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Photo of Prof Julian Moger

Prof Julian Moger

Chair in Biophotonics


Telephone: 01392 724181

Extension: (Streatham) 4181

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My Research

My research involves the development and application of nonlinear optical techniques to address biomedical challenges. In particular my work focuses on Coherent Raman Scattering (CRS), a technique that exploits the intrinsic nonlinear optical response of biomolecules to derive label-free biochemical contrast of living systems. In 2007 I established the first CRS laboratory in the UK and have become one of Europe’s leading researchers in this field with an international reputation for its development and application. My research group currently focus on technical innovation of Coherent Raman Scattering for three application areas:

1. Furthering our understanding of nanoparticle interactions at the cellular level. My group develop imaging techniques to provide vital mechanistic data regarding the uptake of nanomedicines leading to the rational engineering of novel therapeutic strategies. We have developed techniques to visualise the fate of potentially harmful nanomaterials in biological tissues and the bioaccumulation of microplastics in ecosystems. Images from my group provided unequivocal evidence of the accumulation of microplastics in marine organisms and played a key role in influencing policies to ban the use of microplastics in personal care products in the UK. 

2. Improving chemical formulation. My group apply CRS to aid the development of strategies to enhance the deposition and diffusion of chemical formulations into biological substrates. I have longstanding relationships with the pharmaceutical and consumer chemical industries to apply CRS to provide new insight into how formulation processes can enhance the efficacy of dermal drug delivery and topically applied chemicals. Moreover, my group have developed a technique to overcome the non-linear optical signals from chlorophyll allowing CRS to be applied to image living plants. This has transformed CRS into a powerful analytical tool for the agrochemical industry to monitor the deposition and diffusion of agrochemical agents at the cellular level.

3. Next generation clinical technologies. CRS has the potential to transform medical diagnostics by circumventing out-dated staining processes by deriving image contrast from the intrinsic composition of cells and allowing diagnosis from the underlying chemical composition. I have established the EPSRC CONTRAST facility, the UK’s first user access coherent Raman scattering facility, which aims to accelerate the translation of this cutting-edge technology into healthcare applications. As Director of the facility I am fostering a community of CRS researcher to promote its biomedical application and cross-fertilisation of ideas. 


Education and Employment

  • 2019 -          Personal Chair in Biophotonics, University of Exeter
  • 2014 - 2019 Associate Professor in Biophotonics, University of Exeter
  • 2009 - 2014 Senior Lecturer, University of Exeter
  • 2005 - 2009 Lecturer, University of Exeter
  • 2003 - 2005 Research Fellow, University of Exeter 
  • 2002 - 2003 Research Assistant, University of Exeter
  • 1999 - 2002 PhD in Physics, University of Exeter
  • 1995 - 1999 MPhys in Physics with Medical Applications, University of Exeter


Externally Funded Research Projects

Current Funding

  • "Investigating the uptake of hydrophilic compounds from deposition to cell"
    Syngenta £122,000, 07/2019-07/2021 (PI)
  • "CONTRAST facility: clinical coherent Raman scattering facility"
    EPSRC EP/S009957/1  £1,035,354, 9/2018-10/2020 (PI)
  • "Raman Nanotheranostics - RaNT - developing the targeted diagnostics and therapeutics of the future by combining light and functionalised nanoparticles"
    EPSRC EP/R020965/1, £5,752,646, 1/2018 - 12/2022 (Co-I)


Previous Funding

  • "Next Generation Optical Analysis for Agrochemical Research & Development"
    EPSRC iCASE award with Syngenta, £116,670, 10/2015-10/2019 (PI)
  • "Exploiting seed coat properties to improve uniformity and resilience in brassica vigour"
    BBSRC, BB/M017915/1, £277,969, 4/2015-04/2019 (PI)
  • "Industry R&D Applications of Frequency Modulated SRS Imaging
    Unilever, £50,000, 1/2015-7/2015 (PI)
  • "Functional role(s) of oestrogen signalling on neuronal progenitor cell development and fate in the brain"
    BBSRC, BB/L020637/1, £462,043, 7/2014-08/2017 (Co-I)
  • "The Delivery of 150 kDa Antibodies to the Brain"
    EPSRC EP/L024772/1, £282,040, 06/2014-06/2017 (PI)
  • "Enabling Technologies for Advnaced Multiphoton Microscopy"
    BBSRC BB/M003841/1, £142,275, 04/2014 - 06/2017 (PI)
  • “Frequency-Modulated Stimulated Raman Scattering Microscopy for Label-Free Functional Imaging In-Planta” 
    BBSRC BB/K013602/1,  £149,000, 10/2013-10/2015, (PI).
  • “Toxicology of nanopolymer dispersions. A case study of aqueous acrylic ester copolymers” 
    BASF, £101,000, 01/2013 – 01/2014, (Co-I).
  • “Imaging drug diffusion in living skin equivalent membranes using stimulated Raman scattering microscopy” 
    GlaxoSmithKline,  £36,000 12/2012-12/2013 (PI).
  • “Nanoenabled Peptide Pills: Unlocking the Potential of Therapeutic Peptides”
    EPSRC EP/K502339/1, £100,000,  09/2012-03/2014, (PI).
  • “Imaging drug deposition in skin and nail by coherent Raman microscopy”
    Leopharma £20,000, 06/2012-062013 (PI).
  • “Exploiting the opportunities offered by coherent Raman scattering” 
    Syngenta, £50,000, 05/2012-05/2013 (PI).
  • “Stimulated Raman Scattering Imaging of anti-dandruff actives in skin”
    Unilever, £24,000, 03/2012-06/2013 (PI).
  • “Development of plant-based hydrogen peroxide YFP nanosensors targeted to multiple sub-cellular locations”
    BBSRC BB/I020004/1, £198,000, 12/2012-12/2014 (Co-I)
  • “Analysis of Lipids in Fungi using Coherent Raman Scattering”
    Syngenta, £22,000 12/2011-03/2012 (PI) 
  • “In-Planta Label-Free Imaging of Agrochemicals using Stimulated Raman Scattering Microscopy”
    Syngenta,  £100,000, 11/2010-11/2011, (PI)
  • “The impact of spectrin-lipid interactions on membrane biophysics”
    EPSRC EP/H007458/1, £446,000, 09/2010-09/2013 (Co-I)
  • “Development of Heterodyne Coherent Anti-Stokes Raman Scattering Microscopy for Monitoring Nanoparticle Drug Delivery”
    EPSRC EP/G028362/1, £214,000, 09/2009-09/2012 (PI)
  • “Mechanisms of Mechano-Transduction in Pacinian Corpscles,”
    Leverhulme Trust, £150,000, 10/2009-10-2012, (Co-I)
  • “Technologies for the Treatment of Brain Diseases”
    EPSRC EP/G061564/1,  £228,000, 03/2009-03/2012, (PI)
  • “Detection of Biomarkers by Surface-Enhanced Coherent anti-Stokes Raman Scattering for Application in Microdose Drug Trials”
    GlaxoSmithKline, £110,000 10/2006-10/2007, (PI)