Academic Rank:
Clinical Associate Professor
Head, Integrative Oncology Department
BC Cancer Research Centre
BC Cancer Agency

Short Bio:

Dr. MacAulay’s lab focuses on early cancer detection and treatment in Lung, Oral, Colon, Cervix using advanced optical imaging techniques with and without molecular contrast agents. Computer assisted and fully automated quantitative cytology and histology systems for screening, diagnosis and prognosis.

Current Appointments:

  • Head – Integrative Oncology Department
  • Distinguished Scientist – Imaging Unit, Integrative Oncology Department
  • Clinical Associate Professor – Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, University of British Columbia
Academic Backgrounds:
  • PhD (Physics), University of British Columbia. 1989
  • MSc (Physics), Dalhousie University. 1984
  • BSc (Eng.Phys.), Dalhousie University. 1982
Selected Publications
  • 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.
  • Automated image analysis of cell preparations
  • In vivo tissue imaging
  • Quantitative microscopy with digital micromirror devices
  • Lung cancer chemoprevention
  • Bioinformatics


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