Imperial College London

Dr Alex Thompson

Faculty of MedicineDepartment of Surgery & Cancer

Lecturer in Sensing in Cancer



alex.thompson08 Website




44Paterson WingSt Mary's Campus





Alex is a Lecturer in the Hamlyn Centre, Institute of Global Health Innovation and the Department of Surgery and Cancer, St Mary's Hospital. His research interests centre on the application of optical microscopy, spectroscopy and interferometry to a range of biomedical problems. Alex completed his Ph.D. in the Physics Department at Imperial, during which he worked on the development of novel endoscopic instruments for cancer diagnosis (an adaptive optics-based endomicroscope and a time-resolved fluorescence spectrometer coupled to an optical fibre probe). After completing his Ph.D. he took up a post-doctoral role in the Chemistry Department, studying protocells, amyloid materials and E. coli using fluorescence lifetime imaging of viscosity sensitive fluorescent dyes. He subsequently moved to the Hamlyn Centre for Robotic Surgery, where his work focussed on the development of wearable/implantable optical sensors for the diagnosis of surgical site infection and for the fabrication of feedback mechanisms in micro-scale surgical robots. After a brief spell as an Imperial College Research Fellow in the Department of Medicine, Alex is now working as a Lecturer in the Hamlyn Centre, where he is investigating the use of optical spectroscopy as a tool for minimally- or non-invasive assessment of multiple aspects of gut health. This involves applications in conditions ranging from rectal cancer through to malnutrition, and has a particular focus on the development of low-cost diagnostic devices for use in the developing world.



Fletcher E, Thompson A, Ashrafian H, et al., 2022, The measurement and modification of hypoxia in colorectal cancer: overlooked but not forgotten, Gastroenterology Report, ISSN:2052-0034

Wei J, Nazarian S, Teare J, et al., 2022, A case for improved assessment of gut permeability: a meta-analysis quantifying the lactulose:mannitol ratio in coeliac and Crohn’s disease, Bmc Gastroenterology, Vol:22, ISSN:1471-230X

Thompson A, Bourke C, Robertson R, et al., 2021, Understanding the role of the gut in undernutrition: what can technology tell us?, Gut, Vol:70, ISSN:0017-5749, Pages:1580-1594

Kim J, Yeatman E, Thompson A, 2021, Plasmonic optical fiber for bacteria manipulation—characterization and visualization of accumulation behavior under plasmo-thermal trapping, Biomedical Optics Express, Vol:12, ISSN:2156-7085, Pages:3917-3933


Monfort Sanchez E, Avery J, Darzi A, et al., 2022, Development of a compact fluorescence spectroscopy sensor for non-invasive monitoring gut function, Optica Biophotonics Congress: Biomedical Optics 2022, Optica Publishing Group

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