Photo of John Allen
  • Source: Scopus
  • Calculated based on no. of publications stored in Pure and citations from Scopus
1992 …2020

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Personal profile

Vision Statement

A healthier world. My contribution by undertaking world leading R&D in vascular optics and sensors for the benefit of the patient and society.

Research Interests

Vascular optics and novel microvascular assessment. Optics in Medicine.

Photoplethysmography and pulse wave analysis.

Novel sensor development, signal and image processing.

Endothelial function and tissue viability assessment. 

Cardiovascular physics.

Quantitative and Qualitative research.


I started my career in industry working in instrumentation and control engineering and then moving into biomedical engineering after studying for a master’s degree in Bioengineering at Strathclyde University. In 1989 I joined the NHS and Northern Medical Physics and Clinical Engineering department based at Newcastle’s Freeman Hospital, first working with the Cardiovascular Physics and Engineering Research Group allied to Newcastle University, then becoming lead Clinical Scientist specialising in microvascular assessment – studying the smaller blood vessels of the body. I have a PhD in the vascular optics pulse technique known as photoplethysmography, for which I am a recognised authority. I hold a personal honorary Readership with Newcastle University in addition to the Coventry University Chair. I am a Chartered Engineer, Chartered Scientist, State Registered Clinical Scientist, and a Fellow of the Royal Photographic Society (Accredited Senior Imaging Scientist).

From 2001 I founded the unique vascular optics measurement facilities at Newcastle's Freeman Hospital for patient microvascular assessments, establishing a platform for wide ranging collaborative research in clinical physiological measurement as well as medical device, sensor and signal / image processing development work. A main group assessed was those with a suspected auto-immune connective tissue disease including patients with Raynaud’s phenomenon.

In early 2020 I was encouraged to apply to Coventry University for the new post of full Professor in Biosensors and Bioinstrumentation at its new Research Centre for Intelligent Healthcare (CIH) within the Healthcare Technology and Innovation theme at CIH. I started the new Chair position in July 2020 and am fascinated to explore the power of light in medicine and with its many opportunities when applied to microcirculation research for early disease detection, and wider.

Education/Academic qualification

Medical Physics, Doctorate, Newcastle University

1 May 19951 Oct 2002

Award Date: 4 Dec 2002

Bioengineering, MSc, University of Strathclyde

1 Oct 19881 Oct 1989

Award Date: 1 Oct 1989

Finance and Management: CDipAF


Award Date: 29 Sep 1988

Control Engineering, Degree, University of Sheffield

1 Sep 198230 Jun 1985

Award Date: 4 Jul 1985

External positions

Honorary Reader in Microcirculation, Newcastle University

1 Aug 2018 → …


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