Photo of Summer L. Gibbs, Ph.D.

Summer L. Gibbs Ph.D.

  • (503) 494-8940
    • Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering School of Medicine
    • Biomedical Engineering Graduate Program School of Medicine
    • OHSU Knight Cancer Institute School of Medicine

Summer Gibbs received her Ph.D. in biomedical engineering under the direction of Dr. Brian W. Pogue at the Thayer School of Engineering at Dartmouth College in 2008. During her doctoral work she studied noninvasive fluorescence technologies and tissue light transport for brain cancer detection and cancer therapy monitoring.

Dr. Gibbs completed her postdoctoral training in the Center for Molecular Imaging at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and the Harvard Medical School under Dr. John V. Frangioni. Dr. Gibbs was promoted to Instructor in Medicine at the Harvard Medical School in July 2011. During her postdoctoral training she worked on applications of combinatorial solid phase synthesis for the development of unique fluorophore technology for image-guided surgery, development of a method for simultaneous tissue immunofluorescence staining with gold standard hematoxylin and eosin, high throughput screening technologies to improve cancer detection and treatment, and translation of instrumentation and contrast agents for image-guided surgery clinical trials.

Dr. Gibbs joined the faculty in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at the Oregon Health & Science University as Assistant Professor in June 2012. She also has cross appointments in the Knight Cancer Institute and OHSU Center for Spatial Systems Biomedicine. She was promoted to Associate Professor in July 2017. Her laboratory focuses on novel fluorescent probe development for improved macroscopic and microscopic imaging applications with special focus on tissue- and disease-specific fluorophores for image-guided surgery, methods for multicolor microscopy and fluorescent technologies to predict therapeutic efficacy for personalized medicine.

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Areas of interest

  • Nerve-Specific Fluorophores for Image-Guided Surgery
  • Intraoperative Margin Assessment using Dual Probe Difference Specimen Imaging
  • Cyclic Immunostaining for Multicolor Microscopy
  • Intracellular Paired Agent Imaging (iPAI) Enables Assessment of Drug Biodistribution & Therapeutic Efficacy


  • B.S., Whitworth College, Spokane Washington 2003
  • Ph.D., Dartmouth College, Hanover New Hampshire 2008
  • Fellowship:

    • Postdoctoral Fellow, Harvard Medical School and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, MA, 2010


  • "Real-time monitoring of tumorigenesis, dissemination, & drug response in a preclinical model of lymphangioleiomyomatosis/tuberous sclerosis complex" PLoS One June 15 2012
  • "Diffuse fluorescence tomography analysis of B-scan mode geometry"   2006
  • "Topical dual-stain difference imaging for rapid intra-operative tumor identification in fresh specimens" Optics Letters December 1 2013
  • "Protoporphyrin IX level correlates with number of mitochondria, but increase in production correlates with tumor cell size" Photochemistry and Photobiology September 2006
  • "Comparison of techniques for quantification of fluorescence from tissue"   2006
  • "Analysis of cell line variation in biochemical production of protoporphyrin IX"   2006
  • "Protoporphyrin IX fluorescence imaging of glioma tumor growth in the murine brain"   2006
  • "Structure-Activity Relationship of Nerve-Highlighting Fluorophores" PLoS One September 9 2013
  • "Charge and hydrophobicity effects of NIR fluorophores on bone-specific imaging" Theranostics  2015
  • "Molecular imaging" BioMed Research International December 29 2014
  • "Sub-surface fluorescence imaging of protoporphyrin IX with B-Scan mode tomography"   2006
  • "Design and development of BODIPY-based photoswitchable fluorophores to visualize cell signaling with multispectral super resolution microscopy"   2014
  • "Effect of labeling density and time post labeling on quality of antibody-based super resolution microscopy images"   2015
  • "Fluorescence Imaging In Vivo" Technology in Cancer Research and Treatment February 2004
  • "Targeted zwitterionic near-infrared fluorophores for improved optical imaging" Biotechnology February 2013
  • "Improved murine glioma detection following modified diet and photobleaching of skin PpIX fluorescence"   2007
  • "Microscopic validation of macroscopic in vivo imagesenabled by same-slide optical and nuclear fusion" Journal of Nuclear Medicine November 1 2014
  • "Near-infrared fluorescent digital pathology for the automation of disease diagnosis and biomarker assessment" Molecular imaging : official journal of the Society for Molecular Imaging June 1 2015
  • "Polymeric Micelles as Carriers for Nerve-Highlighting Fluorescent Probe Delivery" Molecular Pharmaceutics October 20 2015
  • "Methodology for quantitative characterization of fluorophore photoswitching to predict superresolution microscopy image quality" Scientific Reports July 14 2016
  • "Visualizing Oxazine 4 nerve-specific fluorescence ex vivo in frozen tissue sections"   2016
  • "Superresolution imaging of clinical formalin fixed paraffin embedded breast cancer with single molecule localization microscopy" Scientific Reports January 18 2017
  • "Direct administration of nerve-specific contrast to improve nerve sparing radical prostatectomy" Theranostics  2017
  • "Imaging of glioma tumor with endogenous fluorescence tomography" Journal of Biomedical Optics  2009
  • "MRI-guided fluorescence molecular tomography to image epidermal growth factor receptor status in brain tumors"   2010
  • "Noninvasive measurement of aminolevulinic acid-induced protoporphyrin IX fluorescence allowing detection of murine glioma in vivo" Journal of Biomedical Optics  2009
  • "Image contrast in fluorescence and magnetic resonance images for glioblastoma detection"   2011
  • "MRI-coupled fluorescence tomography of murine glioma metabolic activity"   2008
  • "Intraoperative localization of insulinoma and normal pancreas using invisible near-infrared fluorescent light" Annals of Surgical Oncology April 2010
  • "Molecular imaging agents specific for the annulus fibrosus of the intervertebral disk" Molecular imaging : official journal of the Society for Molecular Imaging May 2010

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