Jonghwan Lee, PhD

Professional Information


Instructor in Radiology, Harvard Medical School
Assistant in Biomedical Engineering, Massachusetts General Hospital


PhD Neural Engineering, Seoul National University, South Korea, 2009

Martinos Faculty


Mailing Address

Bldg 149, Room 2276
13th Street
Charlestown, MA 02129 USA

General Contact Information

Bldg 149

Additional Information


After finishing BS in Physics, Dr. Lee realized that how the brain works is one of the most important questions for the next generation of science and technology. He believed that high-spatiotemporal-resolution imaging of the signal of neural circuits in the living brain is essential for addressing fundamental questions. In particular, as traditional microelectrode recordings of neural signals can damage brain tissue, non-contact and label-free optical recording of the neural signal (a.k.a., fast optical signal; FOS) is very promising and potentially applicable to human brain recording.

This vision led him to commit to a career in the field of biomedical optics and neural engineering. At the beginning of his PhD research, he presented the original research idea and had two research funds granted by the Korean government and US Air Force. As FOS had only been robustly measured from in-vitro samples, Dr. Lee's PhD work demonstrated ex-vivo measurement of FOS in live brain slices and addressed the long-lasting controversy on the origin of FOS by proposing a novel biophysical model of neuronal volume dynamics.

Dr. Lee chose to extend his PhD work into in-vivo FOS imaging, by joining Prof. David A. Boas group at Harvard Medical School. His postdoctoral work demonstrated the feasibility of in-vivo imaging of FOS in the cerebral cortex of living animals with optical coherence tomography (OCT), both in the time and frequency domains. Also, his research interest has been extended into development of other OCT-based technologies for imaging of various dynamics in the brain. Dr. Lee have proposed integration of dynamic light scattering with OCT for imaging of both blood flow and intracellular diffusion, and also utilized OCT for rapid volumetric imaging of capillary network blood flow. Proposal of combinedly using these technologies to study the emerging concept of neuro-capillary coupling has led to NIH/NIBIB K99/R00 Pathway to Independence Award, which is the most prestigious fund for postdoctoral career as it is awarded to less than five postdocs every year in the field of Bioengineering, with the support of $1 million over five years.

As Instructor, a faculty member and independent investigator, Dr. Lee continues developing OCT-based technologies for single-cell-resolution FOS imaging in vivo. He will keep pursuing his long-term research goal established ten years ago, which recently turned out to agree with one of the major goals of the Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) initiative announced by the US government in 2013.