Laser Research Center

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​​Laser Research Center​


The Laser Research Centre, in the Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Johannesburg, was established in 2003 under the direction of Prof. Heidi Abrahamse in response to a need identified by the National Laser Centre of South Africa to initiate research in the greatly underutilised area of laser-tissue interaction in the medical field in South Africa.

The Laser Research Centre was established to investigate the field of phototherapy with specific emphasis on: Low Intensity Laser Irradiation (LILI) or Photobiomodulation (PBM), Photodynamic Therapy (PDT) and Stem Cell Therapy. The therapeutic value of PBM for application in wound healing and stem cell therapy (regenerative medicine) is investigated by establishing biochemical responses and its effects on the metabolic events in cell culture, while PDT requires the use of a photosensitizer that, upon entry into a cancer cell is targeted by laser irradiation to set off a series of events that contribute to cell death.

The centre consist of several masters, doctorate and post-doctorate students and collaborates with several other departments and institutions. International acknowledgement of their scientific contribution to the field was reflected when the group hosted the first international World Association of Laser Therapy conference, attended by 190 delegates representing 28 different countries in October 2008 on the African continent. The Laser Research Centre also hosted a PDT Conference in 2012 in collaboration with the African Laser Centre and DST as part of the Germany/South Africa Year of Science. The South African Research Chairs Initiative (SARChI) was established in 2006 by the Department of Science and Technology (DST) and is managed by the National Research Foundation (NRF). In 2016 Prof Heidi Abrahamse was awarded the prestigious Chair in Laser Applications in Health, which was bestowed by The Minister of Science and Technology, Mrs Naledi Pandor.​

Opportunities for post-graduate studies in this field exist and more information can be obtained by contacting Prof. Heidi Abrahamse on