Light and Video Lab

Surgical training has changed with the inception of surgical simulation; however, tools to assess progress in a non-subjective, quantitative manner have not been adequately developed.

Our laboratory crosses the interface of optics and medicine utilizing video as our investigational armamentarium.

We develop new generation surgical visualization instruments to improve our ability diagnose and achieve complete excision of disease processes.

We understand that our work encompasses various fields and we welcome and value the input of experts in various disciplines.

Our goal is to use optical tools and digital recordings to study and treat disease processes, analyze the way we interact with patients and teach surgery.

Current Projects

Ear Imaging Project

Otitis Media

Otitis media is one of the most common reasons for pediatrician visits, antibiotic prescription, and surgery in the pediatric population.

Despite being a diagnosis of otitis media with effusion (OME) and acute otitis media (AOM) is not as straightforward. The difficulty in identifying middle ear effusion (MEE) is largely responsible for both the over-diagnosis of cases of AOM and the frequent under-diagnosis of cases of OME.

We use different wavelengths and algorithms to improve our ability to make the diagnosis.

Multi-spectral Contrast Reflectance Mode

Cholesteatoma Imaging

Cholesteatoma is a proliferation of abnormal skin that can develop in the middle ear and can erode and destroy important structures associated with hearing and balance. If left untreated in can lead to potentially life threatening complications such as meningitis and brain abscesses. Surgical removal is the only alternative and often requires multiple procedures due to a high recurrence rate.

We are developing imaging techniques to better identify cholesteatoma in a surgical field to prevent recurrence and understand the molecular changes that precede its formation.

Better than ALARA MODE

As low as reasonably achievable (ALARA) is a principle of radioprotection stating that whenever ionizing radiation has to be applied to humans, animals or materials exposure should be as low as reasonably achievable. This is especially true in pediatrics where the effects of radiation can have long term effects including the development of neoplasms.

A major effort in our laboratory is to develop surgical and diagnostic techniques focused on pediatric conditions without the use of Ionizing radiation.

The Traveling Pediatric Simulators

We have developed pediatric specific surgical simulators to teach new generations of doctors around the world.

We are firm believers that surgical training is a gradual process and basic techniques and surgical fundamentals can be learned in surgical models prior to being performed in patients.

We look both at commonly performed procedures to see how they can be performed in a safer and more efficient way to minimize anesthesia exposure and to those rare conditions where it is difficult to gain adequate experience during training.

Our simulators have been around the world Europe, Asia, North America, South America looking for partners to put us on the map in Africa, and penguins in Antarctica (Pittsburgh penguins need not apply).

Stealth Mode

Other interesting projects happening.

About the PI


Pediatric Otolaryngologist, Tulio Valdez

Fan of everything Boston except the snow.

Research Interests:
Improving patient outcomes through better diagnostic, surgical and educational tools.

Personal Interests:
Hiking, tennis and food

Favorite Coordinates:

42.3601° N, 71.0942° W

42.3467° N, 71.0972° W

42.3467° N, 71.0972° W

We are Hiring

PhD Post-Doctoral Candidate

Immediate opening for one Ph.D. postdoctoral candidate to join a highly translational surgical and molecular imaging group. The appointee will have earned a Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering, Physics, or other related disciplines with a background in imaging and spectroscopy.

PhD Post-Doctoral Candidate

Immediate opening for one Ph.D. postdoctoral candidate to join our surgical imaging and simulation laboratory. A background in robotics, mechanical engineering and 3D printing is preferred.

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