Imperial College London

Dr Alex Thompson

Faculty of MedicineDepartment of Surgery & Cancer

Lecturer in Sensing in Cancer



alex.thompson08 Website




B411Bessemer BuildingSouth Kensington Campus





Alex is a Lecturer in the Hamlyn Centre, Institute of Global Health Innovation and the Department of Surgery & Cancer. His research centres on the development of novel tools for biomedicine based on optical spectroscopy, microscopy and interferometry. This involves applications in conditions ranging from rectal cancer to malnutrition, and has a particular focus on the development of low-cost diagnostic devices for use in the developing world.

Prior to his current role, Alex completed his PhD in the Physics Department at Imperial before working as a Postdoctoral Research Associate and Imperial College Research Fellow in Imperial’s Departments of Chemistry, Computing and Medicine. In those positions, he worked on a series of diverse projects including: development of novel endoscopic instruments for cancer diagnosis; investigation of protocells, amyloid materials and E. coli using fluorescence lifetime imaging of viscosity sensitive fluorescent dyes; use of Raman spectroscopy for early infection diagnostics; and fabrication of optical feedback mechanisms in microscale surgical robots.

In 2018, Alex was appointed as a Lecturer in the Hamlyn Centre and was also invited to become a member of the World Economic Forum’s Young Scientists Community. In the Hamlyn Centre, he leads the Optical Sensing and Diagnostics research group and collaborates with numerous other local and international researchers in both academia and industry.



Monfort Sanchez E, Avery J, Wei J, et al., 2024, Transcutaneous fluorescence spectroscopy: development and characterization of a compact, portable, fiber-optic sensor, Journal of Biomedical Optics, ISSN:1083-3668

Ennis A, Nicdao D, Kolagatla S, et al., 2023, Two‐photon polymerization of sugar responsive 4D microstructures, Advanced Functional Materials, Vol:33, ISSN:1616-301X

Kim JA, Hou Y, Keshavarz M, et al., 2023, Characterization of bacteria swarming effect under plasmonic optical fiber illumination, Journal of Biomedical Optics, Vol:28, ISSN:1083-3668, Pages:1-15

Li X, Keshavarz M, Kassanos P, et al., 2023, SERS detection of breast cancer-derived exosomes using a nanostructured Pt-black template, Advanced Sensor Research, Vol:4, ISSN:2751-1219, Pages:1-12


Fletcher T, Monfort-Sanchez E, Keshavarz M, et al., 2023, Quantifying hypoxia with diffuse reflectance spectroscopy for advanced prognostication and real-time response monitoring in rectal cancer: an in vivo feasibility study, Optical Fibers and Sensors for Medical Diagnostics, Treatment and Environmental Applications XXIII, SPIE, Pages:1-6, ISSN:1605-7422

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