Mariia Borovkova

Research group: Biophotonics
Research subject: Polarization and terahertz imaging for food and biomedical diagnostics
Researcher profile: Coming soon ...


Official interview

Who are you?
I am Mariia Borovkova, an early-stage researcher at the University of Oulu. I am a member of the Biophotonics research group at the Optoelectronics and Measurement Techniques Unit and a participant of the I4Future PhD program.

Where you come from?
I was born in Russia, St. Petersburg.

What you have done before coming to Oulu?
Before coming to Oulu, I have been studying for the two Master Degrees: in Optics, from the University of Rochester (Rochester, NY, USA), and in Photonics, from the ITMO University (St. Petersburg, Russia). Before that, I did my Bachelor’s in Photonics at the ITMO University.

Why did you decide to come to Oulu?
I have always dreamt of being a scientist in the field of biophotonics, as this research could actually improve the people’s quality of life. University of Oulu and the I4Future program provided me with such opportunity.

What is the name of your research project?
“Polarization and Terahertz Imaging for Food and Biomedical Diagnostics”.

What is the expected main outcome from your research project?
An expected outcome of my research is the innovative biomedical imaging technique. This technique is based on the complimentary investigation of biological samples for their chemical composition (using terahertz spectroscopy) and morphological structure (using polarized light sensing). This research is aimed at improving existing biomedical diagnostics. The developed technique could be applied for the non-invasive screening of a biotissue influenced by various malformations and the quality control of different agricultural products.

What you would like to do after you have got PhD degree?
I have not fully decided on my future career path yet. I would like to continue working in the similar field either in academia or in industry.

What I4 Future program has so far given to you? What has been good? Have you missed something?
So far, I4Future has given me the great opportunity to do research in one of the most important scientific fields. Besides, the set of courses from the I4Future program have improved my field-specific and transferrable skills.

What kind of the atmosphere /weather in Oulu has been in your opinion?
Oulu is very beautiful and peaceful place with very friendly international atmosphere. As a person coming from St. Petersburg, I’d say that Oulu is quite sunny! The weather is rather cold, but the winter in Oulu looks like a fairy tale, and the summer is even more beautiful.

Have you already published results? If yes, where?
I have two journal papers published in the Biomedical Optics Express and two conference papers published in SPIE and IEEE Proceedings. Besides, I have presented my work on 7 international conferences since the beginning of the program.


Own words

I came from St. Petersburg (Russia). I got my Bachelor Degree in Photonics in the ITMO University (St. Petersburg, Russia). I hold two Master degrees: Master in Photonics from the ITMO University and another Master degree in Optics from the University of Rochester (Rochester, New York, USA). My research interests are biophotonics and biomedical optics.

I have been enrolled in the I4Future programme at the University of Oulu since January 2017. I am a member of the Biophotonics research group at the Optoelectronics and Measurement Techniques Unit.

My doctoral research project “Polarization and terahertz imaging for food and biomedical applications” is focused on the investigation of propagation of polarized light and terahertz radiation in biological tissues with potential further applications in life and food sciences.

The choice of the two approaches – polarization imaging and terahertz imaging – is conditioned by their complementarity. Polarized light is highly sensitive to morphological abnormalities in tissue samples. On the other hand, terahertz imaging is used to sense the variations in chemical composition of a tissue sample and to assess water content. Therefore, a combined use of these techniques allows carrying out the comprehensive characterization of biological tissues and detection of abnormalities associated with the particular disease or the product spoilage.

I appreciate being a part of the I4Future team very much. By the end of the programme, I expect to acquire new valuable skills, such as the ability to carry out an independent research, to work using a multidisciplinary approach, to consider a research idea from an entrepreneurship perspective and other both field-specific and transferable skills. Therefore, I am sure that this experience will make a huge positive impact on my future career.


Last updated: 25.9.2018

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