Gracie Vargas, PhD Professor

Gracie_VargasDepartment of Neuroscience, Cell Biology, & Anatomy
Route: 0456  |  Tel: (409) 772-6514 | grvargas@utmb.edu

Affiliations
UTMB Center for Biomedical Engineering, UTMB Center for Cancers of the Head and Neck UTMB Center for Addiction Research

Education and Training

PhD in Biomedical Engineering, University of Texas at Austin, TX
MS in Mechanical Engineering, University Texas at Austin, TX
B.A. in Physics, Gustavus Adolphus College, St. Peter MN

Research Interests

The primary focus of our laboratory is the investigation and application of emerging optical techniques for monitoring of disease processes or injury. The fundamental basis of our work lies in the fact that optical signals arising from tissue are altered during disease progression, as the source of these signals originates in tissue microstructure and biochemical makeup. Our interests lie in optical signals that may be inherent to the tissue (autofluorescence, scattering, absorption) or arise from cellular/molecular contrast agents which give specificity to the signal source.

Primary Optical Technologies incorporated into our research:
Multiphoton Microscopy (MPM, two-photon microscopy)
Second Harmonic Generation Microscopy (SHGM)
Confocal Reflectance Microscopy for Tissue Imaging
Confocal Microendoscopy
Fiber-based Multiphoton Microscopy
Fluorescence Lifetime Microscopy (FLIM)
Optical Coherence Tomography

Selected Publications

Chan, K.F., Choi, B., Vargas, G., Hammer, D.X., Sorg, B., Pfefer, J.T., Teichman, J.M.H., Welch, A.J., and Jansen, E.D. Free electron laser ablation of urinary calculi: an experimental study. IEEE Journal on Selected Topics in Quantum Electronics 7(6):1022-1033, 2001.

Vargas, G., Chan, K.F., Thomsen, S.L. and Welch, A.J. The use of osmotically active agents to alter the optical properties of tissue: effects on the fluorescence signal detected through skin. Lasers in Surgery and Medicine 29:213-220, 2001.

Telekov, S., Vargas, G., Nelson, J.S. and Milner, T.E. Coherent thermal wave imaging of subsurface chromophores in biological materials. Physics in Medicine & Biology 47:657-671, 2002.

Choi, B., Kim, J., Milner, T.E., Vargas, G., Aguilar, G., Rylander, C.G. and Nelson, J.S. Use of optical coherence tomography to monitor biological tissue freezing during cryosurgery. Journal of Biomedical Optics 9(2):282-6, 2004.

Vargas, G., Readinger, A., Dozier, S.S. and Welch, A.J. Morphological changes associated with increased visualization of subdermal blood vessels by tissue optical clearing – measured using Doppler optical coherence tomography. Photochemistry & Photobiology 77(5):541-549, 2003.

Kotov, N.A., Liu, Y., Wang, S., Cumming, C., Eghtedari, M., Vargas, G., Motamedi, M., Nichols, J. and Cortiella, J. Inverted colloidal crystals as three-dimensional cell scaffolds. Langmuir 20(19):7887-7892, 2004.

Sun, J., Shilagard, T., Bell, B., Motamedi, M. and Vargas, G. In vivo multimodal nonlinear optical imaging of mucosal tissue. Optics Express 12(11):2478-86, 2004.

Youn, J.I., Vargas, G., Wong, B.F. and Milner, T.E. Depth-resolved phase retardation measurements for laser-assisted non-ablative cartilage reshaping. Physics in Medicine & Biology 50:1937-1950, 2005.

Liu, Y., Wang, S., Krouse, J., Kotov, N.A., Eghtedari, M., Vargas, G. and Motamedi, M. Rapid aqueous photo-polymerization route to polymer and polymer-composite hydrogel 3D inverted colloidal crystal scaffolds. J. Biomaterials Res. 83(1):1-9, 2007.

Gong, B.., Sun, J., Vargas, G., Xu, Y., Chang, Q., Srivastava, D. and Boor, P.J. Nonlinear imaging study of extracellular matrix in chemical-induced, developmental dissecting aortic aneurysm: evidence for defective collagen type III. Birth Defects Research Part A: Clinical and Molecular Teratology 82(1):16-24, 2008.

Link to PubMed Publications