B.S. Electronic Engineering, Tsinghua University, 2002M.S. ​​Electronic Engineering, Tsinghua University, 2005Ph.D. ​Biomedical Engineering, Washington University in St. Louis, 2010

"Advancing our understanding of physiology and disease mechanisms through the development of novel optical and ultrasonic imaging technologies."

Song Hu, Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering

Song Hu is an associate professor of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Virginia, member of the Robert M. Berne Cardiovascular Research Center and the Cancer Center, and director of Biomedical Optics & Ultrasound Lab. He has published more than 60 peer-reviewed papers and 7 book chapters. His recent papers, including the 4th and 6th most cited articles in the Journal of Biomedical Optics since 2009 and the 5th most cited article in Optics Letters since 2007, have accumulated over 6,000 citations. His lab pioneers the development and application of photoacoustic microscopy (PAM) for basic and translational research in neuroscience, cardiovascular biology, cancer, and regenerative medicine. In particular, his lab has developed multi-parametric PAM, which enables—for the first time—simultaneous label-free imaging of hemoglobin concentration, blood oxygenation, and blood flow at the microscopic level in vivo. Moreover, his lab has developed multi-spectral PAM for concurrent imaging of multiple key endogenous biomolecules (including DNA/RNA, hemoglobin and lipid) and all-optical PAM with near-isotropic spatial resolution. Recently, his lab has developed the first-of-a-kind head-restrained PAM for high-resolution imaging of cerebral hemodynamics and metabolism in awake behaving animals, addressing a long-standing technical challenge in neuroscience research. Dr. Hu serves on the editorial boards of Scientific ReportsNeurophotonics, and Photoacoustics.



  • American Heart Association Scientist Development Grant 2015
  • Ralph E. Powe Junior Faculty Enhancement Award 2014

Research Interests

  • Medical and Molecular Imaging
  • Signal and Image Processing
  • Materials and Advanced Manufacturing for Biological Applications
  • Nanomaterials and nanomanufacturing

Selected Publications

  • "Functional and oxygen-metabolic photoacoustic microscopy of the awake mouse brain", NeuroImage, 150, 77-87 (2017). R. Cao, J. Li, B. Ning, N. Sun, T. Wang, Z. Zuo, and S. Hu
  • "Multi-parametric photoacoustic microscopy of the mouse brain with 300-kHz A-line rate", Neurophotonics, 3(4), 045006 (2016). T. Wang, N. Sun, R. Cao, B. Ning, R. Chen, Q. Zhou, and S. Hu
  • "Listening to the brain with photoacoustics," IEEE Journal of Selected Topics in Quantum Electronics, 22(3), 6800610 (2016). S. Hu
  • “Ultrasound-aided multi-parametric photoacoustic microscopy of the mouse brain,” Scientific Reports, 5, 18775 (2015). B. Ning, N. Sun, R. Cao, R. Chen, K. K. Shung, J. A. Hossack, J.-M. Lee, Q. Zhou, and S. Hu
  • “Simultaneous photoacoustic microscopy of microvascular anatomy, oxygen saturation, and blood flow,” Optics Letters, 40(6), 910-913 (2015). B. Ning, M. J. Kennedy, A. J. Dixon, N. Sun, R. Cao, B. T. Soetikno, R. Chen, Q. Zhou, K. K. Shung, J. A. Hossack, and S. Hu
  • “Photoacoustic tomography: in vivo imaging from organelles to organs,” Science 335(6075), 1458-1462 (2012). L. V. Wang and S. Hu

Courses Taught

  • BME 6550: Tissue Optics & Light Microscopy
  • BME 3310: Biomedical Systems Analysis & Design

Featured Grants & Projects