Michael Hamblin is a Principal Investigator at the Wellman Center for Photomedicine at Massachusetts General Hospital, an Associate Professor of Dermatology at Harvard Medical School and a member of the Affiliated Faculty of Harvard-MIT Division of Health Science and Technology. He was trained as a synthetic organic chemist and received his PhD from Trent University in England. He joined Wellman Labs in 1994. He worked initially in targeted photodynamic therapy (PDT) and prepared and studied conjugates between photosensitizers and antibodies or targeted proteins and polymers of varying charge.
His research interests are now broadly in the area of phototherapy for multiple diseases. One focus is the study of new photosensitizers for infections, cancer, and heart disease. A specialty of the Hamblin lab is the development of new animal models for testing PDT approaches. The study of how PDT can activate the host immune system to attack advanced cancer is a new direction in the Hamblin lab. A second focus is low-level light therapy (LLLT) or photobiomodulation for wound healing, arthritis, traumatic brain injury, psychiatric disorders, and hair regrowth.
Dr. Hamblin has published over 289 peer-reviewed articles, over 150 conference proceedings, book chapters and international abstracts, and he holds eight patents. He has edited the most recent and comprehensive textbook on PDT entitled "Advances in Photodynamic Therapy: Basic, Translational and Clinical". He also co-edited a book entitled "Photodynamic Inactivation of Microbial Pathogens: Medical and Environmental Applications", an authoritative and comprehensive textbook entitled "Handbook of Photomedicine" with 70 chapters and 800 pages, a textbook entitled "Applications of Nanoscience in Photomedicine" and another comprehensive handbook called "Handbook of Low Level Laser (Light) Therapy" is in press. Four other textbooks are in progress.
Industry Expertise (2)
Areas of Expertise (5)
Heriot-Watt University: Post Doc, Biosynthesis 1981
New University of Ulster: Post Doc, Biosynthesis 1979
Trent Polytechnic: Ph.D., Organic Chemistry 1977
Kent University: M.Sc., Enzyme Chemistry 1972
Exeter University: B.Sc., Chemistry 1970
- Photochemistry and Photobiology (Journal) : Associate Editor
- CIMIT Center : Principal Investigator
- Photodynamic Therapy and Photodiagnosis (Journal) : Associate Editor
- Massachusetts General Hospital : Associate Professor
- Harvard Medical School : Associate Professor
Media Appearances (4)
LED Light Therapy Could Radically Change Our Treatment of Brain Disease
Michael Hamblin is a professor of dermatology at the Harvard Medical School and a principal investigator at the Wellman Center for Photomedicine at Massachusetts General Hospital. He co-authored a recent study in which dementia patients with serious cognitive deficits experienced swift improvement after just 12 weeks with the VieLight Neuro, an LED headset that shines pulsed near-infrared light on five targeted areas of the brain...
If I Sleep Like Tom Brady, Will I Be Like Tom Brady?
The Boston Globe
Infrared clothing, it turns out, has been around for years, though it’s never managed to gain much mainstream traction. As Michael Hamblin, principal investigator at the Wellman Center for Photomedicine at Massachusetts General Hospital, explained, it works like this: Heat emitted from the body is absorbed into special bioceramic particles located in a clothing pattern, and then sent back to the body in the form of Far Infrared, a form of electromagnetic radiation...
Under Armour Wants You to Buy Tom Brady's Pajamas
The technology behind UA's sleep gear has been shown to work in other contexts. Some saunas, for example, emit far infrared energy and one 2009 study showed that rheumatoid arthritis patients reported decreases in pain and stiffness during infrared sauna treatment. Michael Hamblin, principal investigator at the Wellman Center for Photomedicine at Massachusetts General Hospital, and an associate professor at Harvard Medical School, says that it's reasonable to expect a garment emitting far infrared energy to help sleep. While no literature directly links far infrared exposure to sleep performance, anecdotal evidence, says Hamblin, supports Under Armour's contention. The science has shown that far infrared energy does indeed improve long-term pain, help blood flow, and improve muscle recovery. "People who use far infrared can expect various benefits," says Hamblin. "And better sleep is almost certainly one of them."...
Hot-wired for Happiness?
The Washington Post online
Michael Hamblin, a principal investigator at Massachusetts General’s Wellman Center for Photomedicine, says he is “totally convinced” by Cassano’s approach. “Anything that is worn out, gotten old, you can stimulate tissue repair, improve function with light. The brain seems to respond well to near-infrared light. . . . It’s like shining a flashlight on someone, so why not treat patients?”...
Photoactivation of Endogenous Latent Transforming Growth Factor–β1 Directs Dental Stem Cell Differentiation for RegenerationScience translational medicine
2014 Rapid advancements in the field of stem cell biology have led to many current efforts to exploit stem cells as therapeutic agents in regenerative medicine. However, current ex vivo cell manipulations common to most regenerative approaches create a variety of ...
Photochemical activation of TRPA1 channels in neurons and animalsNature chemical biology
2013 Optogenetics is a powerful research tool because it enables high-resolution optical control of neuronal activity. However, current optogenetic approaches are limited to transgenic systems expressing microbial opsins and other exogenous photoreceptors. Here, we ...
Blue light rescues mice from potentially fatal Pseudomonas aeruginosa burn infection: efficacy, safety, and mechanism of actionAntimicrobial agents and chemotherapy
2013 Blue light has attracted increasing attention due to its intrinsic antimicrobial effect without the addition of exogenous photosensitizers. However, the use of blue light for wound infections has not been established yet. In this study, we demonstrated the efficacy ...
The nuts and bolts of low-level laser (light) therapyAnnals of biomedical engineering
2012 Soon after the discovery of lasers in the 1960s it was realized that laser therapy had the potential to improve wound healing and reduce pain, inflammation and swelling. In recent years the field sometimes known as photobiomodulation has broadened to include ...
Blue light for infectious diseases: Propionibacterium acnes, Helicobacter pylori, and beyond?Drug Resistance Updates
2012 Blue light, particularly in the wavelength range of 405–470nm, has attracted increasing attention due to its intrinsic antimicrobial effect without the addition of exogenous photosensitizers. In addition, it is commonly accepted that blue light is much less ...