Research Expertise & Professional Interests
David Boas, Ph.D. (Professor, Biomedical Engineering) is Director of the Neurophotonics Center at Boston University. He received his BS in Physics at Rensselear Polytechnic Institute and PhD in Physics at the University of Pennsylvania. During his academic career, he has supervised 44 students and post-doctoral fellows, and he has published over 250 papers that have received over 30,000 citations and an h-index of 101. He is the founding President of the Society for Functional Near Infrared Spectroscopy and founding Editor-in-Chief of the journal Neurophotonics published by SPIE. Dr. Boas was awarded the Britton Chance Award in Biomedical Optics in 2016 for his development of several novel, high-impact biomedical optical technologies in the neurosciences, as well as following through with impactful application studies, and fostering the widespread adoption of these technologies. He was elected a Fellow of AIMBE, SPIE, and OSA in 2017.
As Director of the Neurophotonics Center, he facilitates the development and application of novel optical methods to address a broad range of neuroscience questions from basic science to clinical translation. His own research efforts focus on neurovascular coupling, cerebral oxygen delivery and consumption, functional near infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS), and physiological modeling. Studies are done in rodents and humans, invasively and non-invasively, microscopically and macroscopically, providing a powerful ability to translate findings from animals to humans, and conversely to address in animals questions raised during human studies. One example of this that will tie together many of Dr. Boas’ activities is studying functional brain recovery in survivors of stroke. Human neuroimaging by fMRI and fNIRS measures hemodynamic functional recovery but it is not known if neuro-vascular coupling differs in these patients compared to healthy subjects. Animal studies will answer this question enabling more quantitative interpretation of the human neuroimaging studies.