Mark Pierce

Mark Pierce

Associate Professor

Biomedical Engineering

Office Hours: By appointment
Website: Pierce Lab Website

My lab develops novel optical imaging systems for applications ranging from basic biomedical research studies to clinical patient care.  Part of our focus is on technical advancements in optical instrument development, in areas including computational imaging, intravital microscopy, and short-wave infrared imaging.  We also seek to apply the knowledge gained through these instruments to assist physicians in disease management through early diagnosis, surgical guidance, and treatment planning.  We collaborate extensively with clinical partners in surgery, radiation oncology, pathology, and image analysis.


Research Faculty, Rice University, 2005-2011
Post-doctoral fellowship, Harvard Medical School, 2001-2005
Ph.D., Biomedical Optics, The University of Manchester, 2001
B.Sc., Physics, University of Manchester, 1997




2013-2014 Engineering Governing Council Biomedical Engineering UndergraduateTeaching Excellence Award. This award is given out to a professor in each department who the students feel have done an excellent job in teaching for the academic year 2013-14.

Selected Publications

  1. D Shin, M-A Protano, AD Polydorides, SM Dawsey, MC Pierce, MK Kim, RA Schwarz, T Quang, N Parikh, MS Bhutani, F Zhang, G Wang, L Xue, X Wang, H Xu, S Anandasabapathy, RR Richards-Kortum, “Quantitative analysis of high-resolution microendoscopic images for diagnosis of esophageal squamous cell carcinoma,” Clin Gastro Hepatol 13:272-279 (2015)
  2. LM Higgins, MC Pierce, “Design and preliminary evaluation of a compact multimodal imaging device for assessment of oral neoplasia,” J Biomed Opt 19:086004 (2014)
  3. MC Pierce, J Jaslove, SE Weigum, R Richards-Kortum, T Tkaczyk, “Optical systems for point-of-care diagnostic instrumentation: analysis of imaging performance and cost,”  Ann Biomed Eng 42:231-240 (2014)
  4. GJ Greening, R Istfan, LM Higgins, K Balachandran, D Roblyer, MC Pierce, TJ Muldoon, “Characterization of thin poly(dimethylsiloxane)-based tissue-simulating phantoms with tunable reduced scattering and absorption coefficients at visible and near-infrared wavelengths,” J Biomed Opt 19:115002 (2014)
  5. MH Koucky, MC Pierce, “Axial response of high resolution microendoscopy in scattering media,” Biomed Opt Express 4:2247-2256 (2013)
  6. TU Nguyen, MC Pierce, L Higgins, TS Tkaczyk, “Snapshot 3D optical coherence tomography system using image mapping spectrometry,” Opt Express 21:13758-72 (2013)
  7. N Thekkek, MC Pierce, MH Lee, AD Polydorides, RM Flores, S Anandasabapathy, RR Richards-Kortum, “Modular video endoscopy for in vivo cross-polarized and vital-dye fluorescence imaging of Barrett's-associated neoplasia,” J Biomed Opt 18:26007 (2013)
  8. PM Vila, CW Park, G Goldstein, L Levy, MC Pierce, VV Gurudutt, AD Polydorides, JH Godbold, MS Teng, EM Genden, B Miles, S Anandasabapathy, AM Gillenwater, R Richards-Kortum, AG Sikora, “Discrimination of benign and neoplastic mucosa with a high-resolution microendoscope (HRME) in head and neck cancer,” Ann Surg Oncol 19:3534-3539 (2012)
  9. MC Pierce, RA Schwarz, VS Bhattar, S Mondrik, MD Williams, JJ Lee, R Richards-Kortum, AM Gillenwater, "Accuracy of in vivo multi-modal optical imaging for detection of oral neoplasia," Cancer Prev Res 5:801-809 (2012)
  10. MC Pierce, YY Guan, MK Quinn, X Zhang, W-H Zhang, Y-L Qiao, P Castle, R Richards-Kortum, “A pilot study of low-cost, high-resolution microendoscopy as a tool for identifying women with cervical precancer,” Cancer Prev Res 5:1273-1279 (2012)
  11. MK Quinn, TC Bubi, MC Pierce, MK Kayembe, D Ramogola-Masire, R Richards-Kortum, “High-resolution microendoscopy for the detection of cervical neoplasia in low-resource settings,” PloS One 7:e44924 (2012)
  12. R Regunathan, J Woo, MC Pierce, AD Polydorides, M Raoufi, S Roayaie, M Schwartz, D Labow, D Shin, R Suzuki, MS Bhutani, LG Coghlan, R Richards-Kortum, S Anandasabapathy, MK Kim, “Feasibility and preliminary accuracy of high-resolution imaging of the liver and pancreas using FNA compatible microendoscopy,” Gastrointest Endosc 76:293-300 (2012)
  13. KH Kim, MC Pierce, G Maguluri, BH Park, SJ Yoon, M Lydon, R Sheridan, JF de Boer, “In vivo imaging of human burn injuries with polarization-sensitive optical coherence tomography,” J Biomed Opt 17:066012 (2012)