Franceschini Lab Research

My research interests are mainly devoted to the development of novel optical imaging methods to achieve a deeper understanding of the brain and to impact the clinical management of patients, with a specific focus on investigating and quantifying oxygen delivery to and consumption by the brain in health and disease.

My activities are centered on non-invasive optical measurements in humans; from hardware and theoretical developments to translational applications; and, they include preclinical small animal experiments, and modeling of our experimental observations to gain greater insights into the physiological functioning of the brain.

My broad vision and mission centers on the translation of near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) imaging devices to general use as monitors of brain health and function. This can be achieved by pushing the development of more sophisticated, accurate and comprehensive devices, by refining the modeling of the measured signal to quantifiable biomarkers and by applying the novel tools in a wide range of applications with pilot, pivotal and clinical studies. I firmly believe in the impact that optical methods will have on advancing our understanding of how the brain works in health and disease. In particular, advanced NIRS tools have the potential to change patient management when used as bedside monitors, of providing a concrete measure of brain development in children in seconds by quantifying regional oxygen metabolism, and of assessing adequacy of cerebral perfusion in astronauts in space by monitoring hypertension and intracranial pressure.