Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania

Lee Visualization Lab

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Dr. Lee and his research team at the historic Pennsylvania Hospital

Fluorescence-Guided Neurosurgery

The Lee Visualization Lab is dedicated to the improved visualization and surgical resection of brain tumors – both benign and malignant.  Directed by John Y.K. Lee, MD, MSCE, the lab has both clinical and small animal research effort. 

We believe that fluorescence-guided surgery will help neurosurgeons to better detect areas of tumor and increase our ability to achieve total resection, ultimately improving patient outcomes. Our lab is interested in near-infrared fluorescent dyes, because of their increased penetration through normal tissue as well as the lack of any normal autofluorescence in brain when compared to fluorophores in the visible-light range.  We are interested in novel compounds and novel application of existing compounds in order to help the surgeon localize tumors intraoperatively, distinguish normal brain from cancerous tissue and clear the surgical margins in real-time. In addition, we are always exploring novel imaging techniques in collaboration with bioengineering and physics, as many of the dyes have unique imaging properties beyond what our eyes can see. 

In addition to fluorescent tumor visualization, our lab also continues to refine and innovate novel ways to visualize neurosurgical pathology in the operating room relying on endoscopic refinements, especially as it pertains to skull base surgery.