Present Members

Kirill V. Larin
Director of the lab, Ph.D.

Kirill V. Larin is Professor of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Houston. He also holds joint appointments in the Departments of Physiology and Biophysics at Baylor College of Medicine and Department of Optics and Biophysics at the Saratov State University (SSU) in Russia. Larin received his first M.S. in Laser Physics and Mathematics from the SSU (1995), his second M.S. in Cellular Physiology and Molecular Biophysics (2001) and Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston (2002). His research contributions are in Biomedical Optics and Biophotonics and development and application of various optical methods for noninvasive and nondestructive imaging and diagnostics of tissues and cells. Larin is the recipient of Presidential Award from Russian President Boris Yeltsin recognizing his significant contributions in optics. He has also received Wallace Coulter Young Investigator Translation Award, Office of Naval Research Young Investigator Award, Outstanding Young Investigator Award from the Houston Society for Engineers in Medicine and Biology, and Herbert Allen Award from American Society for Mechanical Engineers. Larin currently serves as an Instructor for short courses on Tissue Optics for the Optical Society of America. He is Fellow of SPIE and OSA.

Salavat Aglyamov

Dr. Salavat Aglyamov received the B.S. and M.S. degrees in applied mathematics in 1991 and 1993, respectively, from Moscow State University, Moscow, Russia. He received the Ph.D. degree in biophysics in 1999 from the Institute of Theoretical and Experimental Biophysics, Pushchino, Moscow region, Russia. From 2001 to 2002 he worked in the Biomedical Ultrasonics Lab at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, as a postdoctoral fellow, where he was engaged in mathematical modeling of behavior of the soft biological tissue under externally applied loading and as  a research associate in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Texas at Austin. He joined University of Houston as Reseach Assistant Professor of Mechanocal Engineering in June 2017. He has authored more than 50 peer-reviewed publications and chapters in two books. His research interests are in the areas of tissue biomechanics, elasticity imaging, and applied mathematics.


Alexander Schill - Senior Research Scientist

Alex received his Ph.D. from the Georgia Institute of Technology in 2006 and has more than 14 years combined experience working with optics & lasers.  Before coming to UH he worked for 6 years in R&D at Coherent, Inc. in Santa Clara, CA.  His research interests include biomedical and adaptive optics, state-of-the-art laser sources, and development of new OCT applications.


Maryam Hatami
Ph.D. in Physics
2020 - Present

Maryam is currently working in the field of imaging and biomechanical characterization of tissues and cells using Optoacoustics, Optical Coherence Tomography/Elastography, Brillouin spectroscopy, light-sheet microscopy. She received her PhD in Physics from the University of Sciences and Researches in Iran in 2012. Maryam has over 15 years combined experience working in industry and academia with experience in nonlinear optics, optical and photoacoustic characterization and basic science research on nanofabrication and characterization. Before coming to UH she was a postdoc at UMass Boston for 5 years. Her research interests include linear and nonlinear optics, light-matter interactions, nanotechnology, optical spectroscopy, biomedical imaging and sensing, image processing and data analysis.

Behzad Khajavi
Ph.D. in Physics

Presently working in the field of Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT).  His research includes high-resolution imaging of biological tissues using full-field OCT and investigating Physical properties of the tissues using Optical Coherence Elastography and Brillouin Spectroscopy.
He received  Ph.D. in Physics (Optics) in 2018 and M.Sc. in Teaching Physics (2013) from Florida Atlantic University.  Simultaneously, he worked as a Research Affiliate at Colgate University (2014 – 2018), his research included performing experiments on classical and quantum aspects of light. Behzad studied singular optics, polarization C-points, Orbital Angular Momentum of light (OAM), complex wave-front light, non-separable spatial and polarization superposition states of light and entanglement of down-converted photons encoded with different polarization and OAM modes.

Raksha Raghunathan
Ph.D. in Biomedial Engineering

Raksha Raghunathan received her PhD in biomedical engineering from the University of Houston in 2020. Her research focuses on optical imaging of embryonic development and the effects of teratogen on it.

Manmohan Singh
Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering

Dr. Manmohan Singh received his Ph. D. in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Houston in 2018. He is currently a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Biomedical Engineering, also at the University of Houston. Since the fall of 2010, Manmohan has been with Dr. Kirill Larin’s Biomedical Optics Laboratory. His research interests include utilizing biomedical imaging for the detection and monitoring of diseases and utilizing and developing new elastographic methods for investigating the biomechanical properties of tissues. Dr. Singh is currently working on developing a high resolution compression elastography system and accompanying computational techniques for early identification of colon cancer.

José Fernando Zvietcovich Zegarra
Ph.D in Electrcal Engineering

Fernando has recently received his Ph.D. from the University of Rochester (Rochester, New York) in the field of biophotonics and medical imaging. He has worked before in image processing, computer vision, and pattern recognition applied to archaeology and medicine (M.Sc. in Digital Signal and Image Processing at Pontificia Universidad Catolica del Peru, Lima - Peru). His current research includes novel wave-based optical coherence elastography methods in soft tissues for advancing the diagnosis and monitoring of diseases and treatments in clinical environments. He is currently the holder of the 2020 SPIE-Franz Hillenkamp Postdoctoral Fellowship in Problem-Driven Biomedical Optics and Analytics

Graduate Students and Research Assistants

Yogeshwari Ambekar
Ph.D. Candidate

Yogeshwari Ambekar is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Houston. She received her Master's degree in Biomedical Engineering from Indian Institute of Technology Hyderabad, India. Her research interests include Optical Coherence Tomography and Elastography of biological tissues, Multimodal imaging, addressing the problems associated with embryonic development using the Brillouin-OCT Multimodal system.

Harshdeep Singh Chawla
Ph.D. Student

Harshdeep Singh Chawla is a Ph.D. student in Biomedical Engineering at the University of Houston. He completed his Master's in Computer Engineering from Rochester Institute of Technology, NY and Bachelor's in Electronics and Communication Engineering from Rajiv Gandhi Technical University, India. Presently he is working on Parallel computing algorithm for Bio-medical imaging, that uses CUDA. His areas of interest include GPU Computing, Biomedical Imaging and Embedded Systems.

Achuth Nair
Ph.D. Candidate
2016 - Present

Achuth Nair is a PhD Candidate in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Houston, where he also completed his undergraduate studies. The focus of his research is on Optical Coherence Elastography of biological tissues with specific focus on ocular tissue biomechanics.

Justin Rippy
Ph.D. Candidate
2016 - Present
Hongqiu Zhang
Ph.D. Candidate

Hongqiu received his M. S. from Tsinghua University in 2016 and his B. S. from University of Science and Technology of China in 2011. His interests include biomedical optics and its application, amplification of OCT signals with magnetic nanoparticles.