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Dr Terence Leung
  • Senior Lecturer
  • Dept of Med Phys & Biomedical Eng
  • Faculty of Engineering Science

After receiving my BEng in Electromechanical Engineering at Southampton University, I started my PhD study in the Institute of Sound and Vibration Research at the same university. The program was initially funded by then Defence Research Agency (now QinetiQ) to develop a signal processing algorithm to detect sea vessels and submarines based on sonar signals. I later switched to a new topic on automatic heart sound classification, collaborating with cardiologists in Southampton General Hospital. Shortly after PhD graduation, I joined the Biomedical Optics Research Laboratory within the Department of Medical Physics and Bioengineering at UCL as a Research Associate in 2001. Between 2001 and 2008, I was funded by the Wellcome Trust and Hamamatu Photonics KK to work on biomedical applications of near infrared spectroscopy to measure oxygenation and perfusion in adult/neonatal brains and muscle. In 2008, I was awarded the EPSRC Career Acceleration Fellowship to investigate acousto-optics for clinical monitoring.

Research Summary

My main research involves the investigation of the interaction between light and sound, more specifically how acoustic waves influence the way light travels, a technique known as acousto-optics. My aim is to apply acousto-opitc techniques for clinical monitoring. We are developing a new acousto-optic probe which exploits focused ultrasound and near infrared light to measure regional oxygenation in the brain and muscle. Because of its focusing capability, the acousto-optic probe should provide a more accurate oxygenation measurement than the current optical techniques. To understand the physics behind experimental observations, we have developed computer models for the interaction between light and sound based on Monte Carlo simulations and the Diffusion Equation. These models form a crucial part of an image reconstruction algorithm which will allow us to use acousto-optic data to reconstruct 3D images of oxygenation in organs such as the breast. We are also investigating the use of microbubbles, a clinical ultrasound agent, as a scattering contrast agent for optical monitoring. This technique may allow us to measure venous oxygen saturation in the jugular vein in the future. I am also interested in developing mobile phone Apps for physiological monitoring and healthcare applications, e.g., a cycling App for measuring a cyclist’s work output and an App to identify jaundice in newborn babies.

Teaching Summary

I am lecturer and module organiser for a undergraduate course (MPHY2001: Physic of the human body) and a MSc course (MPHYGB22: Applications of Biomedical Engineering). The “Physic of the human body” module contains a number of elements, including cerebral haemodynamics, thermoregulation, biomechanics, hearing and vision, as taught by five lecturers. I have been teaching the part “cerebral haemodynamics” since this module was first introduced in 2011. Cerebral haemodynamics is rarely taught in any medical physics courses, partly because no standard textbook is available. Yet, there is a strong research interest in this area at UCL and I have been able to compile and devise materials from our research to teach this course, which involves the anatomy, physiology, and mathematical modelling of the brain. The main coursework of this module requires the students to use a software package “Cerebrovascular Simulator” to model various pathological conditions in the brain, and to write a report about the results. I have also arranged a neuroanesthetist to give a specialist lecture on the clinical significance of intracranial pressure, which many students found informative and relevant. Since 2008, I have been teaching the “Applications of Biomedical Engineering” module which has five main elements, including respiratory measurement, electrophysiology, urology, rehabilitation engineering and cardiovascular measurement, as taught by five lecturers. I am responsible for the part “respiratory measurement”, which involves the anatomy, physiology, biophysics and function measurement of the respiratory system. To demonstrate various concepts visually, I compiled a collection of animations available on the internet, e.g., the Wolfram Demonstrations Project, and from textbooks, which many students found useful and interesting.

Academic Background
1999 PhD Doctor of Philosophy – Electronic and Electrical Engineering University of Southampton
1994 BEng hons Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) – Electromechanical Engineering University of Southampton
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