Prof. Tayyaba Hasan’s research program in Biomedical Optics is focused on image and mechanism guided therapeutics with an emphasis on photodynamic therapy (PDT).  PDT is a photochemistry-based approach that is increasingly used to treat a wide number of diseases. It involves the photoactivation of a light-responsive chemical, or photosensitizer, on exposure to an appropriate wavelength of light. Photoactivation initiates photochemical reactions that generate highly cytotoxic reactive oxygen species that interact with proximal biological molecules (photosensitization).

PDT exploits these interactions to bring about acute tissue necrosis to a localized area. Diseases, such as tumors, can be selectively targeted by the activating light, which is usually delivered by a laser device.