Gabriel Popescu has been studying phase measurements and interferometry for twenty years. During his postdoctoral studies, Popescu focused on quantitative phase imaging of cells and this research resulted in breakthrough publications, news articles, and patent licensing for diffraction phase microscopy. The UIUC Popescu lab has pushed the bounds of technology and applications through the development of SLIM, which is a white light method that is speckle free, and, thus, highly sensitive to structure and dynamics. SLIM enabled unprecedented studies in our laboratories, generating ~50 publications, including very recently on prostate prognosis, cell tomography, emerging behavior in neuron networks, blood testing, cancer prognosis, and imaging thick specimens. Phi Optics, a start-up company in the UIUC Research Park licensed three patents related to SLIM and launched a product on the market in February 2014. The SLIM technology is currently being sold worldwide, with early adopting customers around the world. Currently, the Popescu lab aims to advance interferometric imaging technology toward quantitative cancer prognosis in stained biopsies.
Popescu is a Professor in Electrical and Computer Engineering and the principal investigator of the Quantitative Light Imaging Laboratory, which develops optical methods to quantitatively image cells and tissues. He received his BS and MS in Physics from University of Bucharest, obtained a MS in Optics, and has a PhD in Optics from the School of Optics/ CREOL (now the College of Optics and Photonics), University of Central Florida. Popescu continued his training with the G. R. Harrison Spectroscopy Laboratory at MIT, working as a postdoctoral associate. He joined Illinois in August 2007 where he directs the Quantitative Light Imaging Laboratory (QLI Lab) at the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology. He served as an Associate Editor of Optics Express and Biomedical Optics Express, Editorial Board Member for Journal of Biomedical Optics, and Scientific Reports. He also founded Phi Optics, Inc., a start-up that commercializes quantitative phase imaging technology