Laura Sarah

I am a Ph.D. candidate in the 
Department of Bioengineering at Stanford University. Mentored by Prof. Norbert Pelc and Prof. Sanjiv Sam Gambhir, I am currently conducting my thesis work in the Gambhir lab, at the Molecular Imaging Program at Stanford (MIPS), working on novel molecular imaging strategies for cancer detection and therapy.

Research and clinical interests

Metastasis – the cause for 90% of cancer mortality – is a complex, poorly understood process. My PhD thesis is aimed at providing a better understanding of the mechanisms by which breast cancer spreads throughout the body. For this purpose, we developed a novel intravital miniature microscopy technique to track circulating tumor cells in real time in the vessels of living animals. 

The difficulty in delineating brain tumor margins is a major obstacle in the path toward better outcomes for patients with brain tumors. I am currently also working on novel nanoparticles-based strategies for brain tumor imaging. This research could significantly accelerate the translation of novel gold nanoparticle based agents from bench to operating room for surgical planning, intraoperative image guided surgery, and treatment of glioblastomas.

My current scientific and clinical interests are in breast cancer and brain cancer research, with a focus on early detection of disease and novel medical imaging strategies. I am passionate about innovative medical technology development an recently co-founded the start-up company XeroDry, a medical solution addressing the need of moderate to severe dry mouth.


Ph.D., Bioengineering, Stanford University, expected 2014

M.Sc., Biomedical Engineering, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH Zurich), Zurich, Switzerland, 2007

M.Sc. (Diplome d'Ingenieur), General Engineering, Ecole Centrale Paris, Paris, France, 2007


View my publications: on PubMed or on Google Scholar
  1. Detection and quantitation of circulating tumor cells by bioluminescence imaging in an orthotopic mammary carcinoma model
    Laura S. Sasportas; Sharon S. Hori; Guillem Pratx; Sanjiv S. Gambhir
    (in preparation)

  2. Comparison of Deconvolution Filters for Photoacoustic Tomography
    Van de Sompel D, Sasportas LS, Jokerst JV , Bohndiek S, Gambhir SS
    Journal of Medical Image Analysis (under review)

  3. Imaging Circulating Tumor Cells in Freely Moving Awake Small Animals using a Miniaturized Intravital Microscope
    Laura S. Sasportas; Sanjiv S. Gambhir
    PLoS One, 2014

  4. Silk-Alginate biocomposite provides a tunable scaffold for stem cell culture and transplantation
    Keren Ziv; Harald Nuhn; Yael Ben-Haim; Laura S Sasportas; Paul J Kempen; Thomas P Niedringhaus; Michael Hrynyk; Robert Sinclair; Annelise E Barron; Sanjiv S. Gambhir
    Biomaterials, 2014

  5. High-Resolution Radioluminescence Microscopy of 18F-FDG Uptake by Reconstructing the β-Ionization Track
    G Pratx, K Chen, C Sun, M Axente, L S Sasportas, C Carpenter, L Xing
    Journal of Nuclear Medicine, 2013

  6. Cost-effectiveness landscape analysis of treatments addressing xerostomia in patients receiving head and neck radiation therapy
    Sasportas LS, Hosford DN, Sodini MA, Waters DJ, Zambricki EA, Barral JK, Graves EE, Brinton T, Yock PG, Le QT, Sirjani D 
    Oral Surgery, Oral Medicine, Oral Pathology, Oral Radiology, 2013

  7. Advanced Characterization Techniques for Nanoparticles for Cancer Research: Applications of SEM and NanoSIMS for Locating Au Nanoparticles in Cells
    PJ Kempen, C Hitzman, LS Sasportas, SS Gambhir, R Sinclair 
    MRS Online Proceedings Library, 2013

  8. Improving Image Quality by Accounting for Changes in Water Temperature during a Photoacoustic Tomography Scan
    Van de Sompel D, Sasportas LS, Dragulescu-Andrasi A, Bohndiek S, Gambhir SS. 
    PLoS One. 2012;7(10):e45337. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0045337. Epub 2012 Oct 11. PubMed PMID: 23071512.

  9. Human stem cells expressing novel TSP-1 variant have anti-angiogenic effect on brain tumors.
    Sasportas LS, van Eekelen M, Kasmieh R, Yip S, Figueiredo JL, Louis DN, Weissleder R, Shah K. 
    Oncogene. 2010 Jun 3;29(22):3185-95. Epub 2010 Mar 22. PubMed PMID: 20305695; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3390229.

  10. Assessment of therapeutic efficacy and fate of engineered human mesenchymal stem cells for cancer therapy.
    Sasportas LS, Kasmieh R, Wakimoto H, Hingtgen S, van de Water JA, Mohapatra G, Figueiredo JL, Martuza RL, Weissleder R, Shah K. 
    Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2009 Mar 24;106(12):4822-7. Epub 2009 Mar 5. PubMed PMID: 19264968; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC2660771.

  11. A model-free method for high-precision MR susceptometry
    C Barmet, N De Zanche, LS Sasportas, KP Pruessmann
    Proceedings of the ISMRM 2007


Oral appliance for medical treatment 
Davud Baradaran Sirjani, Andrew Thomas Hosford, Dale Jon Waters, Elizabeth Zambricki, Laura Sarah Sasportas, Maria Anne Sodini, Joelle Karine Barral