Prof. Malini Olivo is presently the Executive Director in charge of the Health and MedTech Horizontal Technology Programmed Office and Deputy Executive Director of Institute of Bioengineering and Bioimaging (IBB). She also assumed the appointment as Director of Biophotonics and Head of the Translational Biophotonics Laboratory (TBL) at the Singapore Bioimaging Consortium in 2012 where she leads TBL in the development and implementation of A*STAR’s R&D strategies, and Co-Programme Executive Director for the Health and MedTech Horizontal Technology Programme Office in 2020.
Particularly, she plays a key role in spearheading the fields of biophotonics solutions to clinical challenges. Her efforts include bridging the gap between cutting edge optical technologies and unmet clinical needs by developing in-house photonics-based devices for various industries. To highlight a few examples, this includes the application of in vivo optoacoustic imaging in oncology, development of a point-of-care device for ovarian cancer diagnosis in the operating theatre, invention of a handheld Raman spectroscopy-based skin scanner for skin diseases such as skin cancer, eczema and acne for applications in the cosmeceutical industry. Her lab is on track towards commercialisation with her being a founder of two spin-offs, Respiree Pte. Ltd. (breath-cardio sensor using Direct-to-Cloud advance A.I. analytics) and Auretek Pte. Ltd. (handheld clinical-grade skin analyser).
She established two joint laboratory partnerships, in which one of them, the SBIC-iThera Medical Imaging Centre, was inaugurated in 2018, as the first such centre in the world to serve the needs of non-invasive clinical optoacoustic imaging of cancer in the Asia Pacific.
Prof. Malini Olivo also holds an adjunct professorship in the Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine at the Nanyang Technological University. She has published close to 500 papers (including several contributions in high impact journals), 3 books and 8 book chapters, and filed 30 patents on technology platforms and devices. She has initiated 3 first-in-human studies using photoacoustic technology in humans for skin and breast cancer and eczema.
Prior to her current appointments, Prof. Malini Olivo was a Principal Investigator at National Cancer Centre and Singapore General Hospital from 1995 to 2009 where she pioneered biophotonics diagnostics and photodynamic therapies and applications of nano-biophotonics in oncology. She was credited for her contributions to medical science by being awarded the Singapore Great Women of our Times Award in 2005 and Singhealth Research Awards in 2006 She was a tenured Stokes Professor of Biophotonics at the National University Ireland, Galway 2009-2012 and Science Foundation Ireland.
For her pioneering work on developing biophotonics and decades of experience in translating biophotonics from bench to the clinic, Prof. Malini Olivo was recently elected to the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE) College of Fellows in Washing D.C., U.S.A., in 2019. She is also a fellow member of the Optical Society of America for pioneering and contributing to the field of photomedicine in the seminal area of cancer diagnostics and therapeutics. Prof. Malini Olivo obtained her PhD in Biomedical Physics 1990 from the University of Malaya and University college London UK where she conducted her research in cancer photomedicine and biophotonics at the University College of London, UK, and Lund University, Sweden before doing post-doctoral training in University of Toronto and Princess Margaret Cancer Hospital in Canada after which she came to Singapore in 1995 to pioneer the field of Photomedicine and Biophotonics.
Fellow of American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering, 2019
Fellow of the Optical Society of America, 2015
Fellow of the Institute of Physics, United Kingdom and Ireland, 2014
Ph.D. in Biomedical Physics, University of Malaya-University College London, 1990
B.Sc (Hons) in Physics & Mathematics, University of Malaya, 1985
B.Ed (Hons), University of Malaya, 1985
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