Scott Fraser, PhD

EIT Visiting Member
Provost Professor
Elizabeth Garret Chair of Convergent Biosciences
Professor of Pediatrics
Professor of Stem Cell Biology & Regenerative Medicine
Translational Imaging Center, Director
Translational BioImaging Laboratory, Co-Director

Science Initiatives, Director

Dr. Scott Fraser is an EIT Visiting Member and an American biophysicist and Provost Professor of Biological Sciences and Biomedical Engineering at the University of Southern California (USC). He is also the Elizabeth Garrett Chair in Convergent Bioscience and Director of Science Initiatives, where he is helping to launch USC’s Initiative in Convergent Bioscience. In addition, he holds joint appointments in the Departments of Physiology and Biophysics, Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine, Pediatrics, Radiology, and Ophthalmology.

Dr. Fraser and his colleagues are known for their development of light and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) microscopy techniques for imaging the dynamics of embryonic development. More recently his research team has taken these imaging techniques into disease models and clinical medicine, in areas ranging from eye disease to cancer.

Dr. Fraser began his scientific career studying Physics (B.S. with honors, Harvey Mudd College, 1976) and Biophysics (Ph.D. with distinction, Johns Hopkins University, 1979) before joining the faculty at the University of California, Irvine in 1980, where he eventually become Chairman of the Department of Physiology and Biophysics. In 1990, Dr. Fraser moved to the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) to serve as the Anna L. Rosen Professor of Biology, Professor of Engineering and Applied Science, and the Director of the Biological Imaging Center at the Beckman Institute. He was also the Founding Director of the Caltech Brain Imaging Center from 2002 to 2008, a founding member of the Kavli Nanoscience Institute, and served as the Director of the Rosen Center for Biological Engineering from 2008 to 2012.

In the fall of 2012, Dr. Fraser moved to USC to take a Provost Professorship in the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences, the Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, Keck School of Medicine, and the Viterbi School of Engineering. Dr. Fraser has published more than 200 peer-reviewed scientific papers. He has received 63 U.S. patents for inventions in biological imaging, chemistry, and nanotechnology.

He is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the European Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering. He was recently nominated to the National Academy of Inventors, the highest professional distinction accorded to academic inventors. Throughout his career, he has served as an advisor to several different corporations, organizations, and foundations, and has launched several startup companies, such as Clinical Micro Sensors and Varocto Inc.

Research Focus

Stem Cells
Regenerative Medicine
Translational Imaging



Physics (Honors)- Harvey Mudd College, 1976


Biophysics (Distinction)- Johns Hopkins University, 1979


  • Distinguished Alumnus, Harvey Mudd 2016
  • Fellow, National Academy of Inventors 2015
  • Fellow, American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineers, 2015
  • SPIE Systems Biology Pioneer Award 2014
  • Fellow, American Academy of Arts and Science
  • Fellow of the European Academy of Science
  • NASA Space Act Award, 2003, 2008
  • R&D 100 Prize, 2002
  • Lowry Lecture – Washington University, 2002
  • Sutin Lecture – Emory, 2002
  • Forbes Lecture, 1999, MBL, Woods Hole
  • Graduate Student Mentoring Prize, 1998
  • Chipperfield Lecture, 1997, 2007, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Marcus Singer Medal, 1995
  • Fellow, American Assoc for the Adv of Science
  • McKnight Scholar Award, 1984–87
  • Kaiser-Permanente Award,  Best Medical School Teaching, UC Irvine, 1983
  • Silver Beaker Award, Best Medical School Faculty Member, UC Irvine, 1983
  • Doctorate in Biophysics with Distinction, Johns Hopkins University
  • Brown Award, Best Physics Research at Harvey Mudd College, 1976
  • Bachelor’s Degree in Physics with Honors at Harvey Mudd College


  • Trustee, Harvey Mudd College, (2003-2009; 2019-present)
  • Co-Director Bridge Institute (2019 -present)
  • Luxendo – Scientific Advisory Board (2018 – present)
  • SeqOnce – Scientific Advisory Board (2016 – present)
  • External Advisory Board, Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine (2016-)
  • Scientific Advisory Board, CISMM, UNC (2016-present)
  • Member, Laser Safety Committee (2015 -present )
  • Spectral Platforms – Board of Directors (2014 – present)
  • Verrix – Science Advisory Board (2013 – present)
  • Executive Committee, USC CIRM (2013 -present )
  • Editorial Board, Development (2013-present)
  • Director, Translational Imaging Center, Dornsife (2012 -present)
  • Co-Director, Translational Biomedical Imaging Center, CHLA (2012 – present)
  • External Advisory Board, National X-ray Microscope Facility, Lawrence Berkeley, (2011-present)
  • X/Seed – Science Advisory Board (2006 – present)

Recent Publications

Messina A, Potrich D, Schiona I, Sovrano VA, Fraser SE, Brennan CH, Vallortigara G. Response to change in the number of visual stimuli in zebrafish: A behavioural and molecular study. Sci Rep. 2020 Apr 01; 10(1):5769. PMID: 32238844.

Truong TV, Holland DB, Madaan S, Andreev A, Keomanee-Dizon K, Troll JV, Koo DES, McFall-Ngai MJ, Fraser SE. High-contrast, synchronous volumetric imaging with selective volume illumination microscopy. Commun Biol. 2020 Feb 14; 3(1):74. PMID: 32060411.

Shi W, Koo DES, Kitano M, Chiang HJ, Trinh LA, Turcatel G, Steventon B, Arnesano C, Warburton D, Fraser SE, Cutrale F. Pre-processing visualization of hyperspectral fluorescent data with Spectrally Encoded Enhanced Representations. Nat Commun. 2020 02 05; 11(1):726. PMID: 32024828.

Simões FC, Cahill TJ, Kenyon A, Gavriouchkina D, Vieira JM, Sun X, Pezzolla D, Ravaud C, Masmanian E, Weinberger M, Mayes S, Lemieux ME, Barnette DN, Gunadasa-Rohling M, Williams RM, Greaves DR, Trinh LA, Fraser SE, Dallas SL, Choudhury RP, Sauka-Spengler T, Riley PR. Macrophages directly contribute collagen to scar formation during zebrafish heart regeneration and mouse heart repair. Nat Commun. 2020 01 30; 11(1):600. PMID: 32001677.

Zhou H, Nguyen L, Arnesano C, Ando Y, Raval M, Rodgers JT, Fraser S, Lu R, Shen K. Non-invasive Optical Biomarkers Distinguish and Track the Metabolic Status of Single Hematopoietic Stem Cells. iScience. 2020 Feb 21; 23(2):100831. PMID: 31982780.

Delfarah A, Parrish S, Junge JA, Yang J, Seo F, Li S, Mac J, Wang P, Fraser SE, Graham NA. Inhibition of nucleotide synthesis promotes replicative senescence of human mammary epithelial cells. J Biol Chem. 2019 07 05; 294(27):10564-10578. PMID: 31138644.

Cutrale F, Rodriguez D, Hortigüela V, Chiu CL, Otterstrom J, Mieruszynski S, Seriola A, Larrañaga E, Raya A, Lakadamyali M, Fraser SE, Martinez E, Ojosnegros S. Using enhanced number and brightness to measure protein oligomerization dynamics in live cells. Nat Protoc. 2019 02; 14(2):616-638. PMID: 30675035.

Rajagopal A, Yurk D, Shin C, Menge K, Jacky L, Fraser S, Tombrello TA, Tsongalis GJ. Significant Expansion of Real-Time PCR Multiplexing with Traditional Chemistries using Amplitude Modulation. Sci Rep. 2019 01 31; 9(1):1053. PMID: 30705333.

Li Y, Junge JA, Arnesano C, Gross GG, Miner JH, Moats R, Roberts RW, Arnold DB, Fraser SE. Discs large 1 controls daughter-cell polarity after cytokinesis in vertebrate morphogenesis. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2018 11 13; 115(46):E10859-E10868. PMID: 30377270.

Wang P, Turcatel G, Arnesano C, Warburton D, Fraser SE, Cutrale F. Fiber pattern removal and image reconstruction method for snapshot mosaic hyperspectral endoscopic images. Biomed Opt Express. 2018 Feb 01; 9(2):780-790. PMID: 29552412.