurological Institute (McGill University, Montreal, Canada), where I initiated research projects involving electrophysiology (EEG/MEG source imaging) and neuroimaging (simultaneous EEG/fMRI), applied in epilepsy. Recruited in 2008 assistant Professor in Biomedical Engineering Dpt of McGill University, I funded the Multimodal Imaging Functional Laboratory, dedicated in multimodal investigations of physiological and pathological brain processes. Main expertise developed in the lab is in the context of EEG/MEG source localization and multimodal imaging (EEG, MEG, fMRI, fNIRS). I also created at McGill a laboratory dedicated to prolonged EEG/fNIRS monitoring of epileptic activity. In July 2014, I joined the department of Physics at Concordia University and the PERFORM center, a new multimodal imaging center, dedicated to the promotion of research projects involving prevention in health, focusing on research combining multimodal imaging and realistic lifestyle experiences (sleep, physical exercise). Promoted to tenure Associate Professor in July 2017, I am also adjunct Professor in both Biomedical Engineering and Neurology and Neurosurgery departments at McGill University and affiliated to the epilepsy group of the Montreal Neurological Institute.

Research interest:
My research is methodology driven and consists in combining imaging modalities to reconstruct bioelectrical neuronal activity, while characterizing associated metabolic and hemodynamic processes. We demonstrated expertise in EEG/MEG source imaging, proposing the Maximum Entropy on the Mean method (MEM) framework to localize accurately along the cortical surface the generators of EEG/MEG scalp recordings (Pellegrino HBM 2018, plug-in available in Brainstorm software). Our second theme consists in studying the integrity of neurovascular coupling processes (simultaneous EEG/fMRI and EEG/fNIRS), during resting state and transient events detected on scalp EEG (epileptic discharges, sleep patterns). We proposed promising methodology to detect connector hubs from fMRI resting state networks and their reorganization in epilepsy (Lee K. Neuroimage, 2016, Neuroimage Clinical 2018). In fNIRS, our main contribution is the concept of personalized fNIRS: automatic design of optimal fNIRS montage maximizing light sensitivity to a target region, while ensuring accurate local tomographic reconstructions (Machado JBO 2014, JNS Methods 2018). Personalized fNIRS demonstrated promising results when applied to epilepsy monitoring (Pellegrino Front. Neurosciences, 2016). Our recent developments involve adapting MEM to fNIRS 3D reconstruction (Cai submitted), Bayesian deconvolution of fNIRS hemodynamic response (Vincent Neuroimage revision) and fNIRS correlates of transient changes in brain excitability (Cai fNIRS 2018, oral).

Personal statement and motivation:
With my background in multimodal imaging and inverse problem modeling, I would like to get involved in SfNIRS to strengthen the methodological links between EEG/MEG source imaging, fMRI multivariate analysis and fNIRS advanced statistical analysis. My overall objective is to propose and validate new methods, while ensuring a large access to our community. In this context, my team recently released NIRSTORM, a fNIRS software plugin attached to Brainstorm software (Vincent et al fNIRS 2016, fNIRS 2018 oral, Brainstorm being one of the most renowned software dedicated to EEG/MEG data analysis, this package offers standard and also advanced fNIRS methodology (optimal montage, MEM reconstruction), while offering advanced multimodal visualization features. My team has been actively involved in training our local fNIRS community. I was in charge of the organization of fNIRS 2014 educational session in Montreal. In May 2018, we organized our first 2-days training on EEG and NIRS (featuring Brainstorm and NIRSTORM) as a satellite of PERFORM annual conference ( Getting involved in the board of directors of SfNIRS, I hope I could provide relevant expertise in methodology and multimodal imaging, while pursuing our training and provide access to new softwares at the level of our whole society.

List of three selected fNIRS publications:

  • Machado A, Cai Z, Pellegrino G, Marcotte O, Vincent T, Lina JM, Kobayashi E, Grova C. Optimal positioning of optodes on the scalp for personalized functional near-infrared spectroscopy investigations. J Neurosci Methods. 2018 Aug 11. pii: S0165-0270(18)30242-5.
  • Pellegrino G, Machado A, von Ellenrieder N, Watanabe S, Hall JA, Lina JM, Kobayashi E, Grova C. Hemodynamic Response to Interictal Epileptiform Discharges Addressed by Personalized EEG-fNIRS Recordings. Front Neurosci. 2016 Mar 22;10:102.
  • Machado A, Marcotte O, Lina JM, Kobayashi E, Grova C. Optimal optode montage on electroencephalography/functional near-infrared spectroscopy caps dedicated to study epileptic discharges. J Biomed Opt. 2014 Feb;19(2):026010.

Joy Hirsch Professor, Departments of Psychiatry, Neuroscience, and Comparative Medicine, Yale School of Medicine, USA, Professor, Department of Medical Physics and Biomedical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering Sciences, University College London, UK.

Joy Hirsch is a neuroscientist with expertise in functional neuroimaging using fMRI and recently with fNIRS. She served as Director of the Functional Imaging Center at Columbia University from 2000 until 2012 where her Center focused on human brain mapping related to language for neural surgical planning, cognition, visual perception, and clinical studies applied to neurology, psychiatry, and psychology. She moved to Yale University in 2012 as Director of the Brain Function Laboratory where she has established an academic hub for the development of fNIRS and the investigation of cognitive function in natural settings. Her lab pioneers a new level of understanding of the neurological mechanisms for interpersonal communication that are exchanged between two naturally interacting individuals. Future directions of this novel approach are expected to significantly impact understanding of neural functions in socially expressed clinical disorders. The lab currently operates five fNIRS systems: Shimadzu LABNIRS – A 40-emitter-detector pair system that enables real-time fNIRS, eye-tracking, and EEG acquisitions; Shimadzu LightNIRS (Portable Functional Near-Infrared Spectroscopy System); NIRx NIRS – Scout System; and Two Hitachi ETG 4000) systems all coupled with large-scale computing capabilities. Professor Hirsch has published over 150 peer-reviewed scientific papers and chapters, is a popular public lecturer on the brain, and an advocate for basic science. She has an extensive graduate and undergraduate teaching record at both Columbia and Yale Universities and has sponsored over 30 PhD students. She is currently the PI on three NIH R01 grants investigating neuroscience questions and clinical applications based on fNIRS.

Research interest:
The long-term goal of the Hirsch Lab is to develop a theoretical framework for Two-Person Neuroscience. This framework is focused on understanding the neural basis of real-time, dynamic social interactions and communication based primarily on technical developments enabled by fNIRS. Prior single brain fMRI studies of language, emotion, perception, and cognitive processes provide a solid theoretical and technical background to validate and build a new theoretical framework for a “neuroscience of two”. This novel avenue of investigation has contributed support for the Interactive Brain Hypothesis including findings such as real eye-to-eye contact in contrast to mutual eye-gaze focused on a static picture of a face activates neural systems previously associated with language functions, i.e. left hemisphere Broca and Wernicke’s regions (Hirsch, et al., NeuroImage, 2017). “Stroop effects” based on incongruence between words and communication gestures were found to be language domain specific as predicted by prior single brain investigations using fMRI and serve to validate fNIRS as a tool for adult cognitive and social neuroscience (Noah, et al, PLoS ONE, 2017). Also consistent with the interactive brain hypothesis, dyads engaged in competitive games such as poker activate neural systems sensitive to theory-of-mind tasks that are not engaged when the competition is between a human and a computer (Piva, et al, Front. Hum. Neurosci., 2017). All contribute to a theoretical framework for two-person neuroscience including social neural systems unique to live interactions. These and on-going studies employ neural coherence across brains as a measure of interpersonal interaction and an indicator of the relevant neural processes that share rapid and dynamic information. Recent findings suggest that these interaction functions engage specialized neural systems predicted by the Interactive Brain Hypothesis (Hirsch, et al. and Descorbeth, et al., in review, 2018)

Personal statement and motivation:
As one of the early developers of fMRI, and the founder and previous Director of the fMRI Research Center at Columbia University, I have experienced the challenges associated with the development of a novel neuroimaging technology. The impact of a broadly-based organization of diverse scientists and engineers committed to promoting the highest standards in research, support for young investigators, public outreach, open forums for discussion, sharing of tools and computational methods, and creation of funding sources is essential. In my current position as the Director of the Brain Function Laboratory at Yale University my aim is to build on my prior neuroimaging experience and contribute to the establishment of fNIRS as a standard neuroimaging technology. My faculty appointment and active collaboration with colleagues at

UCL in the Department of Medical Physics and Biomedical Engineering is a key resource for this objective, as is my Sr. Investigator appointment in the Haskins laboratory where we aim to expand our equipment base to support a multi-institutional collaborative effort combining the investigation of infants and children with investigation of adult cognition. Participation and contribution to a society of other active investigators and educators with similar objectives is a fundamental component of this objective. My enthusiasm for serving on the board for the NIRS Society includes several components. First, I aim to support activities that establish a consensus for the highest research practices possible while at the same time preserving the appreciation for exploration. This also includes initiating and protecting opportunities for productive and collaborative interactions between engineers that develop the equipment and investigators that use the equipment. My motivation also includes a goal to promote and support young investigators as well as collaborators from related fields and technologies that enhance the expansion of research opportunities. Finally, the emerging impact and advantages for fNIRS in clinical applications, natural environments, and two-person neuroscience are potentially transformative.

List of three selected fNIRS publications:

  • Hirsch J, Zhang X, Noah JA, Ono Y. Frontal temporal and parietal systems synchronize within and across brains during live eye-to-eye contact, Neuroimage. 2017 Aug 15;157:314-330.
  • Piva M, Zhang X, Noah JA, Chang SWC, Hirsch J. Distributed neural activity patterns during human-to-human competition. Front Hum Neurosci. 2017 Nov 23;11:571.
  • Zhang X, Noah JA, Hirsch J. Separation of the global and local components in functional near-infrared spectroscopy signals using principal component spatial filtering. Neurophoton. 3(1), 015004 (2016).

Fumitaka Homae Associate Professor, Department of Language Sciences, Tokyo Metropolitan University, Japan

Fumitaka Homae received his PhD in cognitive neuroscience from the University of Tokyo, Japan, in 2003. During his PhD, he studied language processing in the adult brain using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). He then moved to the Graduate school of Education, at the University of Tokyo for his postdoctoral research involving neuroimaging of infants using functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS). He is currently an associate professor in the Department of Language Sciences, at Tokyo Metropolitan University where he continues to study language acquisition during infancy. Additionally, he has begun to measure brain activation related to language learning in childhood and adolescence. He was a member of the program committee of the fNIRS 2016 conference in Paris, and is one of the local organizers of the fNIRS 2018 conference in Tokyo.

Research interest:
His research interest is focused on revealing how the infant brain develops in order to acquire language. He is employing two strategies to achieve this goal. The first is to clarify functional roles of distinct cortical regions in the infant brain, and the second is to manifest functional relationships between multiple regions in the developing brain. He published a paper reporting focal activation, as measured by fNIRS, in the right temporo-parietal region of 3-month-old infants in response to speech prosody, an important piece of linguistic information for infants (Homae et al., 2006). This activation pattern was also found to change developmentally. He additionally found functional differentiation in left and right temporal regions during speech processing in infants. These cortical regions are functionally organized during the first six months of life (Homae et al., 2010). In this series of studies, he successfully demonstrated that multi-channel fNIRS measurement, and connectivity analyses are powerful tools to visualize formation and modulation of cortical networks in early infancy. The development of evaluation methods for dynamic changes in functional networks of the brain is also a main theme of his research, and he recently reported sex differences in the strategy of second language learning in adolescents by using a simultaneous fNIRS-ERP measurement (Sugiura et al., 2018).

Personal statement and motivation:
I am applying for a position on the Board of Directors of the Society for fNIRS. fNIRS has been the method most essential to my research in developmental neuroscience, especially in brain development and language acquisition. I believe that the development of recording methods for multimodal measurements, such as fNIRS-EEG, and new methods of analysis of cortical networks, can help us reach a new horizon for understanding brain organization, as well as fNIRS usage. I would like to do my part to contribute to our work together on this task by sharing our knowledge on these topics in both the fNIRS community, and in society.

List of three selected fNIRS publications:

  • Homae F, Watanabe H, Nakano T, Asakawa K, Taga G. The right hemisphere of sleeping infant perceives sentential prosody. Neurosci Res. 2006 Apr;54(4):276-80.
  • Homae F, Watanabe H, Otobe T, Nakano T, Go T, Konishi Y, Taga G. Development of global cortical networks in early infancy. J Neurosci. 2010 Apr 7;30(14):4877-82.
  • Sugiura L, Hata M, Matsuba-Kurita H, Uga M, Tsuzuki D, Dan I, Hagiwara H, Homae F. Explicit performance in girls and implicit processing in boys: A simultaneous fNIRS-ERP study on second language syntactic learning in young adolescents. Front Hum Neurosci. 2018 Mar 8;12:62.

Keum-Shik Hong Professor, School of Mechanical Engineering, Pusan National University, Korea

Keum-Shik Hong received his BS degree from Seoul National University, Korea, in 1979, MS degree from Columbia University in 1987, and both the MS degree in applied mathematics and the PhD in control engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Champaign in 1991. Dr. Hong joined the School of Mechanical Engineering at Pusan National University in 1993. His lab was designated as a National Research Laboratory by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology of Korea in 2003. In 2009, under the auspices of the World Class University Program of Korea, he established the Department of Cogno-Mechatronics Engineering. He served as EiC of the Journal of Mechanical Science and Technology from 2008 to 2011 and serves as EiC of the International Journal of Control, Automation, and Systems. He was the President of the Institute of Control, Robotics and Systems in 2015, and is President-Elect of Asian Control Association. He received the Presidential Award of Korea in 2007, and the IEEE Academic Award in 2016. He is an ICROS Fellow, a Senior Member of IEEE, and a member the National Academy of Engineering of Korea.

Research Interest:
Dr. Hong’s current research interests include brain-computer interface (BCI), brain imaging using fNIRS, fNIRS 3D imaging, real-time BCI, adaptive signal processing, nonlinear systems theory, adaptive control, distributed parameter systems, and autonomous machines. Since Dr. Hong’s background includes robotics and feedback control, he will try to fill the gap between scientists and engineers in achieving these goals.

Personal statement and motivation:
As a member of the Board of Directors of the SfNIRS, Dr. Hong will focus on developing feedback control techniques on human brain stimulation and imaging, in which fNIRS, EEG, and fMRI are used as sensors, while rTMS and tDCS/tACS are used as actuators. He will also investigate various methods for fNIRS 3D imaging, real-time control of machines by using brain signals obtained noninvasively. Eventually, his goal is to see a new fNIRS imaging technique that can replace (or compensate with) fMRI.

List of three selected fNIRS publications:

  • Naseer N, Hong KS. fNIRS-based brain-computer interfaces: a review. Front Hum Neurosci. 2015 Jan 28;9:3.
  • Naseer N, Hong KS. Classification of functional near-infrared spectroscopy signals corresponding to the right- and left-wrist motor imagery for development of a brain-computer interface. Neurosci Lett. 2013 Oct 11;553:84-9.
  • Khan MJ, Hong MJ, Hong KS. Decoding of four movement directions using hybrid NIRS-EEG brain-computer interface. Front Hum Neurosci. 2014 Apr 28;8:244.

Satoru Kohno Associate Professor, Department of Radiation Science and Technology at Tokushima University Graduate School, Japan

Satoru Kohno is an associate professor in the Department of Radiation Science and Technology at Tokushima University Graduate School. He received his BSc degree and MSc degree in applied physics from Miyazaki University. He developed magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and functional near infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) at Hitachi Ltd. and Shimadzu Corp., and received some 40 patents. During working as a scientist & engineer at Shimadzu Corp., he received PhD in medicine at Graduate School of Medicine Kyoto University in 2009. He made a fresh start as a cognitive neuroscientist at Tokyo Metropolitan Institute of Medical Science under Prof. Yoko Hoshi in 2012.

Research interest:
His research focuses on developing novel methods about MRI and fNIRS and elucidating the neural mechanism of emotion regulation using these modalities.

Personal statement and motivation:
I am applying for a position on the Board of Directors of the fNIRS Society. I would like to contribute to the standardization activities of the fNIRS data analysis and expanding the fNIRS applications.

List of three selected fNIRS publications:

  • Kohno S, Hoshi Y. Spatial distributions of hemoglobin signals from superficial layers in the forehead during a verbal-fluency task. J Biomed Opt. 2016 Jun 1;21(6):66009.
  • Shibata M, Fuchino Y, Naoi N, Kohno S, Kawai M, Okanoya K, Myowa-Yamakoshi M. Broad cortical activation in response to tactile stimulation in newborns. Neuroreport. 2012 Apr 18;23(6):373-7.
  • Kohno S, Miyai I, Seiyama A, Oda I, Ishikawa A, Tsuneishi S, Amita T, Shimizu K. Removal of the skin blood flow artifact in functional near-infrared spectroscopic imaging data through independent component analysis. J Biomed Opt. 2007 Nov-Dec;12(6):062111.

Adam LiebertProfessor, Nalecz Institute of Biocybernetics and Biomedical Engineering of the Polish Academy of Sciences, Poland

I received the M.Sc. degree in fine mechanics from the Warsaw University of Technology in 1991, the Ph.D. and D.Sc. degrees in biomedical engineering from the Institute of Biocybernetics and Biomedical Engineering of the Polish Academy of Sciences (IBBE PAS) in 1997 and 2005. In 2001-2004 I worked as the postdoctoral researcher in the Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt in Berlin – Division Medical Physics and Metrological Information Technology. Since 2008 I was the head of Biophysical Measurements and Imaging Department and since 2014 I am Director of the Institute. Full Professor since 2015. I was the founding member of the Polish Society for Biomedical Engineering and served as Secretary General and member of the Council of this society. I am topical editor in peer-reviewed journals Opto-Electronics Review and Bulletin of the Polish Academy of Sciences Technical Sciences and member of the editorial board of the Journal Technology and Health Care.

Research interest:
My field of research activity is related to tissue optics, assessment of light-tissue interactions and application of optics and photonics in biomedical measurements. I worked on development of laser−Doppler technique for microcirculation assessment and validation of this technique in multiple clinical applications. Currently, I work on time-resolved near infrared spectroscopy and its application in non-invasive transcranial monitoring and imaging of brain tissue oxygenation and perfusion. My team developed several time-resolved NIRS systems (multi-point imaging systems, multi-wavelength setup) and validated their usefulness in several clinical studies (TBI patients, brain death, endarterectomy surgery). Main line of research is related to the application of ICG bolus tracking method for assessment of brain perfusion. We also developed a multichannel dense-grid NIRS CW setup for applications in neurophysiological experiments.

Personal statement and motivation:
I am very excited about the potential which for the biomedical optics society represents the SfNIRS initiative. fNIRS society makes great opportunities to exchange new ideas, discuss possible new applications and keep the users in touch with new developments of NIRS instrumentation. I would be glad to support the activities of the society, especially focusing on fNIRS activities in Eastern-Europe countries. I will make use of the previous experience and organize seminar of the International Center for Biocybernetics (of the Polish Academy of Sciences) gathering scientists from these countries (in which the technique is not yet very popular) and manufacturers of NIRS instruments. The society needs more broad recognition in scientific community and the social media should be more actively used to reach better spread of information on SfNIRS initiatives.

List of three selected fNIRS publications:

  • Gerega A, Milej D, Weigl W, Kacprzak M, Liebert A. Multiwavelength
    time-resolved near-infrared spectroscopy of the adult head: assessment of
    intracerebral and extracerebral absorption changes. Biomed Opt Express. 2018 Jun 7;9(7):2974-2993.
  • Weigl W, Milej D, Gerega A, Toczyłowska B, Sawosz P, Kacprzak M, Janusek D, Wojtkiewicz S, Maniewski R, Liebert A. Confirmation of brain death using optical methods based on tracking of an optical contrast agent: assessment of diagnostic feasibility. Sci Rep. 2018 May 9;8(1):7332.
  • Lachert P, Janusek D, Pulawski P, Liebert A, Milej D, Blinowska KJ. Coupling of Oxy- and Deoxyhemoglobin concentrations with EEG rhythms during motor task. Sci Rep. 2017 Nov 13;7(1):15414.

Yasuyo Minagawa Professor, Department of Psychology, Keio University, Japan

Yasuyo Minagawa is a professor of the Department of Psychology at Keio University. She received her Ph.D. in medicine from the University of Tokyo in 2000. Since then, she had engaged in various projects on developmental cognitive neuroscience as a post-doc researcher in several institutions such as UCL, ENS/CNRS/EHESS and national research institute of rehabilitation. Particularly, as a post-doc researcher of the European 6th Framework, NEUROCOM project, she collaborated with the department of medical physics, UCL and UCL hospital either to work on neonate’s fNIRS and to introduce fNIRS technique to ENS/CNRS/EHESS.

Research interest:
Her research examines the development of perception and cognition with a focus on speech perception, social cognition and typical and atypical brain development. fNIRS has been a principle methodology for this investigation. Her current research interests are on fNIRS hyperscanning studies of mother-infant interaction as well as adults’ social behavior. Furthermore, she has been conducting a longitudinal cohort study of infants at risk for ASD to find biological and behavioral markers which predict infants’ language and social development.

Personal statement and motivation:
Since the advent of multi-channel fNIRS instrument, fNIRS has played a significant role in the field of the developmental cognitive neuroscience. However, as compared with a population of EEG users, the number of fNIRS users is quite small. I am motivated to improve this situation, as I understand that fNIRS has a great potential to reveal various neurocognitive aspects of infants. Either as a member of education committee of fNIRS or a teacher of developmental psychology, I would like to keep on my small activities to educate students for correct and efficient use of fNIRS.

List of three selected fNIRS publications:

  • Minagawa-Kawai Y, Mori K, Naoi N, Kojima S. Neural attunement processes in infants during the acquisition of a language-specific phonemic contrast. J Neurosci. 2007 Jan 10;27(2):315-21.
  • Minagawa-Kawai Y, Mori K, Hebden JC, Dupoux E. Optical imaging of infants’ neurocognitive development: recent advances and perspectives. Dev Neurobiol. 2008 May;68(6):712-28.
  • Minagawa-Kawai Y, Matsuoka S, Dan I, Naoi N, Nakamura K, Kojima S. Prefrontal activation associated with social attachment: facial-emotion recognition in mothers and infants. Cereb Cortex. 2009 Feb;19(2):284-92.

Nadege Roche-Labarbe Associate Professor of Psychology, University of Caen Normandy, Caen, France

Nadege Roche-Labarbe received her PhD in Neuroscience from the University of Amiens, France, in 2007. During her PhD she worked under Dr Fabrice Wallois’s supervision in the GRAMFC lab (INSERM U1105). She published the first description of neurovascular coupling in preterm neonates using fNIRS, and descriptions of hemodynamic changes during absence seizures in children and animal models. After completing her PhD, Dr Roche-Labarbe worked for 4 years as a post-doctoral research fellow in Prof. David Boas’ Optics group at the AA Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging at Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, USA, under Dr Maria Angela Franceschini’s supervision. She published several papers on combining NIRS and Diffuse Correlation Spectroscopy (DCS) to measure oxygen metabolism in newborns’ brain. In 2012 she became Assistant Professor of Psychology at the University of Caen, France. She received her Habilitation to supervise research in 2016 and joined the COMETE lab (INSERM U1075) to develop her own line of research.

Research interest:
Nadege Roche-Labarbe is currently conducting research on functional brain development in preterm neonates at the University Hospital of Caen. Her research aims at describing very early perceptive abilities, particularly in the somesthetic modality, and finding among these abilities potential markers of the quality of brain functional development. In particular, she focuses on identifying early precursors of executive functions and markers of subsequent neurodevelopmental impairment. She leads a research project involving longitudinal measurements in preterm neonates combining fDCS, behavioral and clinical measures. In addition, she is involved in research projects using fNIRS for executive function assessment in rare neurological disorders.

Personal statement and motivation:
I am applying for a position on the Board of Directors of the Society for fNIRS because fNIRS has always been a critical part of my research since the PhD. I have used fNIRS in preterm neonates, infants, children and adults for clinical and cognitive neuroscience studies, I have contributed several research articles to the field and I have been involved in the Society meetings since the very first meeting in Boston where I was a speaker. I was a member of the organizing committee of the 4th fNIRS conference in Paris and I enjoyed this engagement for the fNIRS community. Now I want to become more involved in the Society and serve the community with a long-term commitment. I believe my research interests and experience can be of benefit to our growing community and I will have at heart to help our Society foster scientific communication among all fNIRS developers and users.

List of three selected fNIRS publications:

  • Roche-Labarbe N, Fenoglio A, Radhakrishnan H, Kocienski-Filip M, Carp SA, Dubb J, et al. Somatosensory evoked changes in cerebral oxygen consumption measured non-invasively in premature neonates. NeuroImage. 2014;85:1–8.
  • Roche-Labarbe N, Fenoglio A, Aggarwal A, Dehaes M, Carp SA, Franceschini MA, et al. Near-infrared spectroscopy assessment of cerebral oxygen metabolism in the developing premature brain. Journal of cerebral Blood Flow & Metabolism. 2012;32(3):481–8.
  • Roche-Labarbe N, Wallois F, Ponchel E, Kongolo G. Coupled oxygenation oscillation measured by NIRS and intermittent cerebral activation on EEG in premature infants. NeuroImage. 2007;36(3):718–27.

Ilias Tachtsidis Reader (Associate Professor) in Biomedical Engineering and Senior Wellcome Trust Research Fellow, Department of Medical Physics and Biomedical Engineering, University College London, UK

I am a Reader (Associate Professor) in Biomedical Engineering and senior member of the Biomedical Optics Research Laboratory in UCL (London, UK). I lead the Multi-Modal Spectroscopy Group within BORL and the MetaboLight team, which is our public engagement platform. I received my PhD in UCL in 2005 working in brain oximetry with NIRS and the modelling of absolute tissue saturation. Following that I received two Wellcome Trust fellowships focusing in clinical applications of fNIRS in neonatal critical care and neuroscience. I have published more than 100 research articles in the field of fNIRS and I consider myself as a developer of fNIRS techniques and methods for monitoring brain function.

Research interest:
I am an engineer working at the interface of optical technology developments and biomedical applications. I have an established research output within the field of fNIRS developments and monitoring, both through (i) my novel observations in understanding the confounding factors of fNIRS in neuroscience and proposing signal processing methods to overcome them and (ii) my pioneering work on the development of instrumentation and algorithms for monitoring non-invasively with fNIRS brain tissue changes in oxygenation and metabolism (the oxidation state of cytochrome-c-oxidase or oxCCO).

Personal statement and motivation:
Our fNIRS research community is continuously and actively expanding offering several opportunities and challenges. I have been supporting this and have been aiding researchers to adopt fNIRS by helping to understand the strengths and limitations of the technique. fNIRS allow to move neuroscience beyond the constraints of other neuroimaging modalities, beyond fMRI towards novel observations of brain function. I believe as member of the board I can continue to offer my support to our community to achieve this goal.

List of three selected fNIRS publications:

  • Bale G, Mitra S, de Roever I, Sokolska M, Price D, Bainbridge A, Gunny R, Uria-Avellanal C, Kendall GS, Meek J, Robertson NJ, Tachtsidis I. Oxygen dependency of mitochondrial metabolism indicates outcome of newborn brain injury. J Cereb Blood Flow Metab. 2018 May 18:271678X18777928.
  • Tachtsidis I, Scholkmann F. False positives and false negatives in functional near-infrared spectroscopy: issues, challenges, and the way forward. Neurophotonics. 2016 Jul;3(3):031405.
  • Kirilina E, Jelzow A, Heine A, Niessing M, Wabnitz H, Brühl R, Ittermann B, Jacobs AM, Tachtsidis I. The physiological origin of task-evoked systemic artefacts in functional near infrared spectroscopy. Neuroimage. 2012 May 15;61(1):70-81.

Meryem Ayse Yücel Research Assistant Professor, Neurophotonics Center, Biomedical Engineering, Boston University, USA, Assistant Professor, Athinoula A. Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, USA

Meryem Ayse Yucel is currently a Research Assistant Professor at the Neurophotonics Center, Boston University. She received her BSc degree in Chemical Engineering and her PhD degree in Biomedical Engineering from Bogazici University, Istanbul. She had started working with fNIRS in 2010, as a post-doctoral fellow at the Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School under the supervision of Dr. David Boas. During this time, and later as an Instructor, she worked on the methodological development of fNIRS (anatomical guidance for fNIRS, removal of systemic physiology, motion artifact correction algorithms, DOT augmented fMRI calibration and image reconstruction, collodion-fixed, prism-based optical fibers) as well as clinical applications (objective measure of pain during surgery, long term bedside monitoring of epilepsy patients). After joining Neurophotonics Center at BU in 2018, her research is geared toward cognitive neuroscience investigating cognition in various diseases (Alzheimer’s Disease, Stroke, Autism). She is one of the organizers of the annual fNIRS educational workshop at MGH (and now at BU), as well as one of the senior developers of HOMER2 NIRS Data Analysis Software.

Research interest:
Dr. Yucel’s primary research interest is to understand how the brain works in health and disease. Some of the research questions, she is currently interested in, are: How does the mirror-neuron system work in kids with ASD, how does it relate to their social interactions? Can we diagnose Alzheimer’s disease at a pre-symptomatic stage with fNIRS, and add it as a routine screening tool to the clinic? Can we monitor the functional changes in brains of Stroke patients during recovery rehabilitation? Can we evaluate the acute brain impairment level caused by marijuana? Does the interaction between a patient and clinician effect the clinical outcomes?

Personal statement and motivation:
I hereby express by interest in being a member of the Board of Directors of the fNIRS society. I am interested in disseminating best practices in fNIRS research in our community, starting from scientific question, experimental design to data acquisition and data analysis, with the goal of making the best use of fNIRS towards high impact research in basic science and its clinical applications.

List of three selected fNIRS publications:

  • Yücel MA, Selb JJ, Huppert TJ, Franceschini MA, Boas DA. Functional near infrared spectroscopy: Enabling routine functional brain imaging. Curr Opin Biomed Eng. 2017 Dec;4:78-86.
  • Yücel MA, Aasted CM, Petkov MP, Borsook D, Boas DA, Becerra L. Specificity of hemodynamic brain responses to painful stimuli: a functional near-infrared spectroscopy study. Sci Rep. 2015 Mar 30;5:9469.
  • Yücel MA, Selb J, Boas DA, Cash SS, Cooper RJ. Reducing motion artifacts for long-term clinical NIRS monitoring using collodion-fixed prism-based optical fibers. Neuroimage. 2014 Jan 15;85 Pt 1:192-201.

Xin Zhang Associate Professor, Brainnetome Center, Institute of Automation, Chinese Academy of Sciences / University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, China

Xin Zhang got the bachelor degree in Capital Medical University at 2002 after five-year study majoring in the Biomedical Engineering (BME) and then started to study in Tsinghua University (THU). After he achieved the master degree in THU, he began to pursue the PhD degree in the University of Hong Kong (HKU). Since he graduated from HKU with PhD degree, he had worked in the Institute of Automation, Chinese Academy of Sciences (CASIA) and concentrated on the development and applications of the fNIRS system to detect brain signals. Currently he is an associate professor in CASIA and University of Chinese Academy of Sciences and he is leading an R&D team to design new systems of measuring hemodynamic responses of the brain.

Research interest:
My interests focus on the measurement of brain physiological signals, especially on the technology from both the electronics and optics to detect the kinds of signals. Brain is the most complicated organ and there are quite a few brain diseases challenging us to propose new biomarkers. In my group, we studied possible technology involved to detect brain signals and tried to translated them from the bench side to the bedside. Near infrared spectroscope is one of the kind of the technology. Based on the near infrared spectroscope (NIRS), we don’t only perform a series of studies of brain functional activity, but also design two kinds of devices to measure cerebral oxygen saturation. The two devices have been approved to proceed with clinical trials. In order to evaluate the level of the cognition quantitatively for the patients of disorders of cognition (DOC), we built up a phonotype related with the near infrared imaging to detect the capability of the concentration of the DOC so as to produce a quantitative level of the cognition. In short, I am interested in the near infrared spectroscope to detect brain functional activity and enthusiastic to translate the technology to medical devices for the clinics.

Personal statement and motivation:
Because my bachelor degree was achieved in a medical school and I spent the first two years to study the medicine, I have been interested into applying engineering technology to the medicine. Since I worked on NIRS system at 2010, I didn’t only take use of the system in my research related with the brain functional activity, but also cooperated with the neuropsychologist to employ it into the diagnosis of brain diseases. Currently, the fNIRS study is rising up dramatically in China and it is obvious that the boom should be related with the Society of fNIRS (SfNIRS). I hope to be nominated for a position on the Board of Directors of the fNIRS society so as to communicate the cutting-the-edge progress to the fNIRS community for both sides. At the same time, I expect to push forward the clinical applications of fNIRS systems. In my mind, academic research to the fNIRS seems like one leg to a human and clinical application to the fNIRS should be the other one. As the same as a human can go far by two legs, our fNIRS society can be more prosperous with achievements in the two fields.

List of three selected fNIRS publications:

  • Si J, Zhang X, Zhang Y, Jiang T. Hemispheric differences in electrical and hemodynamic responses during hemifield visual stimulation with graded contrasts. Biomed Opt Express. 2017 Mar 2;8(4):2018-2035.
  • Si J, Zhang X, Li Y, Zhang Y, Zuo N, Jiang T. Correlation between electrical and hemodynamic responses during visual stimulation with graded contrasts. J Biomed Opt. 2016 Sep;21(9):091315.
  • Zhang X, Yu J, Zhao R, Xu W, Niu H, Zhang Y, Zuo N, Jiang T. Activation detection in functional near-infrared spectroscopy by wavelet coherence. J Biomed Opt. 2015 Jan;20(1):016004.