Dr Steve Lee

Group Leader
PhD (Optics), B.Eng (EE)
+61 2 6125 6058
+61 2 6125 5476

Steve Lee completed his undergraduate training in Electronics Engineering at the Nanyang Technological University (Singapore) and a PhD in Optics at Optical Trapping Group at the University of St Andrews (UK) . Prior to his PhD studies, Dr Lee has worked as an optical engineer/senior technical consultant for 3 years with a focus on developing commerical laser scanning instruments (Einst Tech Pte Ltd). During his PhD with Kishan Dholakia and Ewan Wrighthe developed new optical manipulation technologies for biological and nanoparticles. He performed the first conclusive nonlinear light measurements on artifical kerr medium and built a multimodality bioworkstation. In 2010, he left the UK to pursue a 2-year postdoctoral training at Wellman Photomedicine/Harvard Medical School (USA) with Seok-Hyun Andy Yun , where he developed adaptive intravital endomicroscopy for live small animal imaging. That is followed by a short stint as a Vice Chancellor Fellow at UNSW on nanowire optical manipulation. In 2013, he started his own research group (Optical Biofluidics Imaging Group) at ANU Research School of Engineering and JCSMR that focus on developing novel optical techniques and instruments to harness light for application in biomedicine and nanotechnology, where he recently won the 2014 ANSTO Eureka Prize for developing low cost elastomer optics. In 2014, he joins ARC Centre of Excellence for Advanced Molecular Imaging as an Associated Investigator to develop the next generation of intravital microscopy for in-vivo imaging. In 2015, he receive an ARC Discovery Early Career Research Award (DECRA). In 2016, he joins ARC Centre of Excellence for Nanoscale Biophotonics as an Associated Investigator.

Optical Manipulation, Biofluidics, Biomedical Photonics

Recent publications

† Corresponding  * Equal contribution


52. S.J Montague, Y.J Lim, W.M Lee and E.E Gardiner, “Imaging platelet processes and function – current and emerging approaches for imaging in vitro and in vivo” Front. Immunol. (2020) doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2020.00078 link (pdf)

51. Y X Li, Y J Lim, Q K Xu, L Beattie, E E Gardiner, K Gaus, W Heath, W.M. Lee†, “Raster Scanning Adaptive Optics for video rate correction and large field of view imaging” Biomedical Optics Express 2 1032 (2020) link (pdf)

50. A. Upadhya*, Y Zheng*, W.M.Lee“Structured Back Focal Plane Interferometry” Scientific Reports 9, 20273 (2019) link pdf * Equal contribution

49. Y Wang*, X F He*, K F Bruggeman, B Gayen, A Tricoli, W M Lee, R J Williams, D R Nisbet, “Peptide Programmed Hydrogels as Safe Sanctuary Microenvironments for Cell Transplantation” Advanced Functional Materials (2019) link (*Equal contribution) 

48. F. M. Ayyalil, S. J. Montague, S. Hicks, A. Kaur, A. Jahangiri, N. Pati, P. Crispin, Y. Zheng, X. Tienan, L. Coupland, W. M. Lee, J. D'Rozario, and E. E. Gardiner, "Platelet Function in Paroxysmal Nocturnal Haemoglobinuria" Blood 134, 4884-4884 (2019). link

47. M Lui, E. E. Gardiner, J.F. Arthur, I Pinar, W M Lee, K Ryan, J Carberry, Robert K. Andrews “Thrombus Formation in Shear Gradients: Influence of Shear Forces and Human Platelet-Related Factors” Int. J. Mol. Sci. 20(12), 2967 (2019) link

46. X.F.He, SJ Montague, Xu Tao, EE Gardiner, WM Lee†, "Quantifying embolism: label free volumetric mapping of thrombus structure and kinesis in a microfluidic system with optical holography" Advanced Biosystems 1800089 (2018) link pdf

45. W.M.Lee†, T J McMenamin, Y X Li "Optical toolkits for in vivo deep  tissue laser scanning microscopy: a primer", Journal of Optics 20 (6), 063002 (2018) pdf , link

44. Y X Li, S.J. Montague, A Brüstle, X.F. He, C. Gillespie, K Gaus, E.E. Gardiner, W.M.Lee† “High   contrast   imaging   and   flexible   photomanipulation  for  quantitative in  vivo multiphoton imaging  with polygon  scanning microscope” Journal of Biophotonics  11 (7), e201700341 (2018) link pdf

43. T. Kamal, L. Yang, W. M. Lee† "In situ retrieval and correction of aberrations in moldless lenses using Fourier Ptychography ", Optics Express 26 2708 -2719 (2018) link

42. S. J. Montague, C Delierneux, C Lecut, N Layios, R J. Dinsdale, C  Lee, N S. Poulter, R K. Andrews, P Hampson,  C M. Wearn, N Maes, J Bishop, A Bamford, C Gardiner, W.M. Lee, T Iqbal, N Moiemen, S. P. Watson, C Oury, P Harrison, E. E. Gardiner, "Soluble GPVI is elevated in injured patients: shedding is mediated by fibrin activation of GPVI ", Blood Advances 2 240 (2018) link

41. Qi Fang, A Curatolo, P Wijesinghe, J Hamzah, P Noble, K Karonwski, D D.Sampson, R Ganss, J K Kim, W. M. Lee, B Kennedy, “Ultrahigh resolution optical coherence elastography through a micro-endoscope: towards in vivo imaging of cellular-scale mechanics” Biomedical Optics Express 8 5127 (2017) link  OSA Spotlight

40. R. Fleddermann*, W. M. Lee *†, K Huang, G. Campbell , P. K. Lam , J. H. Chow, "Compact flexible multi-pass rotary delay line using spinning micromachine mirror" 7 9299 Scientific Reports (2017) link * Equal contribution

39. J Choy, S Sane, W M Lee, C Stricker, H Bachor, V Daria, “Improving focal photostimulation of cortical neurons with pre-derived wavefront correction” Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience 11 105 (2017) link

38. Y X Li * , V Gautam, A Brustle, I A Cockburn, V R Daria, C Gillespie, K Gaus, C Alt, and W M Lee †* “Flexible polygon-mirror based laser scanning microscope platform for multiphoton in-vivo imaging” 10 1526 Journal of Biophotonics (2017) 10.1002/jbio.201600289 (pdfMedia 

* Equal contribution

37. T Kamal, R Watkins, Z Cen, J Rubinstein, G  Kong and W.M.Lee† “Design and fabrication of a passive droplet dispenser for portable high resolution imaging system” Scientific Reports 7 41482 (2017) link

36. X F He, C V Nguyen, M Pratap, Y J Zheng, Y Wang, D. R. Nisbet, R J Williams, M Rug, A G. Maier, W M Lee† "Automated Fourier space recognition filtering for off-axis digital holographic microscopy", Biomed. Opt. Express 7(8), 3111-3123 (2016) link

35. W Zhu*, N Eckerskorn, A Upadhya , L Li, A V. Rode† and W M Lee*† "Dynamic axial control over optically levitating particles in air with an electrically-tunable variable-focus lens" Biomedical Optics Express 7(7), 2902-2911 (2016) link, Media * Equal contribution

34. W.M. Lee †, “Miniature Droplet Lenses for mobile microscopy”, SPIE Newsroom 10.1117/2.1201505.005972 (2015) link

33. T Kamal, X F He, W.M Lee †, "Reinventing Pocket Microscopy",InFocus (Proceedings of the Royal Microscopical Society) 37, 41- 43 (2015) pdf,link

32. M Choi, W.M. Lee, S H Yun, “Intravital Microscopic Interrogation of Peripheral Taste Sensation”, Scientific Reports 5 8661 (2015) link      , Media

31. W.M. Lee †, “Frugal microscopy: Inspiring tomorrow’s interdisciplinary scientist “ InFocus (Proceedings of the Royal Microscopical Society) 36, 24-25 (2014) Letter to Editor pdf


30. W.M. Lee †, A. Upadhya, P.J. Reece, T G Phan, "Fabricating Low Cost and High Performance Elastomer Lenses using Hanging Droplets", Biomedical Optics Express 5 1626-1635 (2014)  linkmedia

29. L Li, W.M.Lee †, X.S Xie, W.Z Krolikowski, A.V. Rode, J Y Zhou, "Shaping Self-imaging Bottle Beams with Modified Quasi-Bessel Beams", Opt. Lett. 39, 2278-2281 (2014). pdf

28. Niko Eckerskorn, Li Li, Richard A. Kirian, Jochen Küpper, Daniel P. DePonte, Wieslaw Krolikowski, W. M. Lee, Henry N. Chapman, and Andrei V. Rode, "Hollow Bessel-like beam as an optical guide for a stream of microscopic particles," Opt. Express 21, 30492-30499 (2013) link

27.F Wang, W Toe, W.M Lee et al “Resolving Stable Axial Trapping Points of Nanowires in an Optical Tweezers Using Photoluminescence  Mapping" Nanoletters 13 1185-1191 (2013) pdf

26. Akiyoshi, T., W. M. Lee, et al. "In Vivo Two Photon Microscopy of Aortic Allografts: A New Tool for Investigation of the Dynamics of Graft Vascular Rejection." American Journal of Transplantation 12: 466-466. (2012).

25. J K Kim*,   W.M Lee* et al, In vivo cellular imaging of internal organs in small animals with GRIN fluorescence endomicroscopy: from fabrication to imaging” Nature Protocols  7 1456-1469(2012) *Cover Article * Equal contribution pdf

24. W. M. Lee, S H Yun "Adaptive aberration correction of GRIN lenses for confocal laser scanning micro-endoscopy," Optics letters 36, 4608 (2011).  * Reported in Virtual Journal of Bio pdf

23. Y. Arita, M. L. Torres-Mapa, W. M. Lee, T.Cizmar, P. Campbell, F. J. Gunn-Moore, and K. Dholakia, "Spatially optimized gene transfection by laser-induced breakdown of optically trapped nanoparticles," Applied Physics Letters 98, 093702 (2011). pdf

22. J. C. Shane, M. Mazilu, W. M. Lee, and K. Dholakia, "Effect of pulse temporal shape on optical trapping and impulse transfer using ultrashort pulsed lasers," Optics Express 18, 7554-7568 (2010). link

21. P. Mthunzi, W. M. Lee, A. C. Riches, C. T. A. Brown, F. J. Gunn-Moore, and K. Dholakia, "Intracellular dielectric tagging for improved optical manipulation of mammalian cells," Selected Topics in Quantum Electronics, IEEE Journal of 16, 608-618 (2010). pdf

20. T. H. Chow, W. M. Lee †, K. M. Tan, B. K. Ng, and C. J. R. Sheppard, "Resolving interparticle position and optical forces along the axial direction using optical coherence gating," Applied Physics Letters 97, 231113 (2010) pdf

19. K. M. Tan, M. Mazilu, T. H. Chow, W. M. Lee, K. Taguchi, B. K. Ng, W. Sibbett, C. S. Herrington, C. T. A. Brown, and K. Dholakia, "In-fiber common-path optical coherence tomography using a conical-tip fiber," Optics Express 17, 2375-2384 (2009). * Reported in Virtual Journal of Bio, Covered by OCT News link

18. W. M. Lee †, R. El-Ganainy, D. N. Christodoulides, K. Dholakia, and E. M. Wright, "Nonlinear optical response of colloidal suspensions," Optics Express 17, 10277-10289 (2009). pdf

17. R. El-Ganainy, D. N. Christodoulides, E. M. Wright, W. M. Lee, and K. Dholakia, "Nonlinear optical dynamics in non-ideal gases of interacting colloidal nanoparticles," Physical Review A 80, 053805 (2009). pdf

16. J. L. Hernandez-Pozos, W. M. Lee, L. I. Vera-Robles, A. Campero, and K. Dholakia, "Controlled three-dimensional manipulation of vanadium oxide nanotubes with optical tweezers," Applied Physics Letters 93, 243107 (2008).​ pdf

15. W. M. Lee, P. J. Reece, R. F. Marchington, N. K. Metzger, and K. Dholakia, "Construction and calibration of an optical trap on a fluorescence optical microscope," Nature Protocols 2, 3226-3238 (2007). pdf

14. W. M. Lee, and K. Dholakia, "Optically trapped and controlled microapertures for studies of spatial coherence in an arbitrary light field," Applied physics letters 90, 261101 (2007).pdf


13. K. Dholakia, W. M. Lee, L. Paterson, M. P. MacDonald, R. McDonald, I. Andreev, P. Mthunzi, C. T. A. Brown, R. F. Marchington, and A. C. Riches, "Optical separation of cells on potential energy landscapes: Enhancement with dielectric tagging," Selected Topics in Quantum Electronics, IEEE Journal of 13, 1646-1654 (2007).pdf


12. W. M. Lee, V. Garcas -Chavez, and K. Dholakia, "Interference from multiple trapped colloids in an optical vortex beam," Optics Express 14, 7436-7446 (2006).link

11. X. Yuan, B. P. S. Ahluwalia, W. C. Cheong, L. S. Zhang, W. M. Lee, K. J. Moh, J. Lin, and S. H. Tao, "High efficient micro-optical elements for optical vortices in optical manipulation," OPN,  (2005). link

10. K. J. Moh, W. M. Lee, W. C. Cheong, and X. C. Yuan, "Multiple optical line traps using a single phase-only rectangular ridge," Applied Physics B: Lasers and Optics 80, 973-976 (2005).pdf

9. W. M. Lee, B. P. S. Ahluwalia, X. C. Yuan, W. C. Cheong, and K. Dholakia, "Optical steering of high and low index microparticles by manipulating an off-axis optical vortex," Journal of Optics A: Pure and Applied Optics 7, 1 (2005). pdf

8. S. H. Tao, W. M. Lee, and X. Yuan, "Experimental study of holographic generation of fractional Bessel beams," Applied optics 43, 122-126 (2004).pdf

7. W. M. Lee†, X. C. Yuan, and K. Dholakia, "Experimental observation of optical vortex evolution in a Gaussian beam with an embedded fractional phase step," Optics communications 239, 129-135 (2004).pdf

6. W. M. Lee, X. C. Yuan, and W. C. Cheong, "Optical vortex beam shaping by use of highly efficient irregular spiral phase plates for optical micromanipulation," Optics letters 29, 1796-1798 (2004).pdf

5. W. M. Lee, and X. C. Yuan, "Experimental observation of'pure helical phase'interference using moire fringes generated from holograms with dislocations," Journal of Optics A: Pure and Applied Optics 6, 482 (2004). pdf

4. W. C. Cheong, W. M. Lee, X. C. Yuan, L. S. Zhang, K. Dholakia, and H. Wang, "Direct electron-beam writing of continuous spiral phase plates in negative resist with high power efficiency for optical manipulation," Applied physics letters 85, 5784 (2004).*Photonics Spectra pdf

3. S. H. Tao, W. M. Lee, and X. C. Yuan, "Dynamic optical manipulation with a higher-order fractional Bessel beam generated from a spatial light modulator," Optics letters 28, 1867-1869 (2003). pdf

2. W. M. Lee, and X. C. Yuan, "Observation of three-dimensional optical stacking of microparticles using a single Laguerre Gaussian beam," Applied physics letters 83, 5124-5126 (2003).pdf

1. W. M. Lee, X. Yuan, and D. Tang, "Optical tweezers with multiple optical forces using double-hologram interference," Optics Express 11, 199-207 (2003). * Issue Cover * Photonics Spectra​ link



Dr Daniel Lim »

Research Fellow

Mr Yuanqing Ma »

Campus Visitor

Mr Avinash Upadhya »

PhD Student

Mr Tao Xu »

Lab Technician

Tienan Xu »

PhD Candidate

Zhiduo Zhang »

Honours Student

Ms Yujie Zheng »

PhD student



ENGN3000 series courses
Code Title Year 20.. Semester
ENGN3230 Engineering Innovation 18, 19, 20 S2
ENGN3820 Biomedical Imaging 18, 19, 20 S1

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