Team PhotoSound

Sergey Ermilov, Ph.D.


Dr. Ermilov is a scientist and entrepreneur with 15 years of expertise in Biomedical Optics and 10 years of expertise in Biomedical Photo- (Opto-) acoustics. As a CEO of PhotoSound Technologies, he handles strategic business development and marketing. His scientific expertise and interests in the field of biomedical photoacoustics include system development, theory, algorithms, computer modeling, and imaging. Dr. Ermilov received his Master of Biomedical Engineering Degree in 1998 from Bauman Moscow State Technical University (Russia), followed by two years of post-graduate research in the field of biomedical optics with emphasis on laser-tissue interactions. In 2006 he was awarded a Ph.D. in Bioengineering from Rice University where he was doing research on biological application of optical tweezers. His entrepreneurial interest was piqued in 2014 when he attended the pilot NIH I-Corps™ Business Training Program learning the aspects of effective commercial transition as it is applied to biomedical startups. During his employment at Fairway Medical Technologies and TomoWave Laboratories, Dr. Ermilov has participated in the successful development of a variety of photoacoustic instrumentation including the real-time photoacoustic / ultrasonic imaging systems for early detection of breast / prostate cancer and three-dimensional photoacoustic / laser ultrasound imaging system for diagnosis of breast cancer. He was the PI on several projects. Dr. Ermilov is an author of 19 peer-reviewed publications and 1 patent.

Hans Peter Brecht, Ph.D.


Dr. Brecht, earned his M.S. in applied laser technology in 2002 from the University of Applied Sciences Oldenburg-Ostfriesland-Wilhelmhaven, and his Ph.D. in biomedical sciences in the Department of Cellular Physiology and Molecular Physics at the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) at Galveston in 2007. For his thesis, he specialized in the non-invasive optoacoustic detection of blood oxygenation in large blood vessels. He designed custom optoacoustic transducers and fabricated them. He developed new data acquisition and signal processing for the project. After receiving his Ph.D., he worked for Fairway Medical Technologies where he led the design of a small animal optoacoustic imaging system for research in drug delivery and blood distribution monitoring. He then started working at Physical Optics Corporation, in Torrance, Ca where was involved in the development of an acousto-optic imaging system, Raman‑based Lidar systems, and led the development of animated articulated flame test manikins for the testing of protective clothing, specialized tools for the Joint Strike Fighter program, as well as non-lethal weapons and crowd control devices. At Photosound he is responsible for the daily operations as well as the mechanical design aspect of the product development.

Vassili Ivanov, Ph.D.

​CTO, Systems Architect

Dr. Ivanov obtained his PhD in physics at the University of California, Los Angeles in the area of single molecule microscopy and statistical physics of biopolymers. His research at the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases spanned the area of in vitro reconstruction of minimal biological systems. At the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston, Vassili developed a fluorescence lifetime correlation spectroscopy system used for measurement of receptor protein intrinsic motion on a sub-microsecond time scale. After transition from academia to industry Vassili specialized on parallel multichannel acquisition of small signals at the signal to noise level close to the thermodynamic limit of electric noise in the presence of strong EMI sources (for example, high power pulsed lasers used for opto- / photo-acoustics). At Tomowave he was developing data acquisition, power and motion control systems for preclinical and clinical research. He also worked on optimization of the products for certification and manufacturability. At PhotoSound Vassili is developing new analog and digital stages for data acquisition, motion control, power distribution and control systems.

Mark Anastasio, Ph.D.

​Scientific Advisor (Algorithms)

Lab Website

Professor Anastasio earned his PhD degree at the University of Chicago in 2001 and is currently a professor of biomedical engineering at Washington University in St. Louis (WUSTL). Dr. Anastasio is an internationally recognized expert on tomographic image reconstruction, imaging physics, and the development of novel computed biomedical imaging systems. He has conducted pioneering research in the fields of photoacoustic computed tomography, diffraction tomography, and X-ray phase-contrast imaging. He received an NSF CAREER award in 2006 for research related to image reconstruction topics. He is on the editorial boards of the Journal of Biomedical Optics and Medical Physics, and is on the organizing committee for the SPIE Photonics West Photon Plus Ultrasound Conference and serves on the OSA FiO program committee. He was also a program chair for the 2009 Optical Society of America Signal Recovery and Synthesis Topical Meeting.

Stanislav Emelianov, Ph. D.

​​Scientific Advisor (Biomedical Applications)

Lab Website

Dr Emelianov’s research interests are in the areas of intelligent diagnostic imaging and patient-specific image-guided therapeutics including cancer imaging and diagnosis, the detection and treatment of atherosclerosis, the development of imaging and therapeutic nanoagents, guided drug delivery and controlled release, simultaneous anatomical, functional, cellular and molecular imaging, multi-modal imaging, and image-guided therapy.

Ella Mahon, CFP

​​​Financial Advisor

​Ella Mahon graduated from Stephen F. Austin State University with a Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance in December 2000. Thereafter, she completed the Certified Financial Planner Certification Education program at Rice University and subsequently attained her CFP® certification. Ella practiced financial planning for high net worth, high income individuals and small businesses for over ten years. She then completed the Certificate in Accountancy program through the Bauer College of Business at the University of Houston and is now sitting for the CPA exams in order to obtain her CPA license. Ella currently has her own practice, Raethom Advisory LLC. Through her business, she enjoys assisting her clients with their current financial decisions as well as strategizing their financial future with a focus on cash and tax planning. She also currently serves on the Board as Treasurer for the Alumnae Houston Chapter of the National Sorority Chi Omega. Ella is also a candidate member of the Texas Society of Certified Public Accountants and a member of the AICPA.

André Conjusteau, Ph.D.

​Consultant​ (Technology )

Dr Conjusteau earned his PhD in chemistry at Princeton University. His thesis focused on high-resolution spectroscopy of molecules embedded in superfluid helium nanodroplets. His postdoctoral research at the California Institute of Technology focused on the implementation of “wet mirror” resonator enhanced spectroscopy. Subsequent employment at Fairway Medical Technologies and TomoWave Laboratories had him designing and building broadband optoacoustic transducers, and devising realistic testing apparatuses and protocols. Additionally, he participated in the design and assembly of both pre-clinical and clinical optoacoustic imaging systems, as well as the development of conjugated nanoparticle-based contrast agents.

Elena Petrova, Ph.D


​Dr. Petrova is a scientist with expertise covering optoacoustic thermometry, biomaterials, and phase transitions. She earned her M.S. in Physics in 2002 and a PhD in Material Science in 2004 from Lomonosov Moscow State University, Russia. Her thesis was focused on interferometry and state-of-the-art in situ atomic force microscopy of molecular processes during biomineralization. In 2005 Dr. Petrova was a visiting researcher in Tohoku University, Japan investigating aggregation of glycoside hydrolases. Her scientific achievements were recognized by the 2007 Outstanding Young Scientist Award of the Russian Federation. In 2011-12 Dr. Petrova worked at the University of Houston, where she developed a microfluidic device for high-throughput analysis of polymerization in molecules of mutant hemoglobin and malaria pigment. In 2013-2016 she worked at TomoWave Laboratories, Inc., leading the project on in vivo optoacoustic imaging during thermal therapies.