Guillermo J. Tearney, M.D. Ph.D. is an Associate Professor of Pathology at the Harvard Medical School, an affiliated faculty member of the Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology (HST), the Associate Director of the Wellman Center for Photomedicine, and the Optical Diagnostics Program Leader at the Center for Integration of Medicine and Innovative Technology (CIMIT). Dr. Tearney has published over 140 peer-reviewed articles and his work has been featured on the cover of a variety of prestigious journals, such as Science, Nature Medicine, Circulation, Gastroenterology, and the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.
Dr. Tearney's research interests are primarily focused on the development and validation of non-invasive, high-resolution optical imaging methods for disease diagnosis. In particular, Dr. Tearney has conducted research to develop and establish a new imaging modality, termed “optical coherence tomography” (OCT), which provides cross-sectional images of tissue architectural microstructure at a resolution of 10 μm. He was the first to perform human imaging in the coronary arteries and gastrointestinal tract with this method, and Dr. Tearney's laboratory has imaged over 500 patients to date. Additionally, Dr. Tearney has developed an endoscopic confocal microscopy system that is capable of obtaining images at a resolution of 1.0 μm through an endoscope accessory port. Images obtained by OCT and endoscopic confocal microscopy may be used to guide biopsies during screening procedures and may potentially allow for primary diagnosis at tissue sites where excisional biopsies are difficult to obtain. Dr. Tearney has developed several other technologies, including an ultraminiature three-dimensional endoscope, a highly efficient form of near field scanning optical microscopy (NSOM), and novel fluorescence spectroscopy and imaging techniques. Dr. Tearney has an active program in Raman spectroscopy and has conducted the first intracoronary Raman in vivo. Dr. Tearney has successfully transitioned several of his own inventions into the commercial sector. Examples include the rapidly scanning optical delay line (RSOD) that is utilized for ophthalmic OCT and optical frequency domain imaging (OFDI) technology that is being commercialized for intracoronary use.
Dr. Tearney's training in the field of pathology has complemented his research by providing a foundation for the interpretation of images obtained by these new, non-invasive diagnostic modalities. While in his Pathology Residency, Dr. Tearney established several active collaborations within the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH). These collaborations involve pathologists, clinicians, physicists and engineers, and also include clinical studies in the fields of Gastroenterology, Cardiology, Pulmonology, and Otolaryngology. In addition to being a pathologist, Dr. Tearney is an Electrical Engineering PhD with 15-year track record in the field of biomedical optics. Dr. Tearney's MIT PhD research was focused on developing OCT technology for use in living patients; the culmination of his thesis was the first demonstration of OCT in internal organs, including the esophagus, in vivo. Dr. Tearney's work extends beyond MGH, as he now directs multicenter, national, and international clinical studies to validate technologies developed in Dr. Tearney's laboratory. In addition, Dr. Tearney has recently founded the International Working Group on Intracoronary OCT Standardization and Validation, a group that is dedicated to ensuring the widespread adoption of this imaging technology.
With respect to teaching, Dr. Tearney has actively participated in the development of a program to increase graduate student participation at the Wellman Center for Photomedicine. Currently, he supervises the Ph.D thesis research of several MIT graduate students and has supervised M.D. honors theses conducted by Harvard Medical School students. Additionally, he helped found the graduate course on biomedical optics at MIT in the HST program (HST .569), is a co-director for the HST Human Pathology course (HST .035), and a lecturer for the Wellman Biomedical Optics Summer Program. He also teaches on the national level, including CME courses, training courses for interpreting optical images, and numerous presentations to the lay public relating the benefits of imaging technology to health care.