Academic Rank:
Clinical Associate Professor, UBC
Head, Integrative Oncology Department
Short Bio:

Current Appointments:

  • Head – Integrative Oncology Department
  • Distinguished Scientist – Imaging Unit, Integrative Oncology Department
  • Clinical Associate Professor – Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, University of British Columbia


Dr. Calum MacAulay, PhD serves as Head, Cancer Imaging Department, B.C. Cancer Research Centre, BCAA. Dr. MacAulay serves as Advising CSO of LED Dental, Inc. Dr. MacAulay is a Clinical Associate Professor in the Department of Pathology and an Associate Member of the Physics Department at the University of British Columbia. Dr. MacAulay works on the quantitative imaging of early cancers at both the macroscopic and microscopic level using light and its interaction with tissue. He serves as Member of Scientific Advisory Board at Remicalm, LLC. His research interests include reflectance and fluorescence spectroscopy and other techniques of optical imaging in the diagnosis of pre-cancers and cancers, as well as the development of computer-assisted image cytometry for the reading of cellular and tissue specimens. His projects have focused on reducing the mortality of lung cancer through early detection using quantitative automated sputum analysis, light induced fluorescence endoscopy for detection and localization within the bronchial tree, quantitative analysis of biopsy tissue and chemoprevention. In addition to Dr. MacAulay’s academic appointments, he is also a member of numerous scholarly societies, organizations and editorial boards. He is an inventor and/or co-inventor in 18 granted patents and 35 pending patents with numerous provisional patents recently filed. Dr. MacAulay is responsible for over 200 peer-reviewed publications and 13 book chapters. He has played an integral role in a team effort to establish the genetic damage involved in the development of early lung cancer. It is, in part, his strong desire to see the results of research in clinical use that has led to the successful transfer of technology into four spin-off companies. He has been awarded i) The B.C. Lung Association Scholar (1990-1995), ii) The Friesen-Rygiel Prize for outstanding Canadian academic discovery leading to uniquely positioned commercialization opportunities (1999), and iii) The Young Innovator Award, B.C. Science and Technology Award, Science Council of B.C.(1999). Dr. MacAulay’s research continues to be focused on the early detection of cancer of the lung, cervix and breast. Dr. MacAulay received his Ph.D in 1989 from the University of British Columbia in Physics, and his M.Sc. in 1985 from Dalhousie University in Physics, and an Engineering Physics B.Sc. in 1982 from Dalhousie.

Academic background

  • PhD (Physics), University of British Columbia. 1989
  • MSc (Physics), Dalhousie University. 1984
  • BSc (Eng.Phys.), Dalhousie University. 1982


  • Pahlevaninezhad H, Lee AMD, Shaipanich T, Raizada R, Cahill L, Hohert G, Yang VXD, Lam S, MacAulay C, Lane PM. A high-efficiency fiber-based imaging system for co-registered autofluorescence-optical coherence tomography (AF-OCT). Biomedical Optics Express. 2014 Aug 6. Vol. 5, Iss. 9, pp. 2978–2987.
  • MacLellan SA, MacAulay C, Lam S, Garnis C. Pre-profiling factors influencing serum microRNA levels. BMC Clin Pathol. 2014 Jun 21;14:27.
  • Lee AM, Kirby M, Ohtani K, CAndido T, Shalansky R, MacAulay C, English K, Finley R, Lam S, Coxson HO, Lane P. Validation of Airpway Wall Measurements by Optical Coherence Tomography in Porcine Airways. PLoS One. 2014 Jun 20; 9(6):e100145.
  • Lee AM, Pahlevaninezhad H, Yang VX, Lam S, MacAulay C, Lane P. Fiber-optic polarization diversity detection for rotary probe optical coherence tomography. Opt Lett. 2014 Jun 15;39(12):3638-41.
  • Baik J, Ye Q, Zhang L, Poh C, Rosin M, MacAulay C, Guillaud M. Automated classification of oral premalignant lesions using image cytometry and Random Forests-based algorithms. Cell Oncol (Dordr). 2014 Jun;37(3):193-202.
  • Wang L, Lee JS, Lane P, Atkinson EN, Zuluaga A, Follen M, MacAulay C, Cox DD. A statistical model for removing inter-device differences in spectroscopy. Opt Express. 2014 Apr 7;22(7):7617-24. doi: 10.1364/OE.22.007617.
  • Pahlevaninezhad H, Lee AM, Lam S, MacAulay C, Lane PM. Coregistered autofluorescence-optical coherence tomography imaging of human lung sections. J Biomed Opt. 2014 Mar;19(3):36022. doi: 10.1117/1.JBO.19.3.036022.
  • Arifler D, MacAaulay C, Follen M, Guillaud M. Numerical investigation of two-dimensional light scattering patterns of cervical cell nuclei to map dysplastic changes at different epithelial depths. Biomed Opt Express. 2014 Jan 15;5(2):485-98. doi: 10.1364/BOE.5.000485.
  • Li G, van Niekerk D, Miller D, Ehlen T, Garnis C, Follen M, Guillaud M, Macaulay C. Molecular fixative enables expression microarray analysis of microdissected clinical cervical specimens. Exp Mol Pathol. 2014 Jan 8. pii: S0014-4800(13)00153-6. doi: 10.1016/j.yexmp.2013.12.007. [Epub ahead of print].
  • Laronde DM, Williams PM, Hislop TG, Poh C, Ng S, Bajdik C, Zhang L, Macaulay C, Rosin MP. Influence of fluorescence on screening decisions for oral mucosal lesions in community dental practices. J Oral Pathol Med. J Oral Pathol Med. 2014 Jan;43(1):7-13. doi: 10.1111/jop.12090.
Primary Research Area
Molecular Pathology & Cell Biology
Secondary Research Area
Biomedical optics

Research Interest

  • Automated image analysis of cell preparations
  • In vivo tissue imaging
  • Quantitative microscopy with digital micromirror devices
  • Lung cancer chemoprevention
  • Bioinformatics

Research Interests:

My research focuses on the research and development of new means for the detection, grading, and treatment of early, non-invasive cancer and to see these means used clinically. It has long been, recognized that all cancer can be successfully treated at an early stage, including cancer of the lung, breast, cervix, colon and prostate. Towards this goal the multi-disciplinary in which I participate have developed several new devices employing solid state sensors and advanced light sources coupled with computer technology. These devices make previously invisible early cancers readily detectable. We developed a device called the Light Induced Fluorescence Endoscope (LIFE), enabling a more than 2X improvement in early lung cancer detection.

As part of NCI/NIH program grant I participate as part of a multi-disciplinary group to develop, apply and test new macroscopic and microscopic optical technologies for the detection and grading of preinvasive cervical interepithelial neoplasias (CIN).

Another system which we developed is a fully automated microscope which can scan microscope slides for the presence of cancerous cells. This device, too, has now been used in clinical trials for detection of early cervical cancer as well as in research for the lung and the breast and is currently being optimized for monolayer cervical smears. Subtle changes in cells, invisible to the human eye, can now be detected with the automated microscope which indicates the presence of cancerous growth, even in the absence of traditionally diagnostic cells. This effect is known as Malignancy Associated Changes (MAC). This is particularly useful in the quantitative screening of sputum cytology which is the only non-invasive method for detecting early non-invasive lung cancer. To better understand the development of normal tissue into invasive neoplasia we have developed and continue to develop tools to measure nuclear morphology and tissue architecture. The measurements from these tools are being used to quantify this development process and to understand the process through mathematical models.

As part of investigating these areas it became obvious that in the interpretation of biopsies much information was being lost in the translation from a three dimensional biopsy to a two dimensional section. To address this issue we are currently working on two new novel methods of DMD (digital micromirror device, TI) enabled three dimensional microscopic imaging (confocal and tomographic reconstruction microscopy). In addition we are also developing confocal in vivo endoscopic applications.


See Also: Lung Cancer: Lung Cancer Chemoprevention