Wilson Lab: Nonlinear Microscopy, Biomedical Optics, Signal and Image Processing

We develop advanced microscopy techniques to provide contrast between cell and tissue components that are difficult to resolve with traditional stains and dyes. We do this by leveraging the physics of light-matter interactions, incorporating nonlinear optics and real-time digital signal processing techniques. Currently pursuing applications in the areas of mitochondrial function and disease, melanoma and skin cancer detection. The tools we employ are nonlinear and ultrafast optics, sub-picosecond time-resolved optical interactions such as transient absorption, real-time digital signal processing, and deep learning with convolutional networks and generative-adversarial networks.

2-color ultrafast laser source (credit: Jesse Wilson).

Simultaneous reflectance confocal and second harmonic generation imaging of canine oral mucosa. Depth encoded by false color (credit: Arya Mugdha).


Congratulations to Priya Wolff for receiving a Scholar's Year Award through the University of Colorado School of Medicine Program to Advance Physician Scientists and Translational Research! (March 2024)

Congratulations to Cameron Coleal for passing her Ph.D. defense! (March 2024)

Congratulations to Mikyla Bowen for receiving a Boettcher Educational Enrichment Grant!

Our work on image2image networks and melanoma detection has been featured in a News Update at the Melanoma Research Alliance (November 2023).

Congratulations to Erkang Wang for passing his Ph.D. defense and starting a new job!

Congratulations to Mikyla Bowen for winning 1st place in Excellence in Data Science Research at the 2022 CSU Celebrate Undergraduate Research and Creativity Showcase, for her work in image2image convolutional networks!

Our recent paper on adaptive noise cancelling with an FPGA has been featured on the Red Pitaya Blog (July 2021).

SPIE Digital Library Hits Half-a-Million Milestone (Dave Smith's conference presentation mentioned as the 500,000th presentation on SPIE Digital Library).

CCTSI pilot awardee uses virtual biopsies to improve melanoma detection (Wendy S. Meyer, Found in Translation, Fall 2018).

Boettcher Investigator grant recipient studies mitochondrial diseases (Rocky Mountain Collegian, Sept 12 2018)

Using virtual biopsies to improve melanoma detection (Colorado State University SOURCE, May 18, 2018)

Openings and Opportunities

(unpaid) Currently looking for an M.S. student (Plan B Project) for a project in physics-informed machine learning and optical pulse reconstruction (see conference paper below on ultrafast pulse retrieval)

(unpaid) Currently looking for an M.S. student (Plan B Project) for a project in nonlinear optics, simulating self-phase modulation and spectral broadening with recurrent convolutional networks.

Last updated 2024-03-14. Contact Prof. Wilson for more details.


"Sparse Lissajous scanning reflectance confocal microscope with an adjustable field of view and fast iterative Fourier filtering reconstruction." (2023) Journal of the Optical Society of America A.

"Transient absorption spectroscopy and imaging of redox in muscle mitochondria." (2022) Biomedical Optics Express. (*Featured in the 15 Top-Downloaded Papers on Tissue Optics and Spectroscopy in Biomedical Optics Express, Dec. 2023.)

"High-Repetition-Rate Transient Absorption Spectroscopy of Respiratory Supercomplexes" (2022) Journal of Physical Chemistry B.

"Phase noise limited frequency shift impulsive Raman spectroscopy." (2021) APL Photonics.

"DR-RINS: Digital real-time relative intensity noise suppressor for pump-probe spectroscopy and microscopy." (2021) Review of Scientific Instruments.

"Adaptive noise canceling for transient absorption microscopy." (2020) Journal of Biomedical Optics.

"Multifrequency microfluidic impedance cytometer using a field-programmable gate array for parasite egg analysis." (2020) Biomedical Sciences Instrumentation.

"Error estimation and enhanced stiffness sensitivity in contact resonance force microscopy with a multiple arbitrary frequency lock-in amplifier (MAFLIA)." (2020) Measurement Science and Technology.

"Transient absorption imaging of hemes with 2-color, independently tunable visible-wavelength ultrafast source." (2017) Biomedical Optics Express.

"Invited Review Article: Pump-probe microscopy." (2016) Review of Scientific Instruments.

Conference Papers and Presentations

"Ultrafast pulse retrieval with one-shot unsupervised deep learning." (2023)

"Blind hyperspectral unmixing of pump-probe images with maximum likelihood selection of a convolutional network from an ensemble of models." (2022)

"High-sensitivity detection of Raman vibrations in the impulsive limit with Doppler Raman spectroscopy." (2019; Video recording available)

"Real-Time Time-Resolved Optical Measurements using a Digital Adaptive Filter." (2018)

"Pump-probe spectroscopy and imaging of heme proteins: temperature effects and data analysis." (Video recording available)

"Pump-probe microscopy of respiratory chain pigments: towards non-fluorescent label-free metabolic imaging." (Video recording available)

"Real-time digital signal processing in multiphoton and time-resolved microscopy." (Video recording available)

Current Members

Dave Smith, Graduate Research Assistant.

Arya Mugdha, Graduate Research Assistant.

Cameron Coleal, Graduate Research Assistant.

William Hudson, Volunteer / Engineer in Residence.

Mikyla Bowen, Boettcher Scholar Undergraduate Researcher.

Priya Wolff, University of Colorado School of Medicine Scholar.

Jesse Wilson, Assistant Professor. (Google Scholar Profile)

Past Members

Luke Shuttleworth, Scott Undergraduate Researcher

Erkang Wang, Graduate Research Assistant. (Google Scholar Profile)

Gabrielle Liferth, Undergraduate Researcher.

Saurabh Gupta, Graduate Research Assistant.

Servando Calderon, Undergraduate Catalyst Researcher.

Nathan You, Undergraduate Researcher.

Justin Falk, Undergraduate Honors Researcher.

Ava Raymond, Undergraduate Honors Researcher.

Namratha Menon, Volunteer VLSI Developer.

Ben Jenkins, Graduate Project Student.

Xuefei Chen, Graduate Project Student.

Dr. Scott Domingue.

Ming-Hao Cheng.

Alyssia Dong

Swarnava Pramanik

Ayush Mittal



Last updated: 3/14/2024