Using Optical Technology to Detect Cancers: Lisa Poulikakos

Lisa Poulikakos is a postdoctoral fellow in Materials Science and Engineering at Stanford University. Her research focuses on developing new material platforms which can bridge engineering and medicine with the science of light. Currently, Poulikakos is developing an all-optical technology that can enable on-the-spot, accurate and cost effective diagnosis of tissue biopsies, beginning with breast cancer but with the potential to be applied to Alzheimer’s and other serious diseases. The L’Oréal USA For Women in Science fellowship will provide Poulikakos with funding to pursue this line of research including the purchase of equipment. Inspired by the opportunity to work with two female scientific leaders during her fellowship, Poulikakos will also organize an outreach event for Women in Biomedical Optics to motivate the next generation of women scientists and highlight their exceptional contributions made thus far. Poulikakos, 31, received a Ph.D., an MSc and a BSc in Mechanical and Process Engineering at ETH Zurich. Born in Chicago, Poulikakos moved to Zurich when she was eight years old and returned to the U.S. for her postdoctoral fellowship at Stanford in 2018. In her free time, she enjoys exploring the Bay Area, swimming and running on Stanford’s campus, and visiting San Francisco’s art museums.