Carnegie Mellon University

Jana  Kainerstorfer

Dr. Jana Kainerstorfer

Assistant Professor, Biomedical Engineering

Scott Hall 4N105
Carnegie Mellon University
5000 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213


  • Ph.D., University of Vienna/NIH, 2010

  • Postdoctoral Fellowship, Tufts University


Jana Kainerstorfer is an Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University and holds courtesy appointments in Center for the Neural Basis of Cognition and Electrical & Computer Engineering. Her lab’s research is focused on developing noninvasive optical imaging methods for disease detection and/or treatment monitoring, with an emphasis on diffuse optical imaging. She serves on program committees for the SPIE Photonics West and the OSA Biophotonics Congress. She is an Associate Editor of IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering (TBME) and is an editor for the OSA Virtual Journal of Biomedical Optics. Her work has been supported by the National Institutes of Health, the American Heart Association, the Pennsylvania Infrastructure Technology Alliance, and the Center for Machine Learning and Health.


Research in the Biophotonics lab is focused on developing imaging methods for improving early diagnosis and treatment of disease. In particular, the research is focused on the role of the microvasculature in a variety of diseases and developing imaging methods which can be used in the clinic and at the patient’s bedside. For this, we dominantly are focusing on non-invasive, diffuse optical imaging with near-infrared light. The emphasis of the research spans two primary areas: 1) Instrument and protocol development of non-invasive optical imaging methods which can yield biomarkers for disease diagnostics and monitoring, and 2) Translation of such imaging tools to answer clinical questions where microvascular imaging can be of use for understanding a pathophysiology or monitoring of disease. Current projects include development of a hand held device for breast cancer imaging as well as cerebral hemodynamic monitoring in traumatic brain injury. 

Research Interests: biomedical optics; neurophotonics; neural sensing; medical devices; optical imaging of disease;


Awards and Recognition

  • NIH Trailblazer Award

  • American Heart Association Scientist Development Grant


  • College of Engineering George Tallman Ladd Award