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Dr Ilias Tachtsidis
Malet Place Engineering Building
  • Reader in Biomedical Engineering
  • Dept of Med Phys & Biomedical Eng
  • Faculty of Engineering Science

Dr Tachtsidis is a Wellcome Trust Senior Fellow and Reader in Biomedical Engineering. He is a senior member of the Biomedical Optics Research Laboratory and heads the Multi-Modal Spectroscopy Group. His research is highly multi-disciplinary, crossing the boundaries between engineering, physics, neuroscience and clinical medicine. The technical focus of his work is the development and use of non-invasive optical instruments and techniques for monitoring brain oxygenation, haemodynamics and metabolism. A major part of Dr Tachtsidis research is to investigate the use and limitations of functional Near-Infrared Spectroscopy or fNIRS in neuroscience applications. In addition, the clinical focus of his work is the identification and use of optically measured biomarkers to assess the functional status of the brain. The principal challenge of his research is the non-invasive measurement, with NIRS, of cytochrome-c-oxidase (CCO), a mitochondrial enzyme responsible for cellular energy production. Dr Tachtsidis and his team have developed unique NIRS systems that currently are used at UCL Hospitals in London, to monitor adult traumatic-brain-injury patients and birth asphyxiated infants. He has long term collaborations with industry that includes Hitachi and Hamamatsu Photonics.

Research Summary

I am an engineer working at the interface of optical technology developments and biomedical application; and a senior member of the Biomedical Optics Research Laboratory in UCL (London, UK). My research is multi-disciplinary crossing engineering, physics, neuroscience and clinical medicine. My focus as a scientist is to engineer the next generation of optical non-invasive systems and methodologies for characterizing and investigating the physiology and pathophysiology of the human brain. I have an established research international reputation within the field of brain near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) developments and monitoring, both through (i) my novel observations in understanding the confounding factors of functional NIRS or fNIRS in neuroscience and proposing signal processing methods to overcome them [Kirilina E. et al Frontiers in Human Neuroscience (2013); Kirilina E. et al Neuroimage (2012)] and (ii) my pioneering work on the development of instrumentation and algorithms for monitoring non-invasively brain tissue changes in oxygenation and metabolism (the oxidation state of cytochrome-c-oxidase or oxCCO) [Bainbridge A. et al Neuroimage (2014)]. In addition recently as part of my collaboration with the UCL Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience (London, UK) and Hitachi High Tech (Tokyo, Japan) demonstrated the use of portable, wireless fNIRS system in monitoring prefrontal cortex activations during the maintenance and execution of intentions relating to pro-social vs. non-social cues in a naturalistic environment [Pinti P. et al The Journal of Visualized Experiments (JoVE) (2015)]. The experiment was conducted outside, on a typical London street, with participants free to move and act as they would normally. This study was one of the first in demonstrating the use of fNIRS in naturalistic settings.

Teaching Summary

-Lecturer on Medical Physics course MPHY3012/M012 Physiological Monitoring
-Course organiser for Medical Physics course MPHYGB97: Research Project (PEM)
-Lecturer on CoMPLEX ITPL practicalsITPL: Introduction to Physical Techniques in the Life Sciences

01-JAN-2015 – 31-DEC-2019 Wellcome Trust Senior Fellow&Reader Biomedical Engineering Medical Physics and Biomedical Engineering University College London, United Kingdom
01-JAN-2010 – 01-JAN-2015 Wellcome Trust Career Development Research Fellow Medical Physics and Bioengineering University College London, United Kingdom
Academic Background
2017 FHEA ATQ03 - Recognised by the HEA as a Fellow – Teaching and Learning in Higher Education University College London
2005 PhD Doctor of Philosophy – Medical Physics and Bioengineering University College London
2001 MSc Master of Science – Medical Physics and Bioengineering Queen Mary and Westfield College
2000 BEng hons Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) – Medical Electronics and Computing Bournemouth University
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