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Research interests

Tenure Track Research Fellow, Heriot-Watt University

Dr Michael Tanner is a Tenure Track Research Fellow in Biomedical Photonics at Heriot-Watt University and honorary lecturer at the University of Edinburgh, working with the EPSRC Proteus IRC. He is currently establishing a research group to exploit time resolved single photon technologies and optical fibre sensors for clinical/biomedical photonics and other real world applications, with strong links to Robert Thomson and the Photonic Instrumentation group.

He has a desire to bring the most advanced photonic technologies out of the darkened physics lab and into practical application. As a physicist with wide ranging experience in experimental systems, fibre optics, quantum technologies and fibre sensing he has developed advanced optical systems on site at the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh (QMRI).

Michael has a track record in developing quantum technologies. Initially designing silicon chips for quantum information processing at the Hitachi Cambridge Laboratory and The University of Cambridge, he moved to quantum optics and single photon detector technologies with the Quantum Sensors group at Heriot-Watt University and The University of Glasgow. While developing cutting edge quantum optics experiments and new secure optical communication technologies, he applied photon counting technologies to real world sensing problems. These included time of flight depth imaging, singlet oxygen fluorescence measurements for photodynamic therapy in cancer treatment and primary temperature measurement with optic fibre. Now he applies single photon detector arrays for medical sensing, imaging and diagnosis with a focus on practical systems for translation to clinic or elsewhere.


Informal news updates can be found at https://tanner-lab.org/


Research Group Contact Details

David Brewster Building, DB1.11,
Heriot-Watt University,
Edinburgh, EH14 4AS
+44 (0)131 451 3067
Room E232, QMRI,
The University of Edinburgh
Edinburgh, EH16 4TJ


Tenure Track Research Fellow, Heriot-Watt University

Michael completed his PhD at Cambridge University, in the Microelectronics Research Centre, in collaboration with the Hitachi Cambridge Laboratory
He continued his work as a Postdoctoral Research Scientist at Hitachi, investigating the excitation structure of Isolated Double Quantum Dots (IDQDs), or “artificial molecules”.
Later he expanded into the field of quantum optics, moving to Heriot-Watt University to work with Prof. Robert Hadfield on Superconducting Nanowire Single Photon Detectors (SNSPDs) and integrated quantum optical circuits.
Michael helped to guide and grow the research group moving with it to the University of Glasgow as a Research Fellow within the Quantum Sensors Group.
He joined the EPSRC Proteus IRC as a Research Fellow to grow optical medical device design at the QMRI, University of Edinburgh.
Recently he gained an academic position within IPAQS at Heriot-Watt University linked to the Photonic Instrumentation group.


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Research Output

High fidelity fibre-based physiological sensing deep in tissue

Choudhary, T., Tanner, M. G., Megia-Fernandez, A., Harrington, K., Wood, H. A. C., Marshall, A., Zhu, P., Chankeshwara, S. V., Choudhury, D., Monro, G., Ucuncu, M., Yu, F., Duncan, R. R., Thomson, R. R., Dhaliwal, K. & Bradley, M., 22 May 2019, In : Scientific Reports. 9, 7713.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
  • 3 Citations (Scopus)
    13 Downloads (Pure)

    Fibre-based spectral ratio endomicroscopy for contrast enhancement of bacterial imaging and pulmonary autofluorescence

    Parker, H. E., Stone, J. M., Marshall, A. D. L., Choudhary, T. R., Thomson, R. R., Dhaliwal, K. & Tanner, M. G., 1 Apr 2019, In : Biomedical Optics Express. 10, 4, p. 1856-1869 14 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access
  • 2 Citations (Scopus)
    38 Downloads (Pure)

    High-speed dual color fluorescence lifetime endomicroscopy for highly-multiplexed pulmonary diagnostic applications and detection of labeled bacteria

    Pedretti, E., Tanner, M. G., Choudhary, T. R., Krstajić, N., Megia-Fernandez, A., Henderson, R. K., Bradley, M., Thomson, R. R., Girkin, J. M., Dhaliwal, K. & Dalgarno, P. A., 1 Jan 2019, In : Biomedical Optics Express. 10, 1, p. 181-195 15 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access
  • 4 Citations (Scopus)
    22 Downloads (Pure)

    pH sensing through a single optical fibre using SERS and CMOS SPAD line arrays

    Ehrlich, K., Kufcsák, A., McAughtrie, S., Fleming, H., Krstajic, N., Campbell, C. J., Henderson, R. K., Dhaliwal, K., Thomson, R. R. & Tanner, M. G., 11 Dec 2017, In : Optics Express. 25, 25, p. 30976-30986 11 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access
  • 14 Citations (Scopus)
    500 Downloads (Pure)

    Ballistic and snake photon imaging for locating optical endomicroscopy fibres

    Tanner, M. G., Choudhary, T., Craven, T. H., Mills, B., Bradley, M., Henderson, R. K., Dhaliwal, K. & Thomson, R. R., 1 Sep 2017, In : Biomedical Optics Express. 8, 9, p. 4077-4095 19 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access
  • 2 Citations (Scopus)
    81 Downloads (Pure)