PhD, Vanderbilt University, 2017
BS, University of Missouri, 2010


Developing optical spectroscopy and imaging tools to solve global problems in maternal-fetal health and reproductive diseases


Professor O'Brien is passionate about developing translational optical technologies that can improve women's health care. The O'Brien lab will develop optical tools that tackle important challenges spanning maternal health, reproductive cancers, and women's global health, using optical spectroscopy, optical imaging and simulation techniques that can be translated to impact patient care.


Professor O'Brien will join the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Washington University in St. Louis in July 2022. She is an instructor of radiology at Washington University in St. Louis where she is developing novel optical diagnostics for in vivo cancer detection and tumor margin determination. Her dissertation focused on the development of optical spectroscopy tools for investigating biochemical changes in cervix tissue throughout pregnancy in animal models and patients. She was recently awarded a K99/R00 grant from the NIH to develop novel wearable sensors that will provide an early alert of postpartum hemorrhage, the leading global cause of maternal mortality.