Dr. Elizabeth Hillman is a Professor of Biomedical Engineering and Radiology, and a member of the Zuckerman Mind Brain Behavior Institute and Kavli Institute for Brain Science at Columbia University.

Dr. Hillman completed her undergraduate degree in Physics, and PhD in Medical Physics and Bioengineering at University College London before moving to Boston in 2002 to work for a biotech startup company. She then became a postdoctoral fellow and later junior faculty at Massachusetts General Hospital / Harvard medical school at the Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging.

Dr. Hillman moved to Columbia University in 2006, founding the Laboratory for Functional Optical Imaging, and has developed a range of novel approaches to in-vivo optical imaging including Dynamic Contrast molecular imaging (licensed to PerkinElmer), Laminar Optical Tomography, Hyperspectral two-photon microscopy and most recently SCAPE microscopy (Licensed to Leica Microsystems). Associated with these experimental techniques, Dr. Hillman has developed a wide range of computational methods including Monte Carlo and finite element modelling of photon diffusion, inverse problems for image reconstruction, and a range of methods for spatiotemporal and spatiospectral unmixing for dimensionality reduction in microscopy, neuroscience, small animal molecular imaging and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Her lab also has an active research program applying these imaging tools to studying the relationship between neural activity and blood flow (neurovascular coupling) in the healthy, diseased and developing brain. These studies offer new ways to improve use and interpretation of fMRI data, whose signal detects dynamic changes in brain blood flow.

Dr. Hillman has received young investigator awards from the HFSP and Coulter Foundation as well as an NSF CAREER award and the Optical Society of America’s Adolph Lomb medal for contributions to optics at a young age. She has been elected to Fellow of OSA, SPIE and AIMBE. Dr. Hillman was the recipient of a 2016 ROADS grant from the Columbia Data Science Institute to develop novel spatiotemporal analysis methods for neuroscience applications in collaboration with Tian Zheng (statistics).


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