Associate Professor Frederique Vanholsbeeck
Head of Biophotonics - University of Auckland
I love beautiful and useful things hence my passion for architecture that I first studied for 2 years at the Institut superieur d’architecture intercommunal Victor Horta (Brussel, Belgium). Later, I decided to switch to applied physics so I can build devices, like sensors and imaging systems, to solve real world problems.
I completed my Lic. Sc. Phys. at the Science Faculty of the Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB) in 1999 with a Master thesis on lung modeling to detect early sign of diseases. In 2001, I was awarded the Scientific Prize of the Belgian Physical Society for the best Masters thesis in physics. During my PhD I investigated nonlinear optical phenomena in fibres for applications to wavelength-division-multiplexing (WDM) telecommunication systems and to Raman optical amplifiers. Part of my work in collaboration with Alcatel resulted in a patent. After that brief incursion in nonlinear optics for my PhD thesis (2003) and my postdoc (2004), I went back to looking, literally looking, at biological problems.
Since 2005, I have been leading the biophotonics group at the University of Auckland. I have been working on an all-fibre real time spectroscopic optical probe (or optrode) and on optical coherence tomography (OCT) imaging as well as nonlinear imaging.