Director - PhotoMedicine Labs | Assistant Professor

Contact InformationParsin Haji Reza

Phone: 519-888-4567 x40172
Location: E7 6416


Biography Summary

Professor Parsin Haji Reza is the director of PhotoMedicine Labs. He joined the University of Waterloo in April 2018 as an Assistant Professor in Biomedical Engineering within the Department of Systems Design Engineering. Dr. Haji-Reza received a University of Waterloo Faculty of Engineering Distinguished Performance Award in the first (full) year of his career as a faculty member.

Dr. Haji-Reza has authored more than 40 high impact peer-reviewed journal papers in the field of photonics and biomedical optics. He also holds more than 7 patents to date. In the first two years of his research, Dr. Haji-Reza secured more than $2 million dollars in research funding as the principal investigator to support his interdisciplinary research program.

Dr. Haji Reza is interested in designing and developing novel hardware and software methods for clinical and pre-clinical biomedical applications. These new technologies aim to provide clinicians and researchers with novel capabilities and information that is presently difficult to obtain with existing techniques. He invented and pioneered several new technologies/concepts including, Photoacoustic Remote Sensing (PARS) microscopy, a novel absorption-based, non-contact, non-invasive, label-free imaging technique.

In November 2014, he co-founded a start-up company illumiSonics inc., holding the position of CEO from November 2014 to March 2018. During Dr. Haji Reza's leadership role at illumiSonics, he raised private investments and attracted notable individuals and international companies. He is currently the Chairman of the Board and the chief technology officer of illumiSonics, overseeing the major policies and decisions of this Company.

Dr. Haji Reza and his team continually strive to maintain an extremely dynamic, respectful, intellectual, fun, and creative environment. The team is working on cutting-edge research in biomedical engineering and biophotonics, including non-invasive non-contact optical imaging methods, micro-endoscopy designs, handheld, and portable medical imaging techniques, design, and fabrication of nano-structured sensors, image processing, Machine Learning methods, Capacitive micromachined ultrasonic transducers, and novel deep optical imaging tomography methods. The team pursues applications in Ophthalmology, Oncology, Dermatology, Neurology, Cardiology, Dentistry, Pharmaceutical, and Pre-clinical research.

The research philosophy of PhotoMedicine labs is transitional research from bench to the bedside. We are always looking to collaborate with talented students, faculties, researchers, clinicians, and industry.

Research Interests

  • Medical imaging
  • Image processing
  • Machine learning
  • Medical devices
  • Nano-fabrication
  • Photoacoustic remote sensing (PARS) microscopy
  • Capacitive micromachined ultrasonic transducer (CMUT)
  • Multi-scale functional and molecular photoacoustic tomography
  • Ultrasound imaging
  • All optical and non-contact detection systems
  • Photoacoustic wavefront shaping
  • Optical coherence tomography (OCT)
  • Multi-photon microscopy
  • Novel multi-modality optical imaging techniques
  • Design and fabrication of micro-endoscopy systems
  • Super-resolution imaging techniques
  • Real-time and 3D biomedical imaging
  • Novel optical and fiber-based components
  • Novel laser systems for biomedical applications
  • Optical sensors
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Optics
  • Photonics


  • 2015, Doctorate, Biomedical Engineering, University of Alberta
  • 2010, Bachelor's, (Honors) Electronics Majoring in Optical Engineering, Multimedia University


  • BME 393 - Digital Systems
    • Taught in 2019
  • BME 302 - Seminar
    • Taught in 2019
  • BME 364 - Engineering Biomedical Economics
    • Taught in 2019
* Only courses taught in the past 5 years are displayed.

Selected/Recent Publications

  • Benjamin R. Ecclestone, Kevan Bell, Saad Abbasi, Deepak Dinakaran, Frank K. H. van Landeghem, John R. Mackey, Paul Fieguth & Parsin Haji Reza, Improving maximal safe brain tumor resection with photoacoustic remote sensing microscopy, Scientific Reports, 10(17211), 2020, 1 - 7
  • Kevan Bell and Parsin Haji Reza, Non-contact reflection-mode optical absorption spectroscopy using photoacoustic remote sensing,, Opt. Lett, 45(13), 2020, 3427 - 3430
  • Saad Abbasi, Deepak Dinakaran, Gilbert Bigras, John R. Mackey, and Parsin Haji Reza, All-optical label-free human breast tissue block histology using photoacoustic remote sensing, Opt. Lett, 45(17), 2020, 4770 - 4773
  • Benjamin R. Ecclestone, Saad Abbasi, Kevan Bell, Deepak Dinakaran, Gilbert Bigras, John R. Mackey, Parsin Haji Reza, Towards virtual biopsies of gastrointestinal tissues using photoacoustic remote sensing microscopy, QMIS, 2020, 1 - 8
  • Zohreh Hosseinaee, Martin Le, Kevan Bell, and Parsin HajiReza, Towards non-contact photoacoustic imaging [review], Photoacoustics, 20(100207), 2020, 1 - 16
  • Saad Abbasi, Kevan Bell, and Parsin Haji Reza, Rapid High-Resolution Mosaic Acquisition for Photoacoustic Remote Sensing, Sensors, 20(1027), 2020, 1 - 11
  • Saad Abbasi*, Martin Le*, Bazil Sonier*, Deepak Dinakaran, Gilbert Bigras, Kevan Bell*, John R. Mackey, Parsin Haji Reza, All-optical Reflection-mode Microscopic Histology of Unstained Human Tissues, Scientific Reports 1, 9(1), 2019, 1 - 11
  • Saad Abbasi*, Martin Le*, Bazil Sonier*, Kevan Bell*, Deepak Dinakaran, Gilbert Bigras, John R. Mackey, Parsin Haji Reza, Chromophore selective multi-wavelength photoacoustic remote sensing of unstained human tissues, Biomedical Optics Express, 11, 2019
  • Parsin Haji Reza, Kevan Bell, Wei Shi, James Shapiro, and Roger Zemp, Deep non-contact photoacoustic initial pressure imaging, Optica, 5(6), 2018
  • Kevan L. Bell, Parsin Haji Reza, and Roger J. Zemp, ", Coherence-gated photoacoustic remote sensing microscopy, Opt. Express 26, 23689-23704 (2018), 2018
  • Bell, Kevan and Hajireza, Parsin and Zemp, Roger, Scattering cross-sectional modulation in photoacoustic remote sensing microscopy, Optics letters, 43(1), 2018, 146 - 149
  • Hajireza, Parsin and Shi, Wei and Bell, Kevan and Paproski, Robert J and Zemp, Roger J, Non-interferometric photoacoustic remote sensing microscopy, Light: Science & Applications, 6(6), 2017
  • Bell, Kevan L and Hajireza, Parsin and Shi, Wei and Zemp, Roger J, Temporal evolution of low-coherence reflectrometry signals in photoacoustic remote sensing microscopy, Applied optics, 56(18), 2017, 5172 - 5181
  • Hajireza, Parsin and Sorge, Jason and Brett, Michael and Zemp, Roger, In vivo optical resolution photoacoustic microscopy using glancing angle-deposited nanostructured Fabry--Perot etalons, Optics letters, 40(7), 2015, 1350 - 1353
  • Hajireza, Parsin and Forbrich, Alexander and Zemp, Roger, In-vivo functional optical-resolution photoacoustic microscopy with stimulated Raman scattering fiber-laser source, Biomedical optics express, 5(2), 2014, 539 - 546
  • Hajireza, Parsin and Forbrich, Alexander and Zemp, Roger J, Multifocus optical-resolution photoacoustic microscopy using stimulated Raman scattering and chromatic aberration, Optics letters, 38(15), 2013, 2711 - 2713
  • Hajireza, Parsin and Harrison, Tyler J and Forbrich, Alexander and Zemp, Roger J, Optical resolution photoacoustic microendoscopy with ultrasound-guided insertion and array system detection, Journal of Biomedical Optics, 18(9), 2013
  • Shi, Wei and Shao, Peng and Hajireza, Parsin and Forbrich, Alexander and Zemp, Roger J, In vivo dynamic process imaging using real-time optical-resolution photoacoustic microscopy, Journal of biomedical optics, 18(2), 2013
  • Hajireza, Parsin and Krause, Kathleen and Brett, Michael and Zemp, Roger, Glancing angle deposited nanostructured film Fabry-Perot etalons for optical detection of ultrasound, Optics express, 21(5), 2013, 6391 - 6400
  • Hajireza, Parsin and Shi, Wei and Zemp, Roger, Label-free in vivo GRIN-lens optical resolution photoacoustic micro-endoscopy, Laser Physics Letters, 10(5), 2013
  • Shao, Peng and Shi, Wei and Reza, Parsin Haji and Zemp, Roger J, Integrated micro-endoscopy system for simultaneous fluorescence and optical-resolution photoacoustic imaging, Journal of Biomedical Optics, 17(7), 2012
  • Hajireza, Parsin and Shi, Wei and Zemp, Roger J, Real-time handheld optical-resolution photoacoustic microscopy, Optics express, 19(21), 2011, 20097 - 20102
  • Shi, Wei and Hajireza, Parsin and Shao, Peng and Forbrich, Alexander and Zemp, Roger J, In vivo near-realtime volumetric optical-resolution photoacoustic microscopy using a high-repetition-rate nanosecond fiber-laser, Optics express, 19(18), 2011, 17143 - 17150
  • Hajireza, P and Shi, W and Zemp, RJ, Label-free in vivo fiber-based optical-resolution photoacoustic microscopy, Optics letters, 36(20), 2011, 4107 - 4109
  • Hajireza, Parsin and Emami, Siamak Dawazdah and Abbasizargaleh, Soroush and Harun, Sulaiman Wadi and Kumar, Deepak and Abdul-Rashid, Hairul Azhar, Temperature insensitive broad and flat gain C-band EDFA based on macro-bending, Progress in Electromagnetics Research, 15, 2010, 37 - 48
  • Emami, Siamak Dawazdah and Hajireza, Parsin and Abd-Rahman, Faidz and Abdul-Rashid, Hairul Azhar and Ahmad, Harith and Harun, Sulaiman Wadi, Wide-band hybrid amplifier operating in S-band region, Progress In Electromagnetics Research, 102, 2010, 301 - 313
  • Hajireza, P and Emami, SD and Abbasizargaleh, S and Harun, SW and Abdul-Rashid, HA, Optimization of gain flattened C-band EDFA using macro-bending, Laser Physics, 20(6), 2010, 1433 - 1437
  • Hajireza, P and Emami, SD and Abbasizargaleh, S and Harun, SW and Kumar, D and Abdul-Rashid, HA, Application of macro-bending for flat and broad gain EDFA, Journal of Modern Optics, 57(16), 2010, 1534 - 1541
  • Emami, SD and Hajireza, P and Abd-Rahman, F and Abdul-Rashid, HA and Ahmad, H and Harun, SW, Application of high concentration thulium-doped fiber for achieving S-band gain flattened hybrid optical amplifier, Journal of Optoelectronics and Advanced Materials, 12(7), 2010
  • Hajireza, P and Emami, SD and Cham, CL and Kumar, D and Harun, SW and Abdul-Rashid, HA, Linear all-fiber temperature sensor based on macro-bent erbium doped fiber, Laser Physics letters, 7(10), 2010
  • Parsin Haji Reza, Photoacoustic Remote Sensing, 06 , Munich, Germnay.

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