Dr Frederique Denise Gilberte Vanholsbeeck
Lic.Sc.Phys (ULB), PhD (ULB)
Starting out with a degree in architecture, Frederique's research career turned to Physics. In 2001, she was awarded the Scientific Prize of the Belgian Physical Society for the best Masters thesis in physics. The aim of her thesis was to model gas transport in the lungs. She received her PhD in 2003 for investigating nonlinear optical phenomena in fibers for applications to wavelength-division-multiplexing (WDM) telecommunication systems and to Raman optical amplifiers.
In 2004, she commenced a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Auckland. In 2005, she was appointed to the position of Lecturer in the Department of Physics. A history of University-industry research engagement includes the development of a patented all-fibre real time spectroscopic optical probe (or optrode) and now focuses on monitoring bacterial processes using optical coherence tomography (OCT) with over 40 publications in this area of expertise.
She has been a winner of the Velocity Innovation Challenge, the Miriam Dell Excellence in Science
Mentoring Award and the Dean’s Award for Sustained Excellence in Teaching.
Research | Current
Frederique's principal research area is biophotonics, ie, using light to observe and to understand physiological processes. Her area of expertise includes optical coherence tomography (OCT) imaging and fluorescence spectroscopy.
Optical coherence tomography (OCT)
OCT is an interferometric technique that allows high resolution in vivo, non-invasive imaging of human tissues. Such a system uses the coherence properties of a light source to map biological tissues in 3 dimensions. If the light source is sufficiently incoherent, details as small as a few microns can be resolved, ie, a few cells, and it is possible to scan up to a few millimeters in the depth of the tissue under investigation without having to cut or even to touch it.
On top on developing state-of-the-art imaging capabilities, I have successfully worked towards improving the technique itself, in particular through the development of original signal processing methods. These developments have lead us to use OCT to identify tissues of different natures, adding a layer of functional information to the structural image provided by OCT.
In particular, the biophotonics group is developing modular all fiber fluorescence spectroscopy systems (optrode). The optrode is a very versatile tool and it has been applied to the measurement of the heart action potential in vivo, to bioremediation monitoring and to water safety testing. In combination with microfluidics, thfluorescence microscpy has been used to study bacteria viability.
Recently, Frederique has started to investigate the potential of nonlinear optical imaging study brain cell and network function in Autism Spectrum Disorder.
Currently looking to recruit PhDs in areas ranging from OCT, bacterial enumeration and nonlinear microscopy.
Since 2019 Ashly Jose, PhD student working on developing and using nonlinear microscopy to study brain cell and network function in Autism Spectrum Disorder
Since 2019 Joni White, PhD student working on the use of eukaryotic extracellular vesicles for communication to the resident and pathogenic microbiome
Since 2019 Ayomikun Esan, PhD student working on microfluidic and spectroscpic fluorescence to detect bacteria
Since 2018 Matthew Goodwin, PhD student working on optical coherence tomography for early detection of ostheoarthritis
Since 2018 Mykola Zlygostiev, PhD student working on optical coherence tomography for optical biopsies
Since 2018 Abi Thampi, PhD student working on optical coherence tomography to measure meat quality
Since 2017 Magdalena Urbanska, PhD, student working on optical coherence elastography
Since 2016 James Hope, PhD student working on Development of a natural control
interface for neural-prostheses
Since 2016 Rachel Ou, Quantitative ﬂuorescence study of microbiological systems using a ﬁbre-based spectroscopic device
Since 2015 Claire Honney, Novel detection system for microbial contamination on meat: the use of a near real time all-fibre fluorometer to detect fluorescently stained bacterial samples
Former PhD students
2013-2017, Bastian Brauer, Source development and dispersion measurements in optical coherence tomography
2015-2016, Ming Yong, Microfluidic dics for bacterial enumaration
2015-2016, Rachel Guo, Fluorescence quantification to enumerate bacteria
2009-2013 Norman Lippok Novel polarisation and dispersion concepts for optical coherence tomography
2007-2011 Sairam Iyer Optical Coherence Tomography: Dispersion Compensation and Parametric Imaging
2006-2011 Andy Chen Development and characterization of fiber-based systems for biomedical imaging
Former MSc students
2016 Neelam Hari, Illuminating the vitreous for shear wave optical coherence elastography: a feasibility study
2013 Michael Cheng In situ monitoring of microorganisms using fiber optics
2013 Sean Liew Preliminary design of a scanning laser SHG microscope for collagen imaging
2012-2013 Isha Sharma Spectral Domain Doppler Optical Coherence Tomography for Vibrometry Applications
2012 Arti Patel Optimisation of an all-fibre spectroscopic system for in situ bacteria monitoring
2012 Ivy Au Development of a Second harmonic microscope
2011-2012 Kaidi Liang Development of an all-fibre interferometric dosimeter.
2011 Jason Kuo Monte Carlo simulations to optimise the sensitivity of an optrode system
2010 Anna Yang All-fibre dispersion compensation OCT system based on an integrated spectral shaper.
2004 Tony P. Goldsmith Cancellation of Raman soliton self-frequency shift by cross-phase modulation
Former Honour students
2018 Joni White, BSc honors, Using optical methods to monitor bacteria viability
2017 Matthew Brown, Btech MPIT, Using polarisation-sensitive optical coherence tomography and mechanical indentation to assess cartilage degeneration in the bovine model of early osteoarthritis
2015 Neelam Hari, Btech MPIT, Interactive Playground: Beambox
2015 Rachel Ou, Btech MPIT, Near real time quantification of bacteria viability using spectroscopic fluorescence.
2013 Guneet Kaur, Btech MPIT, Studies of Forster resonance energy transfer using an all fibre optical system
2013 Michel Yap, Btech MPIT, Optical coherence tomography in the assessment of articular cartilage condition
2013 Jennifer Yeh, Btech MPIT, Ice core layer counting using time-domain OCT
2012 Michael Cheng, PGDipSc, Development and studies of dual optical fibre probe sensor for fluorescence measurement.
2011 Arti Patel, Btech MPIT, Bioluminescence measurement using an all-fibre setup
2010 Jason Kuo, Btech MPIT, Monitoring bacteria tagged with fluorescent proteins by using an optrode
2010 Jenny Lim, Btech MPIT, Algorithms and method for analysing spectra emitted by bacteria tagged with fluorescent proteins
2010 Hamish Randle, Btech OPTO, Fabrication and optimisation of fused fibre couplers
2018 OSA (Optical Society of America) Diversity and Inclusion Advocacy Recognition inaugural award2017 Dean’s Award for Sustained Excellence in Teaching
2017 Highly Commended Miriam Dell Excellence in Science Mentoring Award from the Association for Women in the Sciences (AWIS)
2017 Velocity Innovation Challenge Winner
2013 Ideas Challenge Winner of the SPARK competition
2003 IEEE/LEOS Japan Chapter Young Scientist Award, received at the Optical Amplifiers and Their Applications'2003 topical meeting (July 2003, Otaru, Japan).
2000 Award of the Belgian Physical Society for the best Master thesis in experimental physics.
Since 2018 Theme leader for Future materials and technologies in the Faculty of Science
Since 2016 Member of the executive committee of the CoRE in photonics and quantum technologies.
Since 2015 Chair of the diversity committee for the physics department. Obtained the Pleiades Bronze level certification for the Department in 2016 and then Silver in 2019.
2015-2017 Leader of the Sensing and Imaging theme for the CoRE in photonics and quantum technologies.
2014-2016 Stage 3 adviser for the Physics Department.
Areas of expertise
- Nonlinear optics
- Fiber optics
- Rapid detection of bacteria
- Optical sensors
- Laser technologies
Since 2014 Member of the advisory committee for the PhD in medical imaging
Since 2013 Member of the Exec committee of the faculty of Science
2011–2012 Physics Programme Leader for the Science academic committee, deputy since 2013.
2011–2012 Head of the teaching committee for the Physics Department
2010–2011 and 2014–2015 Elected sub-professorial member of the University Senate
2009–2010 Tuakana coordinator for the Physics Department.
2010–2012 EEO representative for physic
2008–2012 Member of the implementation team of the Women returning to Work project (combining parenting and a career since 2011).
2005–2013 Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) support and contact person for the Physics Department. Organisation of the Girl Into Science as well as Futures events.
Since 2006 Member of the Student Staff Consultation Committee (SSCC) of the Department of Physics.
Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)
- Robertson, J. C., Darby, B., Meyer, M., McGoverin, C., Vanholsbeeck, F., & Swift, S. (2019). Detection of bacterial cell death using absorbance spectra. Paper presented at New Zealand Microbiological Society (NZMS) Annual Conference 2019, Palmerston North, New Zealand. 25 November - 28 November 2019. Related URL.
Other University of Auckland co-authors: Julia Robertson, Cushla McGoverin, Simon Swift
- Robertson, J., Darby, B., Meyer, M., McGoverin, C., Vanholsbeeck, F., & Swift, S. (2019). Detection of bacterial cell death using absorbance spectra. Paper presented at Asia Pacific Optical Sensors Conference, Auckland, New Zealand. 19 November - 22 November 2019.
Other University of Auckland co-authors: Julia Robertson, Cushla McGoverin, Simon Swift
- Hope, J., Aqrawe, Z., Lim, M., Vanholsbeeck, F., & McDaid, A. (2019). Increasing signal amplitude in electrical impedance tomography of neural activity using a parallel resistor inductor capacitor (RLC) circuit. Journal of neural engineering, 16 (6)10.1088/1741-2552/ab462b
Other University of Auckland co-authors: James Hope
- Vargas, M. J. T., Nieuwoudt, M., Yong, R. M., Vanholsbeeck, F., Williams, D. E., & Simpson, M. C. (2019). Excellent quality microchannels for rapid microdevice prototyping: direct CO2 laser writing with efficient chemical postprocessing. MICROFLUIDICS AND NANOFLUIDICS, 23 (11)10.1007/s10404-019-2291-1
Other University of Auckland co-authors: Michel Nieuwoudt, David Williams
- Hari, N., Patel, P., Ross, J., Hicks, K., & Vanholsbeeck, F. (2019). Optical coherence tomography complements confocal microscopy for investigation of multicellular tumour spheroids. Scientific reports, 9 (1)10.1038/s41598-019-47000-2
Other University of Auckland co-authors: Jacqueline Ross, Kevin Hicks
- Ou, F., McGoverin, C., Swift, S., & Vanholsbeeck, F. (2019). Rapid and cost-effective evaluation of bacterial viability using fluorescence spectroscopy. Analytical and bioanalytical chemistry, 411 (16), 3653-3663. 10.1007/s00216-019-01848-5
Other University of Auckland co-authors: Fang Ou, Cushla McGoverin, Simon Swift
- Robertson, J. C., Ou, F., McGoverin, C., Vanholsbeeck, F., & Swift, S. (8/4/2019). Shining a light on antibiotic selection: optimised live/dead fluorescence spectrometry for rapid antimicrobial susceptibility testing. Poster presented at The Microbiology Society Annual Conference 2019, Belfast, UK. The Microbiology Society Annual Conference 2019. 10.1099/acmi.ac2019.po0280
Other University of Auckland co-authors: Julia Robertson, Fang Ou, Cushla McGoverin, Simon Swift
- Hope, J., Aristovich, K., Chapman, C. A. R., Volschenk, A., Vanholsbeeck, F., & McDaid, A. (2019). Extracting impedance changes from a frequency multiplexed signal during neural activity in sciatic nerve of rat: preliminary study in vitro. Physiological measurement, 40 (3)10.1088/1361-6579/ab0c24
Other University of Auckland co-authors: James Hope, Andrew McDaid