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Photo of Dr Ben Sherlock

Dr Ben Sherlock

Lecturer in Translational Biophotonics


Telephone: 01392 723047 or 01392 727467

Extension: (Streatham) 3047 or (Streatham) 7467

I am a Lecturer in Translational Biophotonics in Physics Department at the University of Exeter. My research interests lie in the field of translational biophotonics and the development of customised optical imaging systems to tackle high impact questions in biology and medicine. Optical microscopy has a long history of enabling breakthrough discoveries in the biomedical sciences. An emerging frontier in biophotonics is the fast and non-destructive acquisition of images from 3D living systems. 

Prior to joining the University of Exeter, I spent 2.5 years working as a Project Scientist in the Biomedical Engineering Department of the University of California, Davis. In this role I developed multiscale and multimodal, fiber-based imaging systems that were designed to monitor structural and biochemical changes occurring during the in vitromaturation of engineered cartilage, bone and vascular constructs. Each platform used a narrow (<0.5 mm) and flexible double clad fiber as the interface between imaging apparatus and the sample. Working with an interdisciplinary team of students and postdoctoral researchers, we were able to integrate these single fiber imaging systems inside sterile tissue culture environments such as a biosafety cabinet, or vascular construct bioreactor. Elements of this research was performed as an industrial collaboration with Coherent inc. 

From 2013 to 2015 I worked as a postdoctoral research fellow in the Physics Department at Imperial College London. In this time I was responsible for the design, development and in vivo testing of a handheld multiphoton microscope for dermatology. The aim of this project translate the power of label-free multiphoton microscopy into a clinical imaging tool with applications in skin cancer detection. To prevent motion artefacts when imaging in vivo from compromising the submicron resolution of the images, we developed and integrated motion compensation systems into the handheld microscope. At the culmination of this project, we were able to acquire sub-cellular resolution images of the label-free autofluorescence of basal cells in the skin of human volunteers.