Winthrop Professor David Sampson
+61 8 6488 7112
University of Western Australia
Head, Optical+Biomedical Engineering Laboratory
Winthrop Professor, School of Electrical, Electronic & Computer Engineering
Director, State Government Centre of Excellence in eMedicine
Bioengineering Research Theme Leader, Faculty of Engineering, Computing and Mathematics
Director, Western Australian Centre for Microscopy
Director, WA node of the Australian Microscopy & Microanalysis Research Facility
Director, WA node of the National Imaging Facility
Director, UWA Bioimaging Initiative
Winthrop Professor Sampson is Director of the Centre for Microscopy, Characterisation & Analysis (CMCA), a core infrastructure facility of the University of Western Australia, and heads the Optical+Biomedical Engineering Laboratory (OBEL) in the School of Electrical, Electronic and Computer Engineering. As CMCA Director, he directs the Western Australian nodes of the Australian Microscopy & Microanalysis Research Facility and the National Imaging Facility and leads the Western Australian Centre for Microscopy, a consortium of the four publicly funded universities in Western Australia. As Head, OBEL, he directs the Western Australian State Government's Centre for eMedicine. He leads the University's Bioimaging Initiative aimed at increasing the uptake and quality of microscopic imaging and related technologies in medicine and the life sciences.
Winthrop Prof. Sampson has over twenty years research experience in the fields of optics, photonics, and microscopy, and applications in communications, sensors, and biomedicine. More on his research profile can be found here.
Winthrop Prof. Sampson has formed strong collaborations with biological and medical researchers and clinicians. He is a strong promoter of the importance of interdisciplinary engagement as the basis for a stimulating and productive intellectual environment. Witnhrop Prof. Sampson has attracted research funding in excess of $30M. He has published more than 100 journal articles attracting over 1150 citations, as indexed in the Web of Science, with an h-index of 20. He has been a plenary speaker and invited speaker at more than 40 conferences.
He is a founding Associate Editor of IEEE Photonics Journal and is an Associate Editor of the IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering. He was Guest Editor of the Special Issue of Measurement Science and Technology, March 2009. He was Topical Editor, Applied Optics - Lasers, Photonics and Environmental Optics from 1999 to 2005. He currently serves on the Editorial Board of the Australian Optical Society News and Opticalfibersensors.org. He is an elected councillor of the Australian Optical Society. He chairs the Australian Microscopy & Microanalysis Research Facility's International Technical & User Advisory Group. He is one of two Australian node directors of the international network Biophotonics4Life. He was a member of the Australian Research Council's Excellence in Research for Australia 2010 Research Evaluation Committees. He has been involved in the running of more than 20 conferences. Highlights include representing the Asia Pacific for the Optical Fiber Communications conference (1996-1998), serving as Technical Programme Chair for the Asia Pacific Communications conference (1997), co-chairing Focus on Microscopy (2006), and chairing the International Conference on Optical Fiber Sensors in 2008.
Relevant Employment History
His early research in optical communications centred on the technique of photonic code-division multiple access (CDMA). He continues to be well cited for his contributions, which include the invention of several schemes based on broadband light, practical demonstrations, and the understanding of fundamental limits of the optical version of this widely used communications technique. He has also made contributions to wavelength-division multiplexing transmission and networking, through his studies of schemes based on spectrally slicing broadband light. His early demonstration of the modification of the gain spectrum of an optical amplifier through cascaded sections of differently doped fibres predated an explosion of work on gain flattening in optical amplifiers.
At UWA, Prof. Sampson's interests switched to the field of biomedical optical engineering, with an emphasis on imaging and microscopy. His group, the Optical+Biomedical Engineering Laboratory, is involved in activities ranging from the invention and investigation of new optical techniques to the engineering of these techniques into practical instruments for application in biology or medicine. A major emphasis of his research is the coherent imaging modality optical coherence tomography, which continues the theme, begun in his communications research, of exploitation of the coherence properties of broadband light sources. His interest in coherent imaging has extended over recent years to holography. He is also interested in tissue optics and diffuse light propagation in tissue.
His group has made notable contributions to optical coherence tomography in theory, technology and applications. At the theoretical level, W/Prof. Sampson and his group's contributions include the determination of limits on resolution set by absorption and dispersion in tissue, the understanding, mitigation and utility of OCT speckle, and the impact of multiple scattering.
At the technology level, his group has extensively investigated the frequency-domain optical delay line technology employed in OCT, including demonstrations of ultra-long scan, variable and dynamic dispersion compensation, and achromatic phase shifting. The group has recently commenced probing the elastic properties of tissue with OCT as well as using these properties for speckle reduction. It has an emerging world's leading capability in interstitial measurements - including automatically translated and radially scanning OCT probes demonstrated in as small as a 30-gauge needle and under ultrasound guidance. The measurement and mapping of tissue optical properties is an emerging area for the group, both based on needle probes and on parametric imaging.
A key technical capability is the group's ability to correlate its three-dimensional OCT images with histology, made possible by its in-house viewing software OCTView. This capability has enabled the group to execute a benchmark OCT study of lymph nodes, recently published in the prestigious oncology journal Cancer Research (IF 7.5). An early version of this work on detecting metastasis in lymph nodes was awarded the 2009 Breast Cancer Excellence Award from the Breast Cancer Institute, NSW.
At the applications level, W/Prof. Sampson's group has a demonstrated track record in engineering and deploying prototype instrumentation in a clinical setting. Significant outcomes include the pioneering development of anatomical OCT, which has enabled, for the first time, quantitative, real-time monitoring of the human airway, both during sleep and intra-operatively. NHMRC-supported innovative studies of the upper airways of sleep apnoea patients, and intraoperative lower airway imaging of stenoses, tracheomalacia, and compliance have been featured in issue editorials in 2008 and 2011 and in press releases. In 2009, a paper on respiratory gating featured on the electronic cover of the Virtual J of Biomedical Optics. Two papers in this sequence have been published in the top journal in respiratory medicine American J Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine (IF 10.7), including making the cover and editorial in 2011.
He has made important contributions to skin cancer diagnosis through a method of employing diffuse reflectance spectroscopy to differentiate between malignant melanoma and benign naevi (moles) in vivo. This research was initially stimulated through a major private sector research contract and led to the development of accurate and widely applicable skin optics models covering a range of pathologies. Subsequently, it led to the development of a sophisticated discrete-scattering model of skin tissue based on Mie theory, which uniquely took into account the correlations between closely spaced scatterers.
W/Prof. Sampson's contributions on the use of Fourier holography to characterise scattering and infer the morphology of biological samples were featured on the front cover of Optics Express in 2006. Combined with its extension to a new method of optical aperture-synthesis microscopy, published in Physical Review Letters in 2006, this work was selected for OSA's 'Optics in 2007', an annual issue of its magazine Optics & Photonics News featuring 25 or so of the most important developments in the fields of Optics and Photonics. In 2010, this work was been extended to demonstrate the first high-resolution wide-field synthetic-aperture holography of thin tissue sections and, in addition, three-dimensional depth-resolved and extended-resolution micro-particle characterization.