Ulas Sunar, Ph.D.

12/2006, Ph.D. in Physics& Astronomy , Dept of Physics and Astronomy, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA.

06/1998, M.S. in Physics , Dept of Physics, Middle East Technical University (METU), Ankara, Turkey.

06/1995, B.S. in Physics , Dept of Physics, METU, Ankara, Turkey.

Dr. Sunar is a SUNY Empire Innovation Associate Professor in the Dept. of Biomedical Engineering at Stony Brook University-SUNY. He held the Ohio Research Scholar, Endowed Chair in Medical Imaging positions at Wright State University before joining to Stony Brook. He earned his Ph.D. degree in the Dept of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia in the research area of diffuse optical imaging. During his Ph.D. at University of Pennsylvania, Dr. Sunar worked with Dr. Arjun G. Yodh and Dr. Britton Chance among the leading experts in diffuse optical imaging and functional near infrared spectroscopy.


Dharminder Singh

Ph.D. Student

A nice email from a previous student:

Dear Dr. Sunar,
I'm writing to communicate some good news: after 5 years of hard work, I recently defended my PhD at Harvard (thesis title: Materials Informatics for Catalyst Stability and Functionality, mostly about computer simulations of the quantum physics of clean-energy relevant materials) and formally graduated on Thursday. Next up for me: I am leaving behind 'sunny' Cambridge, MA to move to the San Francisco bay area to work at Toyota Research Institute as a research scientist working on clean energy related materials and computational materials science, and I'm planning to move out there in August.
I wanted to share my gratitude for the role that you played for me in my journey-- my time at Roswell Park Cancer Institute 10 years ago (!!!) now was my very first scientific research experience. Despite the fact my academic record was not perfect, the fact that you took a chance on me (seeing me mention Richard Feynman in my application essay, and thinking: "Feynman? This is the guy!!") made all the difference in the world for my scientific and personal journey. I cannot overstate the domino effect that followed from the summer in your lab!!

Because I had my experience at Roswell Park, and because my project on photodynamic therapy phantoms drew upon the work at the University of Rochester, that institution ended up on my radar-- I had never heard of it before! I mentioned to my mom that it seemed like a good school, and in fact, on the very last day of the internship in August 2011, my mom and I got in the car and while driving home stopped in at the University of Rochester-- where I told them about my summer doing optics research, fresh off of the experience (and with so much practice giving the elevator pitch, given that we had the poster session just the previous day!). I was able to get a generous full-ride merit scholarship to study at the University of Rochester on the basis of that interview -- I was explicitly told as much-- and with the freedom that the scholarship afforded, I was able to make the most of my time there and eventually go to Harvard.
Dr. Sunar, thank you so much for taking that chance on me. I have accordingly honored and thanked you in the acknowledgements section of my PhD thesis.  
The part of the acknowledgements in particular are herewith:

Past Researchers / Students

Chien Poon, Ph.D. (2015-2022)

Ben Rinehart, Ph.D. (2017-2022)

Andrea Gomez, M.S. (2019-2021)
Alex Bergen, B.S. (2019-2020)
Aytac Demirkiran, Ph.D., Postdoc (2018-2020)
Tamer Abdelrahim, Ph.D., Postdoc (2018-2020)
Hemal Dave, M.S. (2018-2020)
Alec Petrac, M.S. (2018-2020)
Emma Buck, MS (2019-2020)
Chris Davies, M.S., WSU (2018-19)
Dan Rohrbach, Ph.D., Research Scientist, (2014-2018)
Jun Li, PhD., Postdoc (2016-2018).
Jeremy Kress, M.S., Research Scientist, (2014-18)
Ernest Mitchel, B.S., WSU (2017-18)
Remona Heenkenda, M.S., WSU (2016-18)
Aaron Madaris, M.S., WSU (2016-2017)
Syed Anwar Hyder Zaidi, M.S., WSU (2015-2017)
Zahra Meghjani, M.S., WSU (2015-2017)
John Armstrong, B.S., SUNY-Buffalo (2015)
Hathaitorn Rojnirun, B.S., SUNY-Buffalo (2014)
Robert Simion, Ph.D. (2013-14)
Mehmet Aksahin, Ph.D. (2013)
Dan Rohrbach, Ph.D. Student (2009-2014)
Hakeem Salem, City Honor High School (2012-14)
Andrew Kowalczewski, B.S. Physics (2012)
Jennifer Walker, B.S., Buffalo State College (2012)
Ruby Goldberg, New York City High School (2012)
Matthew Jehrio, Williamsville High School (2012)
Robert Stricko III, Williamsville High School (2012)
Sangheon Park, M.S., Physics, SUNY-Buffalo (2012)
Weirong Mo, Ph.D.,Postdoc (2009-2011)
Steven Torrisi,Summer Student (2011)
Ed Hu, Summer Student (2011)
Alyssia Brown, M.S.,Summer Student (2011)
Scott Galas, M.S.,SUNY-Buffalo (2011)
Theresa Sands, M.S., RPCI-Dermatology (2011)
Cem Turgut, M.S., Visiting Scholar, Bilkent Univ, Turkey (2010)
Intae Lee, Ph.D.,Research Scientist, U.Minnesota (2010)
Zhiqiang Xu, Ph.D., Postdoc, Ecole Polytech, Montreal, (2009)
Dan Muffaletto, M.S., SUNY-Buffalo (2009)
Chris Mahrer, M.S., U.Rochester, (2009)
Gretchen Bauer, U.Rochester, (2009)