Feruz Ganikhanov, Ph.D., assistant professor in the Department of Physics at West Virginia University, plans to advance the medical industry with an alternative diagnostics tool to track biological cell processes that could lead to earlier detection of disease.

He received a National Science Foundation award valued at nearly $330,000 to explore a new approach to building laser-based instruments that have micro-imaging abilities to view and scan small, complex cell compartments without disturbing biological structures.

“Our laser device will enable broad research in biology, chemistry, physics and engineering, and if successful, the instrument promises wide applications from clinical instruments to weapons detection,” said Ganikhanov, who has researched ultrafast lasers, nonlinear optics and spectroscopy for more than 15 years.

The three-year NSF grant, titled “EPDT: Integrated nonlinear optical system for sensing and imaging based on all-fiber, non-mode-locked ultrafast laser sources,” investigates a new conceptual approach to a nonlinear microscopy system. He will design a portable, compact device that uses a coherent vibrational spectroscopy technique for high detection sensitivity to identify molecular groups or subgroups within complex chemical and biological media.

The project supports applied and fundamental research, education and training for undergraduate and graduate students and University-wide collaboration with a variety of WVU research groups and centers.

Graduate and undergraduate students majoring in science and engineering fields and interested in interdisciplinary research will have the opportunity to work alongside Ganikhanov. He also plans to use the results of his research to develop curriculum for new summer courses.

Ganikhanov earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in physics from M.V. Lomonosov Moscow State University in 1985 and 1987, respectively. He received a doctoral degree in laser physics from the R.V. Khokhlov Nonlinear Optics Institute at M.V. Lomonosov Moscow State University in 1991. He has published 37 articles, contributed to a book chapter and holds two U.S. patents.

Prior to joining WVU faculty in 2006, he was a research scientist in Harvard University’s Department of Chemistry, and Wellman Laboratories for Photomedicine researching the area of nonlinear optical imaging with applications to biological media. He joined Bell Labs/Lucent Technologies working in the area of digital lasers for high bit rate communication systems, was a senior laser physicist for Inrad, Inc., and spent his postdoctoral years in the Quantum Electronics Laboratory at Ecole Polytechnique in France and in the ultrafast optics lab at Cornell University.

For more information, contact Feruz Ganikhanov at 304-293-3422 Ext. 1408 or Feruz.Ganikhanov@mail.wvu.edu.



CONTACT: Rebecca Herod, Marketing and Communications Coordinator
304-293-7405, ext. 5251, Rebecca.Herod@mail.wvu.edu